Ever wonder what happens in those movies where humanity has left Earth and shows everything but Earth? Biomutant is probably one of the few pieces of media I’ve come across that gives a story of a post-human Earth. Biomutant is a fun open-world action RPG with a story focused on choice. The choices you make in the game affect your outcome. It is a graphically stunning game with a vast world to explore as you encounter many fork roads of life accompanied by your own personal narrator with a British accent. Biomutant is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The PS5 and Xbox Series S/X versions are set to be released at a later date. This review is of the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
Our beloved Earth is left in shambles after an infamous corporation triggered a toxic waste apocalypse that wiped out almost all of humanity. The story of Biomutant follows a young wandering ronin who happens to be a furry mutant. The appearance of your character depends on which visual you go with during character creation. How the story goes and ends depends on how your journey to destroy or save the Tree of Life that is currently under siege by vicious mutants known as “World Eaters.” Biomutant is an epic story that warns about the dangers of pollution and its effects on the planet.
Although you are the hero of this epic, the storytelling and how things are explained to you can feel a bit condescending if you’re an adult. Biomutant has a story with a superb narrator that children and teens will enjoy, but adults may find the story a bit…lacking. Personally, I love story-driven games, especially those in the RPG genre. Unfortunately, I found myself getting slightly bored or irritated at certain points during the plot and did not get a chance to enjoy the narrative. This also made it difficult for me to have an interest in the characters introduced in the game.
The world of Biomutant, on the other hand, is one of the factors that kept my interest. I was drawn to the vast world with its mix of different environments. Some places were destroyed and polluted, while in other areas I found that nature also “evolved” or at least developed some way to sustain itself on such a desolate planet. It was the perfect mix of bleak and gorgeous settings showing how the newer species on Earth can survive on the opposite side of the toxic wastelands scattered around them. Again, experiment 101 went above and beyond providing settings that had me looting different areas or exploring places in-depth in my playthrough of the game.
The gameplay of Biomutant is reminiscent of recent titles from the Assassin’s Creed and Fallout franchises. Biomutant has an overarching plot that you must journey through. You’ll pick up various main and side quests to explore a world filled with enemies and loot. Exploring is a major part of Biomutant. I often found myself getting lost in an area, searching buildings for loot, fighting enemies, or casually riding through areas on my mount. Each area has small objective lists that allow you to explore an area thoroughly. Once I completed a list, I knew that I wouldn’t need to return. In combat, I enjoyed being able to switch between melee and ranged attacks on the fly.
The combat is fluid and swift. Unfortunately, it can get repetitive and has a “mash to win” feel to it. I enjoyed the character upgrades and craft system in Biomutant. I especially had a little too much fun with the flashy visuals given with Wung-Fu moves in combat. You receive Biogenetics, Perks, and Psi-Powers that can be upgraded, but you do not need all of them to progress through the game. The loot that you find can be used to craft armor and weapons, but it comes with a rarity system. Unfortunately, the rarity system sells itself short since you can look at the rarity and not worry about the stats of the armor or weapon. Fortunately, you can increase your character’s “loot chance” to increase the likelihood of getting a higher rarity to craft better armor and weapons.
The biggest problem I encountered was the random frame drops while the game loads. This would either cause the game to crash completely or stutter for a couple of seconds as I loaded in. I also experienced a few frame drops when arriving in a new area. However, the load times after being in the game were pretty swift. I experienced a lot of bugs during my playthrough, especially during combat, but none were game-breaking. I am not sure if other players will encounter the same bugs since we can design our own characters, craft weapons, etc. Hopefully, these bugs will be patched out in the future.
The art style is another aspect I enjoyed that really helped the game stand out. The art style has a child-like nature that tickles the explorative itch of those who love the nostalgic feeling of being a child and those who love animals. Coming from a small studio of around 20 people, the graphics are stunning and arguably up to par with the quality of a triple-A game in some cases. The environmental effects in the game reminded me of Ghost of Tsushima with the changes from day/night, grass blowing in the wind, weather changes, and more.
In terms of audio, I personally hated the narrator narrating every action I did in battle but did not mind the translated dialogue. All characters are essentially voiced by one person as if I were listening to an audio book during each cutscene. Along with the narration, players receive the dialogue in a nicely sized and easy-to-read font. This shows that Experiment 101 definitely considered accessibility when developing the game. The soundtrack and sounds of Biomutant are pleasant. Nothing was mind-blowing or left me in awe, but the music and sounds served their purpose and helped create a sonic theme for the story and world of Biomutant. It may be a little rough around the edges with its bugs and overbearing narrator, but Biomutant is an engaging open-world adventure game. It is one of those impressive titles not made by a major studio that you don’t want to miss!