Within my first hour of playing Biomutant, the thoughts and feelings I had were the ones from 17 years back, initially when i first booted up Fable on my small original Xbox. The newest IP from THQ Nordic, produced by Experiment 101, is undoubtedly inspired from games of history, in a good way. At its core it's a huge, open-world action RPG with many different making decisions and much more conflicts between the Tribes and NPCs that inhabit this lush world. Much like the title I mentioned above, barely scratching the surface though in regards to the inspirations it has from other games. If you combine Fable’s vibe and freedom of actions, aspects of the Batman Arkham series’ combat and Mass Effect’s Paragon and Renegade system, you have yourself the odd love-child that's called Biomutant.
The most vibrant post-apocalyptic world you will ever see inside a video game.
You end up in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where just about everything went down the sink. Your ultimate goal, eventually, would be to end the reign of World Eaters, gigantic beasts that are destroying something that happens to block their path and have proved their dominance within the more civilized creatures. The Tree of Life is what remains as a resource of life in this desolate planet, and you'll be the only person who can prevent World Eaters from destroying that a lot.
There are toxic power plants and radioactive areas everywhere. Not to mention the icy-cold locations that disregard any type of natural laws, or places completely overtaken by unbearable heat. As such, probably the most hellish environments imaginable. Even if that’s the case though, strangely enough, the majority of the map in Biomutant is full of greenery and delightful scenery. While yes, you will find ruined towns and villages everywhere, past those lie some really pretty places to understand more about and even wildlife to either tame or just communicate with. Whenever you imagine a world where everything reached this state, bright colors and joyful creatures would be the least that will pop in the mind.
This fact alone makes the realm of Biomutant a great time to understand more about and traverse through. Sometimes you will scavenge for items in deserted towns, while some you'll find yourself stuck inside a tunnel looking for an exit, slicing via a bunch of enemies. There will be occasions where you will be getting the time of your life riding a mount, traversing through a fascinating forest, only to wind up to some drained power plant full of radioactive beings without any other goal rather than hurt you. You will even unlock certain vehicles that allow you to pass through oil-filled hills, or even the sea itself. Those areas their very own dangers and treasures, therefore if one thing is definite in Biomutant, is you will invariably have these feelings of excitement about what you will encounter next inside your adventure.
Your Aura will decide your destiny and various endings await for you, based on how you behave and selection of Tribe.
A large amount of characters are eagerly waiting to satisfy you in Biomutant. And I’m saying this quite literally. Your character is a heavily customizable, furry little mammal-like fella, who actually has built a reputation for himself over the years. In fact, this reputation depends in your actions throughout your trip and depending on what were they, NPCs everywhere will address you as a result. If you drop the let’s say ‘aggressive’ route, everyone will keep mentioning how much of a threat you're and that even you can have a change of heart further down the line. Should you however made a decision to help people and act as a neighborhood hero, everyone will admire you and treat you with respect. In any case may be, when i mentioned, characters in towns and virtually everywhere can recognize you in the most part, especially those which are associated with Tribes.
These Tribes are the game’s factions, and there are six of these as a whole. Three of them are associated with the way of the sunshine, while the rest using the Dark side. Or to become more precise, Light and Dark Aura if we want to be on par with Biomutant’s terminology. This Aura is also a a part of you and the more actions you are taking on behalf of one side, you'll gather points respectively. Tribes will further boost your tendency towards any of the two Auras, by providing you quests and tasks leaning more for their side. You'll be able to join among the two Tribes which will appear in the beginning, one sitting in the Dark spectrum, while the other within the Light, but because you progress more in to the story and also you encounter the rest of the Tribes, you might change your allegiance to any of these accordingly. The important thing to note here, is that both sides have different end-goals, which will eventually lead to a different ending. As such, don’t treat the Tribe selection lightly.
All of the choices highlighted above, do matter. Every action you take may have consequences down the road, that being a small choice between helping an undesirable farmer or otherwise, to the bigger ones like which Tribe to become listed on and how to handle their affairs. You'll find yourself capturing enemy Outposts, owned by another Tribe, to be able to improve your own Tribe’s field of reign. Even if that’s the case though, you still might wish to not do that anymore or perhaps spare an enemy leader, which contradicts to some Dark Tribe’s usual behavior of handling opposing threats and vice versa. It really comes down to how you, the player, want to go through the game and Experiment 101 ensured for us to have the freedom of doing so.
Mutations, Wung-Fu and guns.
While much of your time will be spent on exploring vast areas and obtaining items from daily-life objects like closets and refrigerators, combat would be the game’s true selling point. Being an action-RPG, Biomutant has the player slicing his way via a huge assortment of enemies, with very unique abilities and Wung-Fu. You will find all sorts of weird Mutations you can unlock as well, that behave as offensive tools. You can throw vomit to the ground to poison enemies, spawn a rocky fist from below to send them flying, or perhaps cover yourself having a giant bubble field to be able to trample over smaller enemies and beasts. After all, you are a mutated being, so why not take advantage of it?
Your traditional swords and pistols are here as well, but through the use of the very easy-to-learn craft system Biomutant offers, you are able to dual-wield a set of toilet brushes or perhaps throw a barrage of bullets using a trumpet. You discover weapon parts by exploring, earning them from quests, or perhaps buying them from vendors which you can then combine to create something unique. The amount of weapons you can end up with is ridiculous, particularly in terms of the way they look. They even have passive abilities implemented to them, if your materials do have one included for their kit. Overall, the amount of tools you've in combat is extremely generous, and since you can customize your primary character the way you like and choose the category you want probably the most as well, there's a lot of different setups you can try out. With five different classes (and one as paid DLC which makes it as many as six) there will be something for everyone’s playstyle of preference.
Combat is fast-paced, but does feel just a little clunky initially. As you progress though, everything begins to feel natural and very satisfying.
Combat is taking place in real-time, right after you encounter any type of enemies. You are able to jump into a fist-fight, use your melee weapon up-close and personal, make use of your guns for any ranged showdown, or embrace your inner Sith Lord and employ your Levitate capability to fly around and shoot lightning bolts. It all is dependant on how you want to fight, and whatever method you choose, is equally efficient. I actually do have some complaints when ever you just start your adventure, since it is obvious that particular kinds of combat don’t do well, compared to others. Melee combat for example is really lackluster at first, when you don’t have strong weapons or a good number of abilities available. Generally I ended up counting on my extremely efficient gun, which was the main reason I possibly could live some confrontations. Let me also add that my character was created and customised as a melee fighter, with many different extra suggests strength and agility, so it’s nothing like I wasn’t ready for it.
Fortunately enough, this is not the situation for long. After you’ve put some hours into Biomutant, the sport does speed up a lot. You discover items way faster, you unlock lot of different abilities all the time and you gain levels on a steady pace. Once i managed to craft some great one-handed weapons (a small knife mounted on a bone and a suction cup glued on a katana handle), and enhanced all of them with the toxic and ice element, things were way different. Things i realized though, was that it wasn’t the weapons that mattered much, however the quantity of experience I have gathered after a while and also the new techniques I had available. Because of the way the combat felt from close up, I began using my assault rifle like a main weapon for any significant amount from the game. I unlocked some new Wung-Fu and techniques in the process, tried melee combat again and it would be a new me. This was heavily satisfying, as I were able to see my progress into this dangerous world, and how much my main character is different from the time I passed that tutorial phase in the beginning.
Biomutant holds true to the nature and follows the open-world trope by heart. Because of this, it’s difficult to discuss every aspect of the sport at length, because it will make this review so long it would hurt anyone’s eyes. Having said that, I had a great while to experience a bet on this genre that I am invested that much to its world and characters, not to mention its brilliant mixture of various kinds of combat and also the easy to approach crafting system.
Playing Biomutant helped me consider simpler times, after i just turned my game console on and started playing with no care nowadays, or in any world whatsoever. It had been me, my old-school 30″ TV and also the game before me, nothing more, nothing less. While it without a doubt has some flaws like a slow start, some combat junkiness initially and a couple of cut-scenes that look low budget-ish, by no means they hinder the end result of the great action-RPG. If these weren’t present, an ideal score could have been very possible.