Biomutant was first announced in 2017 on the August 21. The game was playable within the week at the Germans Gamescom trade show and sparked interest around the globe. At the time Stefan Ljungqvist, the head of Experiment 101 stated that the game content was already finished. However the game never received an official release date until January of 2021. With a game that has spent so long in development I did wonder whether it would become another Cyberpunk or Duke Nukem: Forever, and this week I found out whether Biomutant has what it takes to wow us gamers.
So what is it?
The game revolves around a post-apocalyptic Earth which has had humanity wiped out bar than those who managed to escape into space. You play as a mutant that is on a mission to either save or destroy The Tree of Life. The Tree in question is one that has been poisoned by the humans waste from many years prior. Five creatures are also slowly eating the tree and causing devastating affect. There are also six tribes that have mixed opinions on the tree. Three of the tribes wish for it to be destroyed, whilst the other three want to save the tree from annihilation.
Within this setting there is a narrator and many, many characters. One issue straight off the bat is the patronising way in which information is portrayed to the player. The information is often obvious and would be better suited towards a younger player rather than an adult (I do adult sometimes you know). The characters are rather bland and you soon come to realise that the setting is the only aspect of the game which is intriguing enough to carry on.
I often become awe-struck by open world games, especially when they are set in a post apocalyptic environment like Biomutant. And this game was no different to me than others. The game does make you want to explore, regardless of whether the plot is a little lacking. Like other games you can still explore and loot to your hearts desire.
The quest for a great game
The quests themselves are one of the things that brings this game down. Most of the mission quests in fact are just search and return missions whereby you need to create some specialist equipment for defeating more prominent characters in the game. Side quests are seemingly on a trophy system of sorts, whereby an accumulation of opening doors for example will earn you that quest. Within the missions themselves there is also not too many different choices that you can make as a player. When the game is marketed as one that is open world and whereby you choose your path it somewhat feels very linear in its setting.
The dialogue does not reflect what you would expect from a modern game either, with very short and minimalistic answers to questions that make this aspect of the game…well, boring. The best element of the game still comes down to the open world aspects and the fact that you can search around and find goodies around every corner. This however is not unique to Biomutant so cannot be taken as a breathtaking mechanic within the game.
A crafty little title
With the parts that you find or buy you can also start crafting weapons, armour and more. You seem to have quite a lot of control over what your character uses as a weapon adn also what it looks like during the passage of the game. I cannot say that I have played that many games that have this level of crafting available and it does add some glamour to the game.
Combat within the game isn’t too bad technically. The system seems very fast and there are no clunky aspects to the movement or attacks that you have access to. You can complete ranged and melee attacks on the fly and the speed of these is excellent. The only issue is that is plays much like a basic hack-n-slash game and the combat becomes increasingly repetitive and loses its sparkle after the first couple of hours. And within a game this size, two hours is not long at all. I found myself trying to rush any combat areas as well as the dialogues as these seem to suck the energy right out of the enjoyment for this title.
The graphics in this game are fantatic for what they are and cannot be faulted. There are some minimal frame drops in certain areas, but it doesn’t ruin the gameplay itself. However there are various obscure bugs throughout the whole game and these do change your perspective on the game. The sounds design is incredibly strong and really suits the feel for the game.
The game itself isn’t too bad. It looks graphically amazing but the gameplay does fall flat on its face. There are too many bugs to make this a game that any player would want to play over and over again. Couple that with that fact that the quests seem to be repeats of themselves, the dialogue is somewhat irritating and the storyline just doesn’t pack that much of a punch and you are left with a strongly marketed mid-range game. The title will take you around 15 hours minimal to complete, but of course it could take much longer if you expore every single nook and cranny available. I just don’t feel that the game offers enough to a player to make them want to continue playing this title over and over again.