Biomutant PlayStation 4 Review

Biomutant has plenty of room for improvement and the best way to describe it is as an utter waste of potential.

By RON, Posted 26 May 2021

An open-world action RPG based on a new IP is always promising. Add some anthropomorphic animals, kung-fu, post-apocalyptic sci-fi, and you will find something people will lose their minds over. Such was the case with Biomutant. Since we first knew about this game, the hype was palpable. But now that Biomutant’s here and we must ask the question, was it worth it? Short answer, not really. But stick a bit longer for the long answer. Biomutant is overpromised and underdelivered, but that does not mean it is not worth recognizing the effort to create a brand-new IP and delivering some unique world-building in the process.


Biomutant, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay
 

Biomutant is an open-world action RPG in the third person developed by Experiment 101; it is the first game to their name, and for a new studio it is not a bad first exercise. In this game, you control an anthropomorphic animal living in a post-apocalyptic world. The roots of the Tree of Life, the source of life in this world, that can be compared to Yggdrasil of the Norse myths, are being eaten away by four creatures. Because of this, the world is falling in disarray and will certainly end. It is up to your character, who wakes up with little to no memories of its past, and its actions to stop the destruction of the world or spell its doom. Not exactly groundbreaking but you cannot blame the studio for using the good old “chosen one” monomythic formula.

Biomutant takes a page from the Breath of the Wild book and a couple of paragraphs from Horizon Zero Dawn as well but falls flat where both these games succeed. Let’s break it down.

First, the good. The game excels in presenting unique world-building, majestic sceneries, and verisimilitude. The rules of the world are clear and consequential with one another. You can see how the world impacts its inhabitants and how the different biomes are inhabited by different types of creatures. You can buy that. The next great thing about Biomutant lies in its exploration. The world feels full of life and mysteries; there’s a lot hidden within the map that will only be marked once you’re close enough. This incentivizes players to explore as much as they want and adds an actual sense of wonder and discovery. Unfortunately, those are the only two redeemable qualities of Biomutant. Now, let’s delve into the ugly parts of this lukewarm adventure.


Biomutant, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay
 

Choices. If you decide to invest the next 10-70 hours of your life, depending on how much of a completionist you are or if you just want to complete the main story, in an action RPG, there better be consequences to your actions. That’s not the case with Biomutant. Most choices just feel black and white, either you are a saint or an a-hole, and the only impact of your choices will be felt in the karmic system which will allow you to unlock certain abilities and change the way some NPCs treat you. Other than that, completely inconsequential. This is especially evident with the choices you make while dealing with faction-specific quests, in which regardless of your choices, the world will be more or less the same. In this sense, Biomutant is a textbook example of the illusion of choice, because no matter what choices you make, in the end, it all will be resolved in a binary decision, whether you save the world or aid to its destruction.

Factions. Now we mentioned factions is a good time to talk about them with such a vast world-building exercise, factions could be a lot more fleshed out. Most of the factions’ motivations are rather shallow, unidimensional, and even repetitive. Three different factions have the same motivation but looking after their interests. If you compare this to finer examples of factions in fantastical worlds, such as the nations of Avatar: The Last Airbender, you will find yourself severely underwhelmed. And we know it’s possible to do a lot more with anthropomorphic characters, as Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda have shown us in the past.

Combat. Speaking of Kung Fu. Biomutant is such a waste of potential in terms of its combat system. Albeit the fact the game introduces different classes, different types of attacks, and even adds guns to the equation, the sophistication of the combat system is virtually inexistent. Most combos are not well crafted, the combat feels clunky, overthought, and far from fluid. To add insult to injury, nothing matters in the end when you have such a faulty AI, in which enemies have very repetitive and predictable patterns, or won’t even try to respond to your movements, only follow you in circles while you shoot. Some enemies will even stay still while you beat the hell out of them because of staggering or poor programming. It is not unfair to call Biomutant’s combat system a shameful button-mashing experience.


Biomutant, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay
 

Biomutant has plenty of room for improvement and the best way to describe it is as an utter waste of potential. Look, we understand, it’s not a big-budget game, there were only 20 people involved in its creation, and they were ambitious. But that should not be an excuse to deliver such a mediocre and monotonous experience. We have known of indie games that revolutionize the industry or excel at their genre, like Hollow Knight or Cuphead. The trick is to create art from adversity and not to replicate standard elements from AAA games that, although proven to be successful, might be a bigger bite than what a small studio can chew.


Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Biomutant

45/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): THQ Nordic
Developer(s): Experiment 101
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: RPG, Open World
Release Date: 2021-05-25

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