The long awaited Biomutant has finally arrived and I am both happy and concerned about its launch. It has a bunch of interesting mechanics combined with a simple and engaging storyline, hybrid cartoony and realistic graphics, and a large open world. However, many gameplay elements were left feeling unpolished. The wonky controls didn’t completely turn me away from the game but they definitely make you feel aware of its issues. The end result leaves you feeling odd about what exactly Biomutant is trying to achieve. Some suggest that Biomutant plays similar to the Devil May Cry series, however, I found it to play more similarly to Sunset Overdrive with a dash of Ratchet & Clank and a pinch of Max Payne. Either way you can see influences of each of those games in Biomutant yet it still is not as captivating as those titles.
You play as a mutated furry creature which you can customize at the very start of the game. Unfortunately the physical look of your mutant animal is directly tied to your attributes so if you want to run a character that has more armor vs intelligence, expect a large upper body with a tiny head (as an example). I found this way of creating a character to be annoying since I had to compromise my creatures’ design in order to get the stats I wanted. It simply boils down to you not being able to create the creature you actually want to play since you primarily have to choose the best stats for your build and hope for the best that it doesn’t look too derpy.
After I finished with my character editing I was initially hooked by the unique visuals, but found that my interest in the graphics quickly wore off due to the wonky combat. While the shooting feels heavy and impactful, there are no aiming mechanics for over the shoulder firing or locking on. You simply just aim with the camera and hope the game auto locks onto the correct enemy you’re trying to hit. I found that it can work some of the time but it often just feels odd to shoot. Melee combat was somewhat better but still not great. You are able to tie together some cool combo strings and punch enemies in the air (perhaps that’s where the DMC feel is coming from) and so on, but it isn’t really satisfying. Again it all felt unpolished.
Somehow there were some redeeming moments in combat. You can use that previously mentioned Max Payne style slow-motion to mow down a bunch of fuzzy enemies in blockbuster movie fashion, then use the photo mode to capture that shot. As well the game features vehicles like mechs and mounts that you can ride throughout mission areas and the open world. I have only found 2 ways of travel so far but they both feel balanced and enjoyable to use. Finally the crafting was probably the most solid part of the game for me. When you find enough items you can combine them to make some really unique weapon variants and make your little mutant feel like a real powerhouse. These were my favorite elements of the game.
After putting 11 hours into Biomutant and creating two characters, I feel as though the tiny details are what’s missing from making it a true hit. It has a great theme, awesome concepts, an amazing photo mode, and solid visuals. It’s just too bad that the game consistently feels off when you’re really trying to enjoy it. I had my eye on this one for a long time and had high hopes for what it was going to be, sadly it just proved to be an odd experience overall. I will continue to play the game and explore everything it has to offer but this is where I stand with it at this point.
If the concept of small fuzzy humanoid animals killing each other over a giant tree sounds cool to you than Biomutant is your game, I would just suggest waiting a bit to pick it up for a lower price. As always if you’ve made it this far thank you so much for reading this post. Have a great week!