There have been some amazing open-world franchises, and each one leaves an indelible mark on your life. As such, whenever you start a new game that has these core principles, you can’t help but judge it. Whether it is No Man’s Sky, Saints Row, GTA, Red Dead Redemption, or Elden Ring, you’ll always compare your new experiences to these much-loved ones. Therefore, when I was given the Xbox Series X/S enhanced Biomutant game to review, I fell into this trap. However, I put on my reviewing cap, wiped my mind of any preconceived ideas, and got to work.
Developed by Experiment 101 and published by THQ Nordic, this is an open-world adventure title. What’s more, it is story-rich, has a vivid and beautiful world, and there are plenty of things to do. Alongside this, there is an array of biomes to experience, weird mounts to ride, a skill tree to focus on, and much, much more. Consequently, it packs a lot of ideas and unusual moments into its moralistic plot.
Biomutant tells a familiar tale of self-destruction.
Mankind is its own worst enemy. However, if we wipe ourselves off this planet due to our stupidity, then that’s our lookout. Yet, you can’t help but feel horrified for the creatures that share our habitats. Our poor and mindless choices have deep-seated ramifications for these beasts, and this forms the core ideals of Biomutant. Humanity has poisoned the world, and each of these unusual animals lives with the consequences. Harmless entities become mutated by the toxic radioactive waste and their DNA is permanently altered. Subsequently, this causes an imbalance in the ecosystem, and all hell breaks loose.
The protagonist’s mother and father lose their lives as an enormous monster called Lupa Lupin kills them in a frenzied attack. Scarred by this encounter, the young hero leaves and tries to survive in the wild. However, destiny calls him back to his homeland as the tribes are killing one another and the “Tree of Life” is dying. Without your intervention, the world will end and the mutated creatures will win. By helping out the locals, merging the tribes, and defeating the World Eaters and Lupa Lupin, you’ll heal the damage, and save the “Tree of Life”. So, no pressure there, then!
Though this story focuses your approach, you are free to do as you wish. Once you pass the linear tutorial, the expansive and daunting world unfurls before you. With masses of side quests to experience, plenty of ruins to explore, and a mind-blowing overarching story to witness, it’s a treat for all the senses.
It is all about the missions.
Biomutant has a phenomenal story that twists and turns many times. On top of this, the eclectic blend of characters and unusual language choices adds to the wonderful madness. This is then enhanced further by a warm and rich automaton follower who acts as a translator and narrator. This excellent decision by the developers gave the gameplay a solid structure and unravelled some of the more confusing moments. With many tribes and countless quests to complete, it could have been overwhelming. Fortunately, though, even the most complex situations are manageable thanks to the excellent, albeit strange, guide.
The deep central quest line branches off with multiple subplots and convoluted jobs to complete. Alongside this, there are many side quests to tackle and plenty of areas to explore. As such, players can easily become distracted from the task at hand. I adored this freedom, even if at times I yearned for more structure. Accordingly, I repeatedly went off on a tangent when attempting to complete the most basic of objectives. Therefore, I recommend setting aside plenty of time if you decide to tackle this monstrously big game.
Smooth combat and an amazing crafting system.
When character progression, looting, and fighting are at the centre of everything you do, you want an in-depth and rewarding combat and crafting system. Fortunately, Biomutant has just that, and I loved every minute of it. With your normal XP and levelling elements included, you can focus on improving a range of game-changing stats. Whether you improve strength, health, speed, or more will depend on your gameplay style. As you create your hero, you can decide whether you’ll be melee obsessed, a ranged warrior, or a bit of both. This was fantastic as it allows you to tackle the action however you wish.
This is then complemented by the awesome unlockable abilities and the great Wung Fu combos. Furthermore, by obtaining PSI powers, you can tie together standard attacking tropes with some awesome magical skills. On top of this, as you enhance the mutation tree, you’ll unlock different skills that’ll create deadly and seamless attacking moves.
This is all tied together nicely by the incredible crafting system. This is one key area that makes Biomutant stand out from its peers. As you loot the surrounding world and level up, you can enhance your gear or create entirely unique weapons. This was phenomenal, as you can design weapons that’ll take down specific enemies, or clothing that’ll increase resistance in each of the biomes. I adored how this simple idea worked perfectly with the complex environment and the vast roster of monsters you encounter.
Biomes, Karma, and puzzles.
Though fighting and quests are a big portion of Biomutant’s rich tapestry, it has plenty of other charms, as well. With a delightfully cruel level of poisonous, evil, and deadly biomes to explore, you’ll need to master the crafting and levelling system pretty quickly. Subsequently, with the right approach, your hero can become resistant to each revolting and debilitating obstacle that stands in your way.
On top of this, the looting and exploration elements are often mixed with some fun and challenging puzzles to complete. With an array of oddly named human technology littering the landscape, you must complete logic-based puzzles to open doors, crack safes, and earn rewards. Consequently, this was a nice distraction from the almost endless combat encounters and the faster-paced moments.
Finally, similar to Fable, Biomutant uses a Karma system. During conversations, you are free to answer as you wish. However, your choices impact whether you are perceived as “Light” or “Dark”. Moreover, this impacts the choices that are available and will skew the relationships you have. Accordingly, you must live with your choices no matter what the consequences are.
Biomutant looks incredible.
When it was released for “Last-Gen” machines, people complained about the graphics, frame rate, and bugs. Fortunately, though, I didn’t touch it until this review. Subsequently, I missed all the rough points and instead, I enjoyed a beautiful and polished title. With a variety of biomes to explore, stunning characters to encounter, smooth combat to witness, and some excellent cinematic, this is a great game to play. On top of this, the world is mind-blowingly massive and great to explore.
This incredible world would be nothing if it wasn’t for the atmospheric audio. With a rich and powerful soundtrack, you’ll become lost in the enthralling story. Alongside this, the character’s strange voices and the excellent narration add to the mystery and drama. Furthermore, the excellent sound effects are great! With bone-crunching noises and whimsical OTT sounds, they both add to the ensuing madness.
Excellent controls and a brilliant UI.
There is so much to do in Biomutant that it could have been a pig to play. With hectic battles, loads of special abilities, and rapid combos to master, there is a lot going on. However, thanks to the responsive controls and brilliant UI, you’ll master the fundamentals in no time. What’s more, the excellent tutorial gets you up to speed without being complicated or boring.
Like other open-world games, this one is full of longevity and replay value. If you wish, you can rush through the main story and forget the exciting side quests. Yet, I wouldn’t recommend that. With many interesting places to explore and some amazing jobs to complete, you’ll want to invest your time wisely. Alongside this, the progression tree, crafting system, character role, PSI powers, and mutations ensure that no playthrough is ever the same.
Biomutant is fantastic.
I’ve always enjoyed open-world games, but I find them to be overwhelming and this puts me off. However, Biomutant was different! I could happily invest hours without becoming bored or feeling out of my depth. Furthermore, the blend of different approaches and the excellent plot was both interesting and captivating. It is for these reasons that I recommend you buy it here! Can you save the “Tree of Life”? Destroy the World Eaters, hunt Lupa Lupin, and get your revenge.