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Biomutant Review (Xbox One X)

by on June 8, 2021
Details
 
Release Date

May 24th, 2021

Developer

Experiment 101
Publisher: THQ Nordic

 

After roughly 5 years of development, Biomutant has finally arrived!  I think I can speak for a lot of people by saying there is a lot of anticipation towards this game.  Did they meet expectations?  I guess it depends on how hyped you were these past few years.  Since I didn’t know a ton of information at the beginning of development, I kept my excitement in check for the most part, which I think helped me a lot as I played through Biomutant.  If I had to sum up Biomutant in a few words, I would say “unrefined entertainment.”  

I think there are some unrefined pieces of the game due to the genre.  There are many positives and negatives to consider when reviewing an open-world action RPG like this one.   Yet I’m not 100% sure you can place blame on anything except the genre itself.  The best part of having an open world in the sense of adventure as you explore every nook and cranny you can.  But there needs to be content to fill that open world.  Is the side content repetitive?  Of course, it is.  But it’s very difficult to have unique quests throughout the entire game.  You have to expect some repetition since that’s a consequence of the genre.

Another unrefined area is the feel of an exposition-filled story and narrator.  Biomutant takes place in a future where the human race is wiped out (basically self-inflicted harm thanks to wars, greed, pollution, etc).  Now that these mutated animals are around, you have the main quest to unite a number of tribes and take on an enemy destroying the Great Tree.  Since it’s a post-apocalyptic world, there are lots of things to learn about current life on the planet.

The big issue is how the information is presented.  A narrator is used to explain and translate everything that is going on.  I think it would have been a really interesting feature if they left out the narrator and only had subtitles for us to read.  I think it could have been a really interesting way to immerse ourselves in this post-apocalyptic world.  For me, the narrator was fine.  I know that others were really annoyed by him, but I didn’t mind too much.  You can turn off the narrator in the options if you prefer.  

Because there is a narrator, you should expect a lot of exposition and explanations as to what’s going on in the world, how we got there, major characters and tribes, and so on and so on.  I get that you need to explain your post-apocalyptic world to the audience.  But sometimes it feels like a lot of information is dumped in your lap.  My personal preference is subtle clues that can clue me in on what happened in the world instead of a ton of exposition.  But that’s just my personal preference and in this case, since the world is so rich with things going on, there might not have been a better way to tell us the story without having a lot of exposition.

As I mentioned before, Biomutant is an action RPG and I really like how they set up the RPG components.  As you make your character, you can choose different classes that give you some advantages in this post-apocalyptic world.  I typically pick a character that gives me a boost in health and vitality, but there are other classes that are perfect for you whether you are a ranged fighter or like to get up close and personal.  Along with the class system, you can make changes to attack, defense, intelligence, and other areas.  There are some robust features that allow you to make the character of your dreams.

Some of you may wonder how much trouble you will be if you don’t create the perfect character.  In Biomutant, there are plenty of opportunities to level up and unlock a variety of different moves that will make you the most powerful critter in the world.  You will find all kinds of weapons and gear that help you.  I was never worried that I created the wrong character or a weak character, and I really like that about Biomutant.  I know some RPG players may not like that there aren’t any negative consequences if you don’t create the perfect character because it takes away any thought when it comes to creating a character.  But I think it makes the game more accessible, especially to first-time RPG gamers.

The combat works pretty well.  There will be times when you button mash and clear out a ton of bad guys, but I didn’t mind it too much.  The unlockable moves are super fun and I absolutely love how the name of the move pops up when you unleash it on your enemies.  It reminds me of the Batman series from the ’60s when the words “BAM,” “BIFF,” and “ZING” would pop up during fight scenes.  I think it’s a clever and fun design during combat situations.

One thing I think everyone can agree on is the art design of Biomutant.  The world looks really, really good.  The game has so many lush areas and beautiful scenic moments that I would stop frequently during my playthrough just to take everything in.  I like that the characters are true mutants.  They are not meant to look cute and cuddly.  To be frank, there are some ugly character models, and I think that fits perfectly in this world that has been completely changed by mutations.  I think it would have been a little weird if every character was cute, so kudos to the development team for how they blended ugly and beautiful in this world.  

Biomutant is a game that is entertaining yet bogged down by the challenges of the open-world genre.  The story is very interesting, but the repetitiveness that comes with open-world games is on display here.  Yet there is a lot of entertainment value that can’t be ignored.  The world looks amazing and there are a lot of fun moments when you create a character and level up into a powerful mutant.  It may not be a perfect game, but I think it’s worth trying.  Hopefully, the team will have a chance to add to the world in the future by creating some more adventures and quests in future DLC. 

Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for review is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.

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Positives

Beautiful world
Create a character that is easy for everyone to understand
Entertaining combat

Negatives

Repetitive quests
Exposition heavy

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
B-

 
Graphics
A-

 
Story
B-

 
Replay Value
B

Total Score
B

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Bottom Line
 

Biomutant is a game that is entertaining yet bogged down by the challenges of the open-world genre.  The story is very interesting, but the repetitiveness that comes with open-world games is on display here.  Yet there is a lot of entertainment value that can’t be ignored.  The world looks amazing and there are a lot of fun moments when you create a character and level up into a powerful mutant.  It may not be a perfect game, but I think it’s worth trying.

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