BIOMUTANT is an open-world, post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG, with a unique martial arts-styled combat system and a pretty interesting, intense loot-crafting mechanic, however, that’s all it does well, unfortunately!
Biomutant was a game that was first revealed back in August 2017 and ever since then I’ve been keeping an eye on this game. It’s a game that promised a unique experience in which your little rodent evolves and mutates as you play the game. A game that has consistently advertised itself as a “post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG”, built around three “facets”; a Tribe War, saving the world-sustaining Tree of Life, and your character’s backstory. I can tell you for certain that unfortunately, it doesn’t do any of that very well. Note, I played the game on the highest difficulty and it still wasn’t that challenging!
Let me start with the story, which to me was the weakest and most disappointing part of the game, depending on the type of player that you are. In Biomutant, you are an orphaned mutant rodent who’s tasked to save the “Tree of Life”. On your quest, you are given a choice to either destroy the world or save it along with your sifu. The game sports an “aura system”, which has Light and Dark consequences, depending on your choices you make along your journey. Your character’s backstory is generic at best, and trust me when you put a few hours in, you’ll realize it barely has an impact.
A Lack of Aura
This is where Biomutant claim of a “fable-like” experience is nonexistence! As I played through the game, not a single one of my options and choices impacted my character, the world, or even the people I talked to! It didn’t matter that I was pure of heart on the verge of destroying the world, every person I talked to was more than willing to help me, no matter the choices I made. And speaking of the inhabitants, the game gives you the main quest in which it asks you to chose four people to bring to the ark, should you chose to destroy the planet, and that’s when I realized that not a single character was interesting. By the time I was close to ending the game, I had to make up a reason to bring someone aboard. I chose a female for reproduction purposes as I wasn’t going to rebuild the world with only males, and a mechanic because someone had to fix the ark. I had to give myself a reason to chose them because none of them stood out. After a while, I actually stopped caring about the choices I made because I knew the world would end depending on the Sifu I chose.
The Six Tribes Of Two Choices
Oh speaking of the SIFU, Sifus is the leader of the six available tribes in the game. There are three LIGHT-based tribes, Maximum Light, Somewhat Light and I guess Barely Light, and vice versa for the remaining Dark tribe. Depending on which side you chose, that is the determining factor of how the world will turn out. I purposely chose the Maximum Dark tribe just to see if my good actions across my journey in this world would sway the heart of my SIFU or even shift the narrative at all. I never executed any of the other Sifu and negotiated and spared the lives of many people.
However, once a SIFU is defeated, they cease to exist in the game. I’m not even sure where they went. I’d got to the old base to see if they acted as advisors or something but nope, they just vanished with no traces of them in the world. It’s true that allying with a tribe doesn’t permanently lock you into a ‘specific’ path. You can abandon a tribe at any time if you have a change of heart. However, that means you’ll have to then re-conquer previously dominated outposts, and honestly, doing that wasn’t all that fun. After the first few hours, the story didn’t grip me, the characters all were lackluster and I was hell-bent on destroying this world just to see what would happen. Oh, and speaking on that, the whole destroying the world was a massive letdown. I’m not going to spoil anything but man what a letdown.
Gameplay & Exploration
This is what kept me coming back to the game. The story may have been a dud in my opinion but the gameplay is where I feel Biomutant shines. There’s a lot to do in the game. And I mean A LOT!!!! It’s actually ridiculous sometimes, to be honest. Caverns, bunkers, abandoned research facilities, Lumen Shrines, Old World Vaults, and Old World Storages, multiple forms of puzzles, and more. Look, what I’m saying is, this game takes it old school.
A lot of weapons and armor options to find and a lot of customization and crafting new items to help you out. Again, I can safely say that there’s A LOT to do! You can in theory complete the game’s story in less than 10 hours, but to actually complete the game will definitely run you 40 plus hours! Even though I said that NPCs in this game are forgettable, you still need to talk to as many as possible to unlock all the cool features like a barber to go change your fur colour or unlock a new side mission, that will unlock a new item.
In Biomutant, there are workbenches in the main settlements and other encampments that lets you not only build your weapons but even enhances them further which encourages you to find the resources necessary to upgrade them. You can do it from the menu too, but you’ll need the benches to enhance them. Weapons in Biomutant are a major element, and they can be wielded with either one or two hands, depending on their size.
Crafting comes in the form of melee and projectile-based weapons, with the former being divided into three main categories, and the latter following the same principle. Melee weapons can be slicing, piercing, or crushing, and their damage, speed, size, and more varies based on the type. Firearms include shotguns, rifles, and revolvers or sidearms. And when it comes to variety, I’m in line to believe what the developer has said, it’s going to be quite tough to find two-player with the exact same build. The variety it offers is insane! And then there are some backpacks and mounts that you can customize too!
World Divided Into Nine Epic Biomes
If you’re a loot addict, then you’re going to enjoy the heck out of exploring all the biomes, hidden underground caverns, and locked buildings in order to find the loots scattered across this world. There’s loot everywhere, but first, let me talk about the Biomes. Biomutant is divided into several elemental biomes that act as soft gatekeepers for late-game stuff, so for the scorching desert you’ll need the suit to protect you, for the zone deprived of air, you’ll need a mech that is later given to you by a character in a quest. Now, that been said, what I learned in my time playing the game is that Biomutant took a page from Legend of Zelda Breth of The Wild in terms of allowing players the creative ability to overcome certain biomes if they explore enough. So for example, for the air-deprived zones, instead of the mech, you could find a mask that will help you deal with the oxygen problem or level up enough and attribute points to resistance to withstand it.
Combat That Rewards The Master
Combat is another major core of the game, one that it touts to be similar to that of Devils May Cry and to be fair it kinda falls short of that yet it’s still a pretty cool mechanic, allowing you to mix and match melee, range and your special psi and bio abilities to make so interesting combat. It should be noted that some bio abilities are tied to your aura so if you want a specific one you gotta focus on one aura, however, you can in time acquire all abilities, as the game gives you plenty of options to acquire both light and dark points. Each weapon has their own small combo options, and play very different. In fact, some weapons tend to have greater effects on certain enemies, so the game passively encourages you to switch it up to meet the obstacle. I have to say, I was impressed by how there are so many ways to approach combat in the game. Speaking of that, the game has a healthy amount of enemy variety, with the added Mini-Bosses that show up across the world, you will always find something new to fight which will force you to switch up your fighting styles a lot!
In this section, I will discuss how the game ran on my PC! If you’re interested in knowing what kind of spec I had run the game, you’ll find it here:
- Monitor: AOC CU34G2X/BK 34″ Widescreen WLED Black Monitor
- PC CASE: Aerocool X-Predator II Full Tower Gaming Case
- GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC GAMING ACX 3.0
- CPU: Intel i7 – 6700k
- CPU Fan: Corsair Hydro Series H75 Liquid CPU Cooler
- RAM: Corsair DDR4 16GB
- Hard drive: Toshiba 1TB
- External HHD: 1TB
- SSD: Samsung 250GB 850 EVO
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Gene
- Power Supply: CS Series 750M
I ran the game at its highest setting and with a resolution of 3440×1440 and I was able to get a steady 50fps, which was odd as I felt I should have gotten higher! However, when played at 1080p the frame rate shoots up to 60fps so maybe it’s my PC that’s the issue here! The game offers decent PC settings options to mess around with and overall when it comes to the visual of the game, it’s pretty good for a double AA game. In my 20 hours run, I only had one game crash, and that was me blasting every ability under the sun at a monster that just wouldn’t die! There’s one aspect of the game mechanic that struck me as odd, funny odd really. When you engage an enemy and climb a building, if you look down at them and move around, the enemy somehow precisely follows your movement. They can sense where you are at all times so long as you’re within their perimeter. It’s weird but not game-breaking. After that ran and looked well enough for me!
I will say that despite the lackluster story, Biomutant is an incredibly dense game, filled with exploring content and epic combat. It’s game that you’ll keep coming back to in order to explore more and see if there are more secrets to explore.