Biomutant Overview: A shabby motion RPG filled with creativity

Biomutant – Xbox One Standard Edition

“Although Biomutant bites off more than it can chew, it’s creative love work with strong RPG hooks.”

  • Creative worldbuilding

  • Nice surroundings

  • Strong RPG hooks

  • Robust customization

  • Repeated goals

  • Weak boss fights

  • General instability

Many post-apocalyptic media tend to be gritty. Games like The Last of Us Part 2 are dark stories about people struggling to survive in a dark and desolate world. Biomutant is downright cheerful in comparison.

The long-awaited open-world game takes place in a future in which humanity has been utterly wiped out and nature has reclaimed the earth. There are no humans in the game, just mutant animals leading their best lives. There’s still a high stakes lot, crumbling buildings, and resource savings around, but it’s all more of a fantasy piece of life.

Biomutant is an adorable experience with inventive construction and strong RPG hooks. It bites off more than it can chew when it comes to size, but it’s a promising start to a new franchise with a refreshing atmosphere.

Start again

Biomutant is described as a “kung-fu fable” and is an action role-playing game that is as enchanting as it is pathological. The earth as we know it was destroyed by a man-made ecological catastrophe. Humanity appears to be dead, but animals have evolved as a result. Players control a fox-like creature that must save the tree of life by defeating giant predators known as world eaters that gnaw at its roots.

Biomutant is a beautifully designed game full of vivid colors and impressive landscapes.

The game uses this setup to create a rich and creative world building. Biomutant is full of narrative details, lore and charming characters. It can really be felt that after the collapse of humanity, the planet has naturally rebuilt itself into something new. We get an in-depth look at the world’s political struggles through warring animal factions, splashes of colorful folklore passed down between the generations, and the spiritual side of these creatures.

Traces of humanity still poke through. Dilapidated cities feel like the ancient ruins of civilization’s past that we find in our own world. Part of the fun is watching the game turn basic human products into primitive artifacts. A children’s hat becomes a hat, or a washing machine becomes a jigsaw puzzle for turning the dial. It’s a game where one can only imagine how other races would interact with the world that humans left behind after extinction.

What really drives the world home is the world. Biomutant is a beautifully designed game full of vivid colors and impressive landscapes. The best example of this is the Tree of Life, a gigantic tree that is in the dead center of the map. The massive roots branch out in four directions. It’s both a useful navigation tool that subtly guides players to their main objectives, and an eye-catching image that is just plain pretty.

Open world games live and die from how much players feel like they actually want to explore that space. Every step of the way, I wanted to curl up like a cat in the grassy hills of Biomutant and watch the sun go down.

A fantastic action RPG

As for action RPGs, Biomutant works really hard to balance both sides of the genre equation. It’s a combat-heavy game made up of hand-to-hand combat, long-range shooting, and combos that combine both skills. Its battles repeat themselves after a dozen hours as spongy enemies become more common (I found I spammed a combo by half time), but it offers different tools to tinker with with that added variety. There are different types of weapons, Assassin’s Creed-esque special abilities assigned to buttons, and unlockable abilities.

A character jumps and shoots a weapon in Biomutant.

The most interesting part of the combat system comes from its weapon manufacturing system. Players can build their own melee weapons from parts they find in the world. I spent a lot of time mixing and matching parts to make fun blades, like a tiny dagger on a huge sword hilt. That doesn’t change the flow of the fight much, but at least adds an addictive layer of customization that delivers comedic results.

The RPG elements are really where they shine, however. There’s a real sense of character building every step of the way. There are tabletop-style classes and stats that can improve attack power or improve players when bartering with vendors. Loot is abundant and brings some crazy (but practical!) Fashion to the mix. There’s even a resistance system in place where players can improve their ability to withstand elements like heat and poison to get through dangerous areas.

The RPG elements are really where they shine.

The best way to use your RPG systems is to find tribal wars. At the start of the game, players will ally themselves with a tribe and try to unite or defeat the rest. The game gives players full freedom as to how they want to approach this challenge. You can try to conquer every single tribe in battle, or you can refrain from fighting altogether and instill peace. I managed to do a bit of Column A and Column B, breaking into strongholds and leaning on my charisma to try to form an alliance.

It’s not always that profound. Character interactions outside of this arc can feel superficial compared to few, if any, options for handling other quests. However, those moments when the combat and RPG systems work together create an adventure with a personal touch.

Pushed to the limit

At first glance, it’s hard to believe that Biomutant was made by a team of 20. It offers the kind of giant world you would expect from a Ubisoft game with a giant stick. The deeper I got, the more the seams showed. Assets are regularly recycled with some interiors indistinguishable from others. There are a ton of repetitive “card games” in which players often do the same thing, including an endless wave of dial puzzles. Every single line of dialogue is spoken by a single narrator so wearily omnipresent that the game has an entire slider aimed at turning the volume down.

A biomutant character jumps on a mushroom.

Boss fights are generally tough too. The set-piece-driven battles are generally based on one big tool to differentiate them and make them look bigger, but they often come out a little sloppy. I usually struggled to tame unwieldy vehicles in battles where failure could always be felt before collapse.

I also encountered frequent crashes while playing through on Xbox Series X. While that will hopefully be ironed out for final release, this sense of general instability hits a world that needs to be explored fluently.

The deeper I got, the more the seams showed.

Again, all of this is understandable when you consider the size of the development team compared to the scope of the project. It is undoubtedly an ambitious game that does not always have the resources to cope with its weight. But for all the frustration, I would always find some inventive piece of the world that would put a smile on my face.

Biomutant as a franchise offers a lot of potential thanks to the narrative foundations available here. It serves as a strong proof of concept for developer Experiment 101, which is just as scratchy and resourceful as the creatures it created.

Our opinion

Biomutant is a clear love work that is loaded with imaginative construction of the world. The detailed character customization options make for a more customized type of action RPG. His eyes are often larger than his stomach, which can often result in a repetitive, sometimes unstable experience. Even with these shortcomings, it’s hard not to be enchanted by a kind-hearted eco-storytelling project.

Is there a better alternative?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still the open world gold standard, and current games like Ghost of Tsushima offer a cleaner experience for the same price.

How long it will take?

The main campaign can take around 20 hours, but reaching 100% completion will likely take closer to 60.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you can handle rough edges, there is a colorful world full of charm here well worth exploring.

Editor’s recommendations

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.