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‘Biomutant’ game review: Viva la evolution

Screenshot from video game Biomutant   | Photo Credit: Experiment 101

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Great video games walk the tightrope of balancing world-building and gameplay. This is especially common with role-playing games, as they have to juggle story, exploration, levelling-up and fighting mechanics, but even if there is a ball or two dropped along the way, the game can still manage the act.

Biomutant from Swedish developer Experiment 101 is one such game that made us hungrier for each reveal. The premise of creating and playing as your very own battle-ready critter is very enticing. While it lives up to that hype, unfortunately, Biomutant is a repetitive mix of missed opportunities in a great world.

  • Developer: Experiment 101
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Price: ₹1889 on PC Steam; ₹4273 (US$59) on PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S

A pollution-induced apocalypse sees Earth’s humansleaving for other planets. The animals have now inherited the ravaged planet, having mutated into sentient and societal beings. The world is about to come to another end, so you are tasked to take down four monsters eating the Tree of Life. To do this is, you must reunite the scattered tribes. Plus, you have a sage narrator to guide you on your perilous journey.

The character creation is fascinating with rich customisation options depending on strengths, appearance and more. It is fun seeing how the varying stats affect your character; from cat-like to fox-like to panda-like to a hybrid of many. Your critter can be a swashbuckler, a Kung-Fu ninja rodent or even a gun-toting squirrel. The possibilities are endless and this is where the unique world building of the game really shines.

Screenshot from video game Biomutant

Screenshot from video game Biomutant   | Photo Credit: Experiment 101

The story itself is an excuse to explore the diverse open world that is a collage of a few post-apocalyptic games. There are also a lot of elements borrowed from popular open-world games, most notably Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For a small development team at Experiment 101, it is incredible how big a world they have created.

Breaking at the seams

Things slowly fall apart at small points of the game. Having a world this big means that there is a lot of repetition. This is fine, given the Assassin’s Creed series and Mad Max do it, as there is a strong fighting system holding the game together.

The action of Biomutant feels familiar if you have played Bayonetta. Despite four build-able fighting styles as well as numerous weapons, the combat feels a little flat — a shame because the enemy design is impressive. The combat may improve as you unlock more moves, but this gets tedious.

Screenshot from video game Biomutant

Screenshot from video game Biomutant   | Photo Credit: Experiment 101

There are fun challenges during your journey including radioactive zones. A morality ‘aura’ system, where you can choose a light or a dark path, is interesting but mostly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

Biomutant is a mish-mash of great ideas of its own and from other games thrown into one big melting pot, that does not quite sit right. Yet, what it does have going for it is the unique world that really feels like it was crafted out of love and ready for you to scavenge.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 2:08:49 PM |

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