Biomutant is a brand new open-world action-RPG IP from THQ Nordic and Experiment 101.
The game features a post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu theme, kind of like if Kung-Fu Panda was set in the Fallout universe, and it oddly works.
For this review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version of the game on PS5, which boosted the frame rate of the game from 30fps to 60fps, making it a smoother experience overall.
What Is Biomutant?
Biomutant is a brand new IP from THQ Nordic and Experiment 101, the game is an open-world RPG where players take control of a customizable rodent with Kung-Fu abilities and mutant powers.
On paper, it is a rather odd mashup of influences and inspiration that at times works, but at other times it feels like its trying to be too much and burning the candle at both ends rather than just excelling at one single design choice.
Being an RPG, players can level up and unlock new perks, abilities, and attributes, allowing players to craft the character that suits their playstyle the best, and it does this really well.
Upon starting the game, you are presented with six breeds to choose from, each with its own perks and abilities that are unique to that class.
These range from creating a more tank melee character, to one focused on using long-ranged weapons, to being more of a mage type characters focusing on abilities and mutant powers.
You Don't Know The Power Of The Dark Side
One aspect of the game that I wasn't expecting, that I admit got me excited being a huge Star Wars fan, is the light and dark side system.
It works very similar to games such as Knights Of The Old Republic and does just seem entirely ripped from the game without even trying to hide it.
Players can choose to be a good or bad character at the start of the game, which will affect which abilities can be unlocked, how characters in the world perceive you, and it can alter which dialogue options are available.
However, despite being a fantastic mechanic, it does feel pointless at times as you can easily earn Aura points for the opposite side that you chose.
When playing through the game I chose the dark side, but decided I'd rather be a good guy so just chose all the right options and actions and started earning light points.
This allows players to unlock both light and dark powers, meaning you're never locked out of unlocking certain abilities, so why have it in the game in the first place? This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about the game failing to excel at any single aspect but rather it does many things fairly well.
Please Stop Talking
While I understand its purpose in games, especially for newer and younger players, too much hand-holding and explaining things can really break immersion and just make the experience feel rather frustrating.
Biomutant takes hand-holding to a new level, with at times feeling like you're not moving for more than a few steps before yet another dialogue sequence.
One thing that did make me chuckle to myself was that around 20 minutes into the game it decided to teach me how to double jump.
Now, unless this is literally your first time playing a video game, you have likely encountered a double jump before and likely performed one prior to this tutorial.
Looking back, I did a double jump in the game within seconds of starting it, if it is going to be a tutorial it should really be much earlier in the game due to it being a basic mechanic, not a good chunk through the opening section of the game.
While the hand-holding does get better over time as the game realizes you're not completely incompetent, but a conversation with another character usually isn't too far away, at least in the earlier portions of the game.
Most of the time they aren't even substantial conversations and you probably wouldn't miss much by just skipping over them.
The Gameplay Is A Joy To Play
When it actually comes to playing the game, I've to say that it is a joy to play as the controls feel very smooth and intuitive, making it easy to switch between melee and ranged attacks along with utilizing the various abilities that mapped to your controller.
The combat is where the mutant/Kung-Fu theme really shines as players can unlock a variety of Psi abilities as well as unlocking and upgrading many melee and ranged weapons.
If the game thrust you into the world of Biomutant in a similar way to The Elder Scrolls, just a brief introduction and then you're free to find your own way in the world, then this game would be fantastic.
Heading Out On The Open Road
Biomutant features an open-world experience, allowing players to traverse and explore a large map filled with a variety of different locations and biomes, filled with many characters and storylines to play out.
Graphically the world looks really great, although I can't wait to see what the next-gen version looks like as currently, only the previous-gen versions are available.
I did encounter some slow down at times with the frame rate dipping ever so slightly, but this occurred mostly after a cutscene or dialogue sequence, it would seem to take a few seconds for the game to fully load the world back in, but this wasn't enough to really detract from the experience and will likely be patched out over the coming weeks and months.
Biomutant is a perfectly pleasant experience, it isn't terrible, nor is it a game-changer, its just good.
If you choose to play it you will likely have a good experience with it and enjoy it for what it is.
But, if you choose to give it a miss then it probably won't be a decision that you later regret.
RealSport Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
We reviewed the PS4 version of Biomutant while playing on PS5, the game was provided by THQ Nordic.