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Biomutant Review: A visually stunning disaster piece

(Photo: biomutant's Website)
AMMAN — Let’s start by saying this review is of the current state of Biomutant, and that its developers, Experiment 101, are putting in a ton of effort to fix everything that I and other players think is wrong with it.اضافة اعلان

Ever since it was first revealed in August of 2017, Biomutant showcased a beautiful world with unique elements, open-world RPG gameplay, as well as an unusual combat system to go along with it all. This seemed exactly like the kind of game that would check all the boxes for avid open-world lovers. 

If you’re a fan of the genre, then you may have been keeping an eye out for its highly anticipated release, patiently waiting to get your hands on it. Unfortunately, Biomutant does one thing very well, and that is to distract you with a gorgeous environment and some cool and distinctive elements, while delivering an overall bland experience.

Intros are important, and Biomutant does it right

Stunning visual fidelity, spectacular action and immersive sound design are the holy trinity of astonishing gameplay intros. Biomutant is a firm believer in these core pillars, and right off the bat presents a sensationally satisfying intro to the game.

The intro scene is deceptively simple; an opening shot of a mechanical grasshopper, your trusty insectoid friend, hopping his way down the grassy road to our protagonist, the furry feline creature that’s squatting over a pool of toxic waste. 

As our hero assesses the remains, the grasshopper alerts him of danger, spotting a giant creature several feet away from where they now stand.

The furry creature wastes no time and jumps straight into combat, dodging a massive swing of the opponent’s sword and retaliating by smashing it into pieces with one fell swoop of his now electrified blade. 

Overall, the intro of the game does a fantastic job of putting the world of Biomutant into perspective for the players, showing glimpses of what is to come throughout the game as the players grow in power.

Character Creation: Your hero, your playstyle

The character creation process Biomutant has to offer was truly surprising. To start, you are given six breeds to choose from (Primal, Dumdon, Rex, Hyla, Fip, and Murgel), each with their own strengths and weaknesses. 

After selecting your breed, you move on to the next stage — mutations.

This screen is predominantly a circle with a cursor that you can move to slightly tweak your characters' allocated stats. Doing so completely changes your character's physical appearance to match the stats being given to it.

Allocating your stats into agility makes your character look more slender and aerodynamic, while going with a stat like vitality makes them look quite beefy.

You’re able to choose your starting resistance and fur appearance in a similar fashion before proceeding to the final step, your starting class. 

There are a total of five classes to choose from if you’ve purchased the base game (six if you pre-ordered or bought the class as DLC), each with a different set of combat skills and weapons to use at the start of your adventure.

Needless to say, this process as a whole will have you itching to start your journey through the vast and beautiful world that Biomutant has to offer.

Unfortunately, that’s when the game started showing its true colors; as you load in, you are instantly hit with unskippable cutscenes that dissolve any immersion.

The story, albeit having a strong premise later down the game, kick starts as a dull intro, holding your hand through a series of what could best be described as awkward monologues and bland combat mechanics. And if you expected the combat to evolve as the game progresses, that unfortunately is not the case, which is a big problem. 

Story: Not a race, but a marathon 

While the game’s story slogs for the first hour or so, Biomutant’s story becomes arguably one its strong suits the further you progress in the game.

You, the hero, are seeking out to avenge your family and village after it was destroyed during an attack.

All while the Tree of Life is dying because of the pollution left by the humans who once inhabited the world, as well as the “World Eaters,” the main bosses of the game, who are gnawing away at its roots.

As you play, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to protect the Tree of Life from being destroyed, or choose to be the big baddie and let the tree wither away.

While the premise appears to be fresh and original to some extent, it is unfortunately sullied by a poor decision of having practically every moment and element narrated with a David Attenborough sort of commentary.

The story’s pacing is also all over the place. 

And whether you decide to complete just the main quests or fully explore the game and all the side quests available, there really aren’t any memorable moments throughout the game, making the story as a whole forgettable. 

Graphics: The saving grace of Biomutant 

The graphics of Biomutant are truly fantastical. The game is gorgeous, and seeing the ruins of a post-apocalyptic world consumed by nature is truly a sight. 

It’s some high quality eye candy, but while grand, it’s unfortunately bland.

The massive world you explore seems almost empty at times, there are large sections in which you’re left with nothing to do but move in a specific direction hoping to find anything of substance, whether it be an enemy camp or an abandoned city with potential goodies to pick up.

Combat: More “Gun-Fu” than Kung-Fu 

Biomutant is full of fights for you to have while exploring its large world — and sadly, the fighting mechanics were repetitive compared to other open world games.

You find yourself mashing the same buttons on the controller while watching the character do the same moves on repeat, while maybe occasionally firing off your gun or a spell or two to add any sort of variety. 

The game doesn’t do combat well, and for an action-RPG this is crippling.

While you can see that all the animations did have a lot of effort put into them, there was truly nothing special about the combat and overall, it all felt very floaty and lackluster. 

The biggest issue was that using your gun was just more feasible than using any of your many melee options or abilities, and even shooting enemies doesn’t feel like it packs a punch. This all mashes together to create a very stale and routine-like experience that’s hard to really get sucked into.

Customization: Arranging your armory

When you're not engaged in battle, you'll spend the majority of your time exploring the world acquiring gear to enable you to explore particular locations and gathering loot to make your own custom arsenal.

The weapon and armor customization in Biomutant is, quite frankly, fun.

As you traverse the world and begin looting every single thing you can find, you’re met with a massive inventory of bits and pieces, each with their own individual rarity, quality, elemental affinity, and stats.

You’ll need a bunch of resources to actually finalize crafting your masterpiece, but those are fairly easy to obtain, so it isn’t as tedious as you might assume. 

Conclusions: Not downright terrible, but has a long way to go
Biomutant is a game that, on paper, should be highly recommended to anyone who enjoys the open-world genre, but regrettably, falls short where it matters most. 

The game is gorgeous and boasts a good suite of RPG features, character creation, and customization, but falls short with repetitive missions, unsatisfying combat, and a clunky feel to it as a whole. 

That being said, there are a plethora of updates promised to fix most, if not all, of the issues the community have complained about. 

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