I have tried to put my finger on the reason developer Experiment 101‘s Biomutant does not gel with me. I know that it has nothing to do with Biomutant feeling like a AAA game made by a small design team on a limited budget. If anything, Returnal, developed by Housemarque, shares this indie game turned AAA game feel. Indie game developers being given a AAA game budget is a fantastic development. The size of the studio does not limit perfect execution on a core gameplay concept. The problem is when the story, which ties everything together, needs more time in the editing oven.
Into the Fire
Anytime Biomutant pauses the gameplay to further the story, told through static cutscene, I found myself wanting to skip it. Sure, there is the Narrator, who does a good job reading what text he is given. But even he cannot save what amounts to two 3D models standing next to each other, doing nothing, while he narrates. I cannot think of another game I’ve played, in many years, that has chosen to convey story in this manner. While I commend developer Experiment 101 for their cleverness in using a narrator, I wish they had chosen a different way to share their story with us.
On that note, I find the humor to be off… way off. At first I thought that it was a dark humor sort of thing. The more I played Biomutant though, the more I realized that the humor needed more time to bake. With a bit more time in the editing oven, I think Experiment 101 could have had a solid winner here. Alas, the way the story is presented with its humor, I 100% don’t get it. It’s not only odd but off-putting.
What I Loved
- The handcrafted feel of Biomutant‘s open-world.
- The way Björn Palmberg’s score blends so seamlessly with this post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu RPG.
- The responsiveness/quickness of the characters movements.
- The way the character runs.
What I Disliked
- The way that combat is executed. I hate having to memorize combos. Square + Circle + Circle + L2.
- Anytime there is a cutscene. Ugh.
In the End
There is a market for Biomutant. You might be the perfect candidate for it! I’m just not it. I need a compelling story to go with my Kung Fu. I need a reason to play.
Developer: Experiment 101
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
Review by Bryan Hall
*Biomutant was reviewed using a code provided by EvolvePR.