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Review – Biomutant

From the moment I played the demo of Biomutant at Pax in 2019 (remember when we could do things?) I was blown away with this game and anticipating its release. Since then well alot has happened, the world has changed and after a notable delay, Biomutant is finally here and the question on everyone’s lips is, was it worth the wait? Fortunately yes , I can whole heartedly say that this game was worth the wait. Throwing us into a dystopian world where humans have become extinct thanks to a biohazard event that rendered us extinct and the animals to become sentient, smoke tobacco and monsters to evolve. The story is solid, the graphics are spectacular and the gameplay smooth, it all adds up to Biomutant delivering one of the best new IP’s in recent years.

Humans are gone, the earth is covered in green ooze and World Trees that keep the balance of the planet in alignment. Thanks to the rise of many monsters and the spreading of the ooze, the world trees are dying and it is up to you to restore it and set the balance right again. So who are you exactly? A rodent, half mouse, half rat kind of thing. Think Reepicheep from the Chronicles of Narnia. While the world is coming to its knees, you do have a choice. You can choose decisions that make you aligned with the light or the dark and this in turn how the story pans out in the game. While there are many different choices to make, I have only played the light playthrough and am definitely looking forward to going back and seeing what the dark has in store. Your character goes around to different tribes and the player makes the choice on how to align with which in turn reflects the light or dark decision tree.

A big part of the game is character customisation. Being able to choose the look and design of your creature along with personality traits and strengths, if you are like me and a little indecisive (or impatient) there is a randomize option that I opted for that gives you a computer generated option that I chose to go along with and see where this takes me. In terms of appearance, you can choose different colours to associate with your critter and their fur. While this is purely a cosmetic preference, it is something that did help the character feel specific to me and my experience during my 40 hour journey (so far!)

Having a story start like this halfway through a cat and mouse game with a monster is definitely an odd choice. It was a little jarring at first and it definitely started off strong then the next few hours came to a grinding halt. The pace did slow down considerably and after you get through a lot of lore and backstory to familiarise yourself in this world, the real game begins. There is everything here you would expect in an open world game like this, main missions, side missions, fetch quests for creatures to increase your leaf (the in-game currency) can help you buy more weapons and upgrades to access areas that you can’t get to without some sort of protection like the ice world or if the biohazard level is too high and you have an extremely short amount of time to get in and finish the task. There are always plenty of side things to do to build up leaf and unlock the gear you need. It is also done with a ton of variety so it never feels like a grind of a simple fetch quest. I found myself taking my time to get to the end of the main story, I was so into the lore and how this world came to be and its inhabitants. Throughout your journey you will get to assist other creatures with their plights and learn about their role in the world. There are a ton of notes and diary entries you can dive into, with many to collect and discover.

Visually the game is absolutely stunning. Experiment 101 have brought this world to life in such a beautiful way. Each blade of grass on the PS5 version I played sways in the wind as you move and run. While there were definitely a few bugs and my game would consistently crash, after a software update halfway through my playthrough this was fixed. The cut scenes are beautifully animated with its own distinct look and feel. While the creatures do talk in their own language, the entire game is voiced by a British male who has a Little Big Planet Stephen Fry heavily influenced sense of humour. This brings a real sense of familiarity to the game and gives you probably the best indication of the type of humour and style it is going for. I found this incredibly entertaining, and a great nod to the series and a great way to get around having individual voices for each race and character.

My first playthrough of the game has been incredibly fun, choosing the Light choices and restoring the trees to bring balance to the world was a great first choice. Being able to go back now and make darker choices to see how that turns out excites me. There is a whole plethora of different tribes and missions I haven’t seen yet and I have been playing for 40 hours. After a first half year of really mediocre titles coming out, Biomutant feels like the first truly great game of 2021. If you are concerned about the delays or the fact that this is a new studio’s first game, don’t be. Experiment 101 have crafted a open world playground filled with creatures, history and an array of monsters that I fell instantly in love with. The British narrator was a complete surprise to me and this inclusion elevated the experience to something incredibly special. The game runs really well on the Playstation 5 (the system I reviewed it on) and I am looking forward to a next-gen patch that will elevate that experience.

Biomutant is released today on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

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