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Review: Biomutant (PC)By Ofisil At 18.08.2022 21:49

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Set in a post-apocalyptic, and post-human planet, this follows a mutated, sword-wielding and gun-toting rodent, as it explores a world filled with other mutants like him - friendly and hostile. The purpose of the hero will be to save the world by finding out about a strange radiation that started pouring out from the bowels of the earth, while also trying to defeat giant beasts, or 'World Eaters' that, like the serpent of Norse Mythology, slowly chew on a so-called Tree of Life. After a small intro that showcases the game's art style, which can be described as… well, 'lone Kung Fu warrior' in a Junkpunk realm, you get to create your character, choosing basic stats, preferred combat style (melee, ranged, magic, and so on), and resistances - automatically altering the hero's look while all it. Done? Now players get to experience a small tutorial-esque chapter, right before being thrown into a sort of Breath of the Wild world, which provides complete freedom regarding which area one wants to visit first, and which World Eater to pursue.

This is sadly where the first flaws begin to emerge. Yes, the land is beautiful, even when you take the somewhat previous-gen look it has at places, however it feels mostly empty, which seems to be a problem with many open-world games that can't seem to understand that you need to fill all these square kilometres with something, and that something better be good - and in Biomutant it just isn't. Most missions are nothing more than basic fetch quests. Go to X, find a number of Y, kill a specific amount of Z, and then go back to get some exp/loot. This is tedious, to say the least, with the whole thing feeling as its mostly aimed at gathering crafting resources, rather than being enjoyable.

Yes, crafting is a major deal here. You'll quickly acquire a mountain of items that can be used to craft weapons and armour, or be socketed in the many, many slots of said equipment… but that can become a repetitive chore as well, as you constantly open up the inventory just to, say, increase attack by 2.3%, ass points to heat resistance, etc. It's like many loot-based shooters where items constantly rain from the sky, but it's hard to feel excited. On the other hand, there's a neat variety in weaponry, whether that's large swords or cool semi-automatic revolvers, with the option to dual-wield included as well.

One can pick amongst a number of combat styles as well, with each one requiring a different approach, with you jumping from a Devil May Cry-like hack 'n' slashing action, to a Division-esque third-person shooting in seconds. Unfortunately, the battle system has issues of its own. Mostly things that can be stomached easily, like the existence of an annoying soft-lock rather than an actual lock-on system, how weak the combat feedback is, and other "small" stuff like that. The main problem is the fact that, like many jacks of all trades, this is actually a master of none. The hero can shoot, slash, do combos, use magic, and pull of dodge manoeuvres, but it all feels inferior when compared to other games that focus on one thing, and one thing only. It lacks the necessary polish, balance, and so on, and it really hurts an otherwise decent-to-good game.

One thing must be made clear here. This isn't bad. Take a look at most of the user reviews on platforms like Steam, for example, and you'll realise that most people are disappointed rather than angry. It's an ok title that lacks a lot of things that would make it a really good one. One of the most important things it lacks? An interesting story. This is a 15+ hour-long (at minimum) ARPG, after all, so it definitely needs to draw you into its world somehow, and sadly the only thing this has to offer is a good-looking world, but a mundane one otherwise, especially when it comes to its inhabitants, with the writing being ok at best. It doesn't help that the narrator who doesn't know where to shut it, quickly becoming one of the worst aspects of Biomutant - especially when he even narrates the freaking dialogue sequences. This isn't a jab at the voice actor, of course, but what they've given him to work with.

Concerning the story itself, it's a simple fairy-tale, with the choices you'll need to make following a clear, yin or yang-like, good or evil pattern. Oh, sure. Not every RPG needs a morally grey world, super-deep lore, and all that, but this is probably way too simple. It just doesn't offer anything that you haven't seen before, with the slow pace not helping either. In the end, Biomutant is probably one more occasion of small studio being too ambitious. After all, open world games have even brought industry behemoths to their knees. The team's talent is obvious, but it was likely wasted on this okay-ish product.

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Final Score
The open-world aspect of [i]Biomutant[/i] did more harm than good, with the gargantuan, post-apocalyptic realm this heroic, mutated rodent will explore being mostly an empty one, and with the rest of the experience being repetitive and unpolished. More of a disappointment rather than a bad game, try it out only if willing to spend around many fun, but not [i]that[/i] fun hours.



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