Biomutant Review: Animal Wung-Fu Action in the Post-Apocalypse

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From May 25th, the open-world RPG Biomutant will finally be on the virtual shelves. I’ve already thrown myself into the end times scenario and I’ll tell you if you should follow me into battle.

This is the story of Biomutant: Humanity has finally ruined and contaminated the earth. But life finds a way, as a well-known chaos theorist once said in a dinosaur park. But evolution does not sleep. The earth is now home to animal-like biomutants. Through biogenetic and radioactive manipulation, these have developed to such an extent that they build their own villages and live together peacefully.

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Biomutant has a dynamic weather system with day and night changes as well as different weather conditions

But the next misfortune is already slumbering inside the earth. Poisonous oil emerges and attacks the roots of the tree of life. The mood changed among the united tribes and they became hostile. Some trunks want to save the tree and bring the trunks back together, others want to kill the tree and subdue the other trunks. So the mood couldn’t be worse. And this is exactly where you come into play.

In the skin of a nameless little biological mutant you go out and change the course of the world. You can decide for yourself which side to take. Do you support the residents and unite the tribes for a higher goal or do you take the side of the aggressors and usurp the power? Are you going to save the tree of life and are you actively taking care of its destruction? You decide what will later be in the history books.

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The map is a three-dimensional model of the approximately eight square meter world.
You should also know that:

  • Biomutant is being developed by THQ Nordic and Experiment 101
  • The purchase price is around € 60 on Steam, Xbox and PlayStation
  • Biomutant is an open world action RPG
  • The playtime for the story alone is around 15 hours – if you do everything, you will be there for a good 50+ hours

It’s the inner values that count

As befits an RPG, you first create your character at the beginning. Here all options are open to you in terms of parentage, coat color, attributes and resistances. Funny side feature; changing your basic skills also changes your appearance. If you go for more agility, the character becomes narrower and has slightly longer legs. If the controller moves in the direction of intelligence, the head enlarges. The mastermind has to find a place somewhere.

This is the class system: You can also choose a class. However, these do not have the same meaning as in other representatives of the genre. Actually, the class only determines which armament you start with. Your character values are not changed here. Therefore, you are also very free in the course of the game in character design. You actually have a lot of options here.

Biomutant-Screenshot-Charakter-Klassen

When creating characters, you can choose between several classes. However, these only determine the starting equipmentBy leveling up, you can improve your basic skills in a classic way. In addition, you receive points that can be used in various perks for weapons and other skills. As if that weren’t enough, you can find bio-points in the world. You can put this into your resistance to cold, heat, radioactivity and toxins on the one hand, and into biogenetic perks on the other. To top it all off, you can also collect psi points and invest in special and sometimes very strong psi skills.

Crazy crafting opportunities

This is how crafting works: In the world of Biomutant you can not only collect experience or bio points, but also lots of items and crafting materials. Here alone you can sink tens of hours. For crafting you need various basic materials such as wood, plastic or electronic scrap. Depending on which item you craft or how much you strengthen an item, you have to use a certain number.

An example: You can create the wildest creations for this. How about, for example, a radioactive toilet brush as a base, with a banana as a handle. As an addition, we attach a few pieces of glass and voilà, the new melee weapon is ready. Crazy!

Biomutant-Screenshot-Waffen-Crafting
What can you do with a banana, a toilet brush and broken glass? Right, a strong melee weapon!

You see, the crafting system is pretty crazy and it was a lot of fun to play around with the many individual parts. With ranged weapons like machine guns, you can also customize a lot more parts. There are almost no limits to your imagination.

All these different components are of course not only good for optics. Each component has different status values. With weapons, for example, the magazine size or penetration increases, with armor, on the other hand, the health value or the respective resistance increase. Among other things, you can build armor sets in order to be able to enter certain areas that previously let you be carried away by influences such as radioactivity.

Cinema-grade Wung-Fu Action

Of course, Biomutant also has much more to offer than an extensive crafting system. After a short tutorial, you are right in the world and theoretically could explore the entire map, which is approximately eight square kilometers in size. The main and side quests lead you through a very interesting and funny story. In the course of time, you also get to know the background that led to the apocalypse.

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In order to activate the fast travel, you first have to mark your territory

This is how combat work: Fighting enemys is a big focus in Biomutant. The combat system is based on well-known titles such as Bayonetta, Devil May Cry or Immortal: Fenyx Rising and offers a dynamic mix of close-range and long-range combat with a pinch of magic. With lots of cool staged combos and even a kind of short bullet cam, you fight your way through groups of opponents and dismantle even the largest organic mutants with an incredible amount of style. The individual special attacks differ depending on which weapon you have just equipped.

Use a gamepad! As cool as the fights are, you have to enter some inputs at the same time at best – more difficult than expected with the mouse and keyboard. I didn’t want to use the gamepad at first because I’m not a good shot without a mouse. Although I flipped a few buttons on the controls, I eventually switched to the gamepad. It just plays a lot more fluently and intuitively. So do yourself a favor and connect directly to the controller of your choice.

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Many areas are very dangerous and can only be entered if you have built up enough resistance

Fantastic (deadly) open world

As already described, you can theoretically explore the entire world right at the beginning. However, at the beginning you still lack certain basic requirements to enter it. For radioactive areas you should use good armor with resistance or a mech. Large rivers and lakes can only be safely crossed if you have a boat. Away from the paths you will also find areas, caves or houses that invite you to explore.

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There are many little puzzles in the world of Biomutant, such as this color puzzle

The open world also offers that: Here you will not only find mostly neat crafting materials and items, often smaller mini-bosses and special boxes are also hidden here. Off the beaten track, you will always discover side quests, some of which turn into longer quest series and can drag on until the last hours of the game. If you only follow the main missions, you often miss really beautiful areas and special places.

The world looks really beautiful. Lush green meadows in which the grass and the bushes move in the wind, contaminated areas with a slight shimmer and a soft mist, the developers have managed to do all of this really well and believably. However, there are also smaller sections where certain areas are completely identical. In the first few hours you will travel to several outposts. There is a kind of trenches just before each outpost. These are the same for almost every outpost. This is not that bad, but it has torn me out of immersion at one point or another.

Unite or subjugate

This is how the dialogues work: In the course of the story you will speak to a large number of different characters. However, these speak complete gibberish. This gibberish is then translated or commented on by a narrator off-screen. This is a funny idea, but at some point it strained my patience due to a delay between what the NPC said and what the narrator said. Fortunately, the frequency and the length can be reduced or shortened in the settings.

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With the right skill you can avoid whole boxing fights and reach your goal much easier and faster

During these conversations, you often have to choose between several options. Some of them are very important and decide how the game develops. Among other things, you can take opposing positions during the course of the game either with raw Wung-Fu violence or you can persuade the respective commander so that he surrenders without resistance. And who knows, he might even join your tribe!

These are the effects of your decisions: Your decisions also affect your aura. You can have either a dark or a light aura. Every important decision elevates either one side or the other. This is very important especially with the psi powers. You can only learn some of these if you can show a certain value in the respective aura.

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Psi powers are magical attacks that you can combine with your Wung-Fu

David versus Goliath

These are the bosses in Biomutant: In the course of the story you have to face the evil that wants to destroy the root of the tree of life. A world eater is waiting for you at every root. These are big and terrifying bosses that you can usually only reach once a certain requirement has been met. For example, you can only reach the first boss if you have a vehicle with which you can drive over water.

The boss fights are divided into several phases in which you first have to find the respective weak point. But that also means that a fight like this can last a good ten minutes, depending on how well you are doing or how well you are equipped.

Graphics powered by Unreal Engine

If you have already seen screenshots or videos in advance, you know roughly what is coming up graphically. The graphic style is a little comic-like but still far from a Borderlands or other game. The characters look really hilarious. If you set the fur quality to the maximum settings in the graphics options, you would like to reach through the monitor and stroke the many cute animals.

The actual system requirements are relatively moderate, at least to 1080p. If you play at higher resolutions like 1440p or higher, it has to be a relatively recent graphics card. In my case, I even play in a UWQHD resolution, that is 3440×1440 pixels, with a GTX 1080. Here, however, the card is clearly shown that the times are slowly over. 60 FPS cannot be achieved without turning the graphics settings down a bit.

Bad 21: 9 support: Another problem arose in my resolution. I was able to select the resolution mentioned above without any problems. However, the image is only zoomed in a little so that there are no bars left or right. However, this means that a good piece of the game is missing at the top and bottom. This went so far that I got problems with some puzzles. Numbers or colors required to solve the puzzle were outside the picture. However, there were no such problems in the 16: 9 format.

Fortunately, there were no other great mistakes of a technical nature. Here and there there was a clipping error, for example our mount got stuck on a small grain of sand. Short video sequences also contained no sound, unfortunately I cannot say whether this is intended. It was always strange. But there were no critical bugs that prevented progress during our test.

Important info: We would also like to mention that we tested Biomutant version number 1.3.0. It is already known that a day-one patch will appear for the release on May 25th. This means that some comments may already have been fixed for the official release.

Conclusion

Actually, I could reduce the conclusion to one sentence. Biomutant is just fun! The complete package with an interesting story, the rather funny characters and dialogues as well as the wonderful world is really well done. However, anyone who hoped for an RPG heavyweight like Skyrim or The Witcher 3 will likely be disappointed. Experiment 101 clearly focuses on better accessibility than on extreme depth of role play. With a USK 12 approval, Biomutant may also have a slightly different target group.

However, a few annoying points should not be left unmentioned. The bad 21: 9 support urgently needs a revision. Even if ultrawide monitors are not as widespread as 16: 9 monitors, these have long ceased to be niche products. These are becoming more and more popular, especially with single player players. The point with the conversations between the NPCs and the narrator was also a bit annoying in the long run. Maybe you could just run both at the same time.

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In Biomutant you will meet many funny NPCs such as this stylish guy

Biomutant is a fun RPG for the casual gamer in my opinion. If you primarily only follow the main story, you will be through after about 15 hours. If you also want to do all the side quests and get collectibles, you will be busy much longer. The focus is clearly on a funny adventure, which convinces with the atmosphere and the special combat system.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Graphic
8
Story
7
Gameplay
8
Sound
6
Biomutant is - despite a few flaws - a beautiful open-world RPG with a great focus on the crafting and combat system. It offers classic RPG elements and appeals not only to adult audiences due to its appearance and accessibility.
Biomutant is - despite a few flaws - a beautiful open-world RPG with a great focus on the crafting and combat system. It offers classic RPG elements and appeals not only to adult audiences due to its appearance and accessibility.Biomutant Review: Animal Wung-Fu Action in the Post-Apocalypse