Initial release date: May 25, 2021
Developer: Experiment 101
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Mode: Single-player video game
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genres: Action role-playing game, Nonlinear gameplay
"Review Copy Provided by THQ Nordic"
Biomutant is a game that I honestly never thought was going to be released given how many years had gone by since the initial announcement of the game. I was under the impression that this was going to be another Duke Nukem Forever type of situation and be stuck in development hell given how small the team at Experiment 101 is and also the fact that we have a whole new console generation, and yet, here we are so many years after the initial announcement of the game with the final product. The question now is does this game deliver a great and original experience or does it arrive half baked in ideas and execution? Let’s find out!
The crux of the branching story of Biomutant is the “Tree of Life” that has been affected by natural disasters and pollution as well as the five mutated beasts that are gnawing at its five roots of which threaten to kill the tree before its able to heal itself. There is also a dynamic between six factions/tribes each with their own agendas yet falling under either wanting to heal or destroy the tree in order to bring balance to the world.
This is a bit of a mixed bag as the controls are either hit or miss and more often it’s a miss and I’ll explain more in depth. So the controls are setup as both a 3rd person over the shoulder action hack n slash while also being setup like a 3rd person shooter and unfortunately this game doesn’t excel in either department given how clunky it handles. You have your controls laid out with buttons for jump, attack, shoot, dodge, parry, and interact with your left stick being situated for movement and the right stick for aiming leaving the directional buttons for your quick access and item wheel.
Since I’ve laid out how the controls are set up, lets dive into why it doesn’t fully work as expected. There is no manual lock on for attacking so if you’re using Wung-Fu or melee weapons then you have to make sure you’re facing the enemy you want to hit otherwise you’ll be blindly flailing about and what’s more is you’ll need to make sure you’re facing the enemy when they go about trying to attack you as you can often parry their attacks but will need to see the tell tell that pops up above their head and lets you know they will be aiming to attack you. Now there is gunplay as well but the problem with it is it feels sloppily integrated and loose at times. You shoot your gun with the right shoulder button and reload with the front shoulder button and for whatever reason it just feels like your aiming and shooting are a struggle with controller yet with keyboard and mouse it doesn’t feel as unwieldy.
When attacking the enemy with your attack button; you’ll sometimes be prompted to hit the parry button which will send your opponent flying of which you will automatically follow them in the air for a midair juggle attack. What sucks about this is that while you’re doing this juggle you will be wide open for attacks from any enemy in the area and will take damage. Sometimes when you’re attacking, you’ll get a prompt to press Triangle (if you’re playing on the PS4/PS5) to do a combo attack which at times will be a heavy-ish area of effect style of attack and w