Now that Biomutant has officially released after multiple delays in development, the long-awaited action-adventure RPG is finally available for those looking for a unique experience. However, it is extremely difficult to determine whether Biomutant is worth the cost, when reviews and review scores vary so wildly. If you’ve been questioning whether you should take a chance on Biomutant, here’s a short list of reasons why you may want to take a chance on the game, and some reasons why you may want to avoid it altogether.
Play Biomutant If: You Loved Fable or Miss WildStar
It has been quite some time since Fable 3 released. Fans of the series may have something to look forward to in the near future with the confirmation of a new upcoming Fable game, but you don’t have to wait quite that long if you want to get a solid Fable-feeling action RPG, complete with light and dark morality choices and rich character development.
Biomutant, in many ways, takes some aspects of the Fable series, and expands on them, in an expansive open-world. Just like Fable players also have some choices they’ll need to make in terms of their combat preferences, but you’ll still primarily have melee, ranged, and psionic (like magic) options to build and expand on as you level. At times, your conversations and actions will lead to situations that could be a boon to you in a particular instance, or hinder you in some way, and if your moral alignment veers too far off from another faction, you may find cases where they become uncooperative – or downright hostile.
WildStar players that may feel a little nostalgic for their departed MMO might find some aspects of Biomutant that bring back memories. On the surface, playing as a cute animal-like creature is a given, but the unique story, wild outfits and outspoken narrator will quickly bring back, at least some of the feelings, of playing the long-gone MMORPG. Granted, the narrator isn’t quite as explosive and vulgar as the announcer in WildStar and everything you’ll be doing in Biomutant will be solo, but there may still be some nostalgia to be felt here.
Don’t Play Biomutant If: You’re Not Interested in Combos and Action Combat
When it comes to solid, pickup-and-play combat, there are a lot of action-adventure games that manage to do it right, without too much complexity. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a good example of a game you can pickup and play without delving into the mechanics all that much. Genshin Impact is another game that makes everything fairly simplistic, to the point where, just about any familiarity with an action game in the past decade will garner you the basics you need to travel the world and battle monsters.
Biomutant is a different animal when it comes to combat. On the surface, you have a basic melee attack, a ranged attack, and some psionics that you can throw in as you see fit. The problem with Biomutant is really paying attention to the complexities of the combat system, and understanding the controls well enough to make sure you aren’t utilizing the wrong combos at the wrong time. Combos in Biomutant can chain off of a melee or ranged attack, or even your dodge. Depending on your button presses and the direction you’re moving, you could find that, instead of leaping over an enemy, you charge forward, spraying your automatic rifle in all directions. This gets compounded by the fact that aiming is more of a soft-focus targeting system. If your cursor of your ranged weapon is in the general vicinity of an enemy, then even if you aren’t quite spot-on, you’ll still fire away and hit them. Unfortunately, when you have many enemies in an area, this soft targeting system makes it difficult to single out specific targets.
There are ways around this. You can go completely melee, though you’ll still want to be mindful of your combos so that you’re effectively utilizing crowd control, or special attacks properly, and you’ll also need to actively block when you see a telegraph from an enemy or else you’ll have a difficult time staying alive in close range. Psionics are another option, and they give you some opportunities for close range and long-range attacks, but if trying to focus your reticle for your ranged weapon is difficult, lobbing your electric blasts at an enemy can be nearly impossible in some situations. Ultimately, combat in Biomutant takes practice if you hope to be effective at dispatching enemies quickly.
Play Biomutant If: You Love Exploring
Open world games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Fallout 4 are great, not just because they give you a plethora of choices right out of the gate, but because there is so much within their respective worlds to uncover. You could potentially spend all of your time traversing the land, uncovering little secret stories, diving into caves, and garnering loot, all the while completely shirking your responsibility to the main quest.
Biomutant does an exceptional job at exploration. Within just moments of making my way into the world, I was tasked with meeting up with one of two different tribes. Adventure is what happens when you’re supposed to be doing other quests, and shortly thereafter I found myself on some train tracks, headed up to an abandoned rail car. After a decisive battle against a difficult boss, I went spelunking in a cave, found a hazmat suit and explored an irradiated area, and learned quite a bit about the world prior to the apocalyptic events that have now spawned the World Eaters.
We have seen many games detail post-apocalyptic life, but in this case, this world is uniquely Biomutant. Even after the majority of the map is uncovered, there is still so much there to find. Even if you’ve been to an area, and cleared it, meaning you focused on the main objectives and received an area-clear message, there may still be items to obtain and secrets to uncover. The world of Biomutant is built upon a rich lore, with familiar items with unfamiliar names, and several uncommon biomes that are beautiful in their own way. Unequivocally, Biomutant is an explorer’s paradise, at least, for a while.
Don’t Play Biomutant If: Crafting and Customization Overwhelms You
It’s great when a game gives you the opportunity to craft and customize your gear as you level up. Most of the time, games don’t require that you really spend time upgrading your gear, or crafting as you go. Biomutant kind of went a different route when it comes to crafting and customization. In Biomutant, you can craft and modify weapons and gear nearly anytime, and if you want to stay up to date with the best gear you possibly can, you’re going to need to, not only find decent gear, but you’ll need mods for it too.
Sure, every now and then you’ll find a solid upgrade to something you currently use. You might come across a better rifle, or a helmet that has far more defense than the wicker hat you’ve slotted, but very rarely will you find such a high defense disparity that you’ll notice a substantial change in your defenses. That’s where modifications come in. Gear and weapons have mod slots, and as you find rare parts, you can slot them in as you go. The problem is, many of these parts require that you gather materials in order to craft your new piece of gear. You can choose to break down pieces of gear to obtain those parts, or just find scrap as you venture throughout the world.
Biomutant’s crafting system is definitely a treadmill of sorts. You’re going to consistently find new modifications, and you’ll want to keep your gear up to date as often as you can, or risk prolonging fights, or even losing some of them, because you weren’t properly geared for the encounter. You’ll also find that you’ll have multiple outfit possibilities, as you may want to wear armor with certain resistances depending on where you’re adventuring. This will multiply the number of items you’ll want to craft and modify if you plan on swapping to environmental protection gear. You can also upgrade gear at upgrade stations positioned around the open world, and you’ll even have the option to modify some of your mounts with upgrades as they, too, become available. If you’re not interested in really diving into the crafting and customization features of your action-adventure games, you may find this aspect of Biomutant tedious at best, and confusing at worst.
Play Biomutant If: You Love a Detailed and Unique Narrative
The story in Biomutant is one of revenge or redemption, of life or death, and all within your ability to choose. Choices make up a lot of where the story in Biomutant leads, but the fate of the Tree-of-Life and the world itself is the high-level overview of your main questline. Where it goes from there is certainly up to you. While the narrative is originally voiced by cute animals, utilizing their various animalistic languages, it is expertly translated by the honey-voiced narrator.
Without question, to say the narrator in Biomutant is a tad loquacious would be an understatement. Just about every aspect of the game, from the time of day, to the biomes you enter, to the enemies you fight, all come with a side of commentary, explanation, or dutiful narration explaining what’s going on. The narrator is a hot topic, as many believe that his constant chiming-in is annoying, and there was a point early in the game that I felt this way too. Eventually, I came to realize that the narrator provided a feeling as though he were reading my story back to me. Like I was actually living a story within the game, and it changed my relationship with his comments as I pushed forward through the story.
Luckily, you also have the ability to turn off the narrator, which is an option that many players choose to do. This won’t completely remove the necessary narration, but for most of the overworld commentary, he’ll be silent. A silent narrator won’t invalidate the rich lore and story aspects that make the game worthwhile for story-goers. There is a lot to unpack in the world of Biomutant and if you love rich lore and choose-your-own-path games, like Mass Effect, then you will find a temporary home here.
Don’t Play Biomutant If: You’re Looking for a Challenge
Biomutant has a lot of great things going for it, but one thing it is not, is challenging. Out of the gate, the Hard difficulty, is still relatively simple to get through, even if you only have a modest understanding of upgrading your gear. Most enemies you fight along the way fall into similar attack patterns, so figuring these out, and learning how to counter them, will carry you through the vast majority of battles. The main sticking point will lie in specific boss battles, particularly the World Eaters, that also follow their own specific patterns on how you should defeat them.
Some areas of the world are sectioned off by environmental factors, which could provide a challenge if you’re not properly geared or have the desired resistances, but those issues can be solved by simply finding the correct gear or upgrading what you have. When you start the game, you may find it difficult to figure out where you’re going, because the compass and quest markers are turned off by default. After turning them on, you should be able to find your way across the world quickly, and without getting lost. Turning on the quest markers might kill the underlying vibe of exploration, but it definitely streamlines the experience. You’ll also find several puzzles as you explore about the world. Most of these puzzles are simplistic in nature, and failing them is inconsequential.
The last major hurdle, or rather the first major hurdle, that would cause any friction that could be misidentified as a challenge, would be the combat itself. If you have trouble dealing with combos, and weaving in your psionics, the game might provide a modicum of challenge for you. Luckily, Biomutant doesn’t have a convoluted ammunition system to keep track of, and in the worst case scenario, that you just can’t get your combos down or use psionics, ranged weaponry is not only viable, but quite easy to use, without much of a learning curve – even if it is sometimes cumbersome. No, Biomutant doesn’t excel at a challenge, but it does provide ample fun, a great story, and enough exploration to make up for what it lacks in a challenge.