This game is a prime example of the proverb “don’t say hop until you jump over.” The developers from Experiment 101 (founded by immigrants from Avalanche Studios) said back in 2017 that the project was almost ready and even showed gameplay demos to journalists. Still, they could not get to the release. In 2019, the game director of the project again said that the gameplay of the game was already ready, it remained to polish the rest, but the much-anticipated RPG reached the light only in May 2021. And, frankly, after the prologue, it becomes clear that this is not at all the game that gamers have been waiting for for so many years – it is not even nearly as good as we would like.
We are not going to explain anything to you.
Even at the time of the announcement, the developers promised gamers the opportunity to create a unique character, which, most likely, no one else in the world will be able to repeat. And this is really possible – you choose a conditional class, choose the dominant parameters, paint your pet, and stuff like that. There are really a lot of parameters, they are flexibly configurable, and it will not be difficult to come up with your own warrior pet. The only problem is that this is done very incomprehensibly – we are literally forced to choose between parameters, the importance of which the player does not know anything about and does not even suspect.
How can I focus on melee weapons if I have no idea how effective ranged weapons are? How can I invest in health points if I have no idea how hard the enemies are hitting? Or the funny thing is that we are given to choose the level of protection against certain harmful substances, although the player has no idea about the importance of this protection. The character editor is really cool and flexible, but why not stretch the main character’s creation for an hour or two, gradually giving out the ability to change the parameters? There are a lot of opportunities to make it more convenient and understandable for the player.
For example, let me create an appearance that does not affect the gameplay, then provide an opportunity to fight and only after that let’s choose what the gamer likes best – melee or ranged combat. Unfortunately, you will be forced to make a choice right away, although you have not even completed the training yet.
And what, so it was possible?
Usually, when describing a game’s storyline, you try not to reveal any secrets, important dramatic outcomes, or, most importantly, not to reveal the ending. This is very important for a gamer who will play the game in the future – these are his emotions, experiences, fears, and joys, which it is simply not fair to take away with spoilers. But the authors of Biomutant decided that all these are unnecessary lyrics. Why keep the heat up to the very end, force the gamer to worry and get nervous, if you can reveal the ending options in the very first dialogues with the tribal leaders? Yes, I’m not exaggerating – this is exactly what the developers did.
At the beginning of the game, your furry warrior will be sent to two points of interest – these are fortresses where the leaders of two warring tribes live. Some want to preserve the Tree of Life, others – to destroy it. They also have their own background and goals, but it all comes down to the fact that some conquer and destroy while others unite and save. And in the process of choosing those with whom you want to be friends, the developers themselves give out a powerful spoiler about how the storyline will end. Why do that, and why not keep the intrigue? However, the general feeling from the plot is also not very rosy.
The fact is that there is no special drama. The gamer will not feel the experiences or emotions. There will be exactly two plot cut-scenes about the protagonist’s past, which, it seems, should move us, but in fact, they do not produce any effect. Moreover, the rest of the narrative is tied to boring conversations without voice acting (the characters mumble in a fictional language) and the capture of outposts. Of course, I didn’t expect the level of “The Witcher,” but I would like to remember at least two characters, but this is simply unrealistic. On the outskirts of my consciousness, only an NPC in a leather jacket and Elvis Presley’s haircut caught on, but that’s all.
Ubisoft claps while standing.
And if it came to the outposts, then let me tell you about the gameplay element that the developers clearly borrowed from which studio you know. Having chosen one of the parties to the conflict (some for the Tree of Life, others want to destroy it), the main character begins to methodically unite the peoples to defeat evil – about him a little later. At the same time, the unification takes place in a rather strange format – you literally come to the fortress of a hostile group and smash the guards to smithereens. Defeated – your outpost, you can move on. Sometimes the capture is accompanied by an interesting mini-quest, but this is rare and, in fact, does not save the game.
Capturing outposts – 90% of the gameplay, I’m not exaggerating. This is a core mechanic that allows you to progress through the story. Captured several outposts of one leader of the tribe of furry warriors, then capture his main fortress, after which he can be attached to yourself or killed. Fortunately, at a certain moment, the game makes it possible to accept the surrender of opponents so that you do not need to capture the entire map. The developers probably understand that doing it yourself is too boring, and to save our psyche, they added the ability to speed up the process.
The remaining 10% of the gameplay was scattered on side quests in the spirit of “run there, take the tools and bring me,” searching for resources for crafting and boss fights. Side quests, however, are extremely boring and more like a cheap grinder than an AAA release – I have not come across a single interesting task. You always need to run 500 feet of distance, beat everyone there, pick up the trinket from the box and drag it back. It was hoped that the bosses would be a little more fun, but no, no luck. Literally, every boss fight is about dodging and shooting.
Yes, there will be battles underwater, there will be boat rides around the boss, a hefty creature will even eat you, but the fight itself is extremely boring. Dodged the attack – fired, then dodged again, fired again, then the cut-scene, and the battle continues. And, frankly, this is where the description of the gameplay ends – you have outposts, the capture of the fortress, and four more creatures and the search for resources for crafting, which in fact does not entice one iota. There is nothing else in Biomutant, and this is probably why the project is so disappointing.
Spacious but hopelessly empty
There was hope that a virtual open world with a large set of biomes would save me from boredom, forcing me to do research, but here too, I ran into trouble. First, the open world is not really open – you cannot, as in Death Stranding, get to any point on the map. Our furry friend jumps with difficulty, but he cannot climb walls or even climb a hill. It turns out that instead of a huge map, you have small paths, beyond which you can only go in certain locations. It is sad and inconvenient – it is sometimes difficult to get to the quest. You have to wander in search of a passage.
Secondly, there are no critical points of interest here. If in Sekira: Shadows Die Twice, every mark on the map was useful or delighted with a new story, then here you can ride a horse for five minutes and not see anything that catches your eye. And thirdly, biomes do not affect the environment or the world in any way – they are purely decorations. The locations have no gameplay features. Even the enemies are repeated. The virtual world, of course, is wonderful, you can’t argue here, but it is outrageously empty and boring.
I have been waiting for Biomutant for years. This is one of those games that you pin your hopes on and dream of something new, about emotions and a sense of satisfaction. In fact, it turned out that an AAA release with a large budget and several years of development can be praised for having crafting, a beautiful virtual world, and the ability to play for a month or two in a quiet mode without spending money on something else. Everything else in the game is a mediocre implementation of great ideas that seemed amazing five years ago. And if you are waiting for an exciting storyline, vigorous action, difficult bosses, or variety in gameplay, then Biomutant is definitely past the box office.
I can only recommend the game to those who love the feeling of progression, collect resources, and explore locations down to the pixel. If the plot is not so important for you, you don’t need difficulties but want to run for an hour or two before going to bed searching for loot. Then the release will justify itself.
- big beautiful open world;
- shallow entry threshold;
- there is an advanced craft of weapons;
- magic, melee and ranged combat;
- very unhurried meditative gameplay.
- there are almost no activities on the map;
- there are no points of interest at all;
- the characters seem to have voice acting, but not;
- the battle is not entirely intelligible, without recoil and specifics;
- enemies are monotonous and of the same type;
- plot for show;
- outposts and bosses – almost all of the gameplay.