Biomutant PS4 Review – After years and years, it is finally here. Swedish developer Experiment 101‘s first videogame is a refreshing and unique take on a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is gone. All the destruction and pollution humanity left behind has to bread a new species of evolved mammals.
That is the set-up to the game but all you need to know is Biomutant is an incredible achievement from a first-time studio and is easily one of the most unique and entertaining worlds you can explore this year.
Biomutant PS4 Review
A Simple Story With A Great Presentation
Before you head off on your adventure, you must first create your mammal. You don’t get to have the in-depth character creator you would expect in some MMO titles, but Biomutant allows you to select your character class and the overall build and shape of your Biomutant. Although you select a class from the start, you can always build your character however you want.
The Commando class grants a 10% increase to damage from ranged weapons. If you find you don’t enjoy long-range combat, you could always build your character to be more of a melee-focused fighter while keeping that damage bonus.
After the destruction of your village, you come out of a long seclusion to discover that the world is dying. The Tree of Life is slowly expiring due to the destruction of the World Eaters. Each of the four World Eaters is destroying the world in their own way. One pollutes the waters, while another goes around murdering and eating all the wildlife. The most damage the World Eaters cause is the damage to the roots of the Tree of Life.
That’s the gist of the story, and it’s not much to write home about, but its presentation and delivery make it entertaining to experience. The entire game is narrated as all the remaining mutants speak in their own language and the narrator acts as a translator. Though his performance could have been a little better, I loved the narration presentation specifically because it made me feel like an outsider who just crashlanded on an alien planet.
The game’s biggest accomplishment is its world-building. The creatures of the planet continue to use various forms of human technology and Experiment 101 found ways to explain these objects and how they work by the noises they make. What we know as a telephone they refer to as a buzz buzz machine. Another example is that they refer to oil as Igniting Goob Glob.
It’s small sprinkles of personality like this that I learned to absolutely love. What made it great for me is how quickly I understood what the characters were referring to. It’s almost like listening to a child who tries to explain what something is by the sounds it makes and what shape it is.
Some characters even take on the personality of human people from old world memorabilia that has remained on the planet, such as one character who dresses and acts like Elvis.
Exploring The World Of Biomutant Is Constantly Rewarding
Biomutant is an open-world experience, and for the most part, it’s a vast, luscious world split up into regions. You will travel to dense forests, water archipelagos that a makeshift jet ski must traverse, and a vast desert, to give you some examples of the environments you will come across.
Remnants of civilization are scattered throughout the world. Desolate buildings are yours to explore for precious loot and crafting materials. Railroad tracks and abanded cars litter the world and remind us of a time long gone.
Biomutant’s world visually is absolutely stunning. If I didn’t know that I was playing a PS4 game, I would have thought that Biomutant was designed for the PS5. It’s that gorgeous to look at. The world is vast with so much to see that you’ll easily be spending 80 to 100 hours exploring it.
Every building you enter gives you a chance to find various items and offers some puzzles to complete. You’ll be presented with a checklist of unique things to discover in the location you’re in, varying from finding rare equipment and loot to something much more precious like an old-world gadget, which can unlock a brand new sidequest.
The only downside to all the hard work put into the world is its repetition. By repetition, I mean the reusing of assets and even building layouts. Exploring one house in the game is like exploring all of them because the next house you find has the same layout. An old-world bunker is a great discovery when it first happens, but you’ll think you entered the same bunker on accident the next time because it is identical and the objects in there are all placed in the same position.
With a vast world to explore it’s great to have plenty of fast-travel locations, and there are plenty. I never really had to travel far to get where I needed to go. Almost every location you discover comes with a fast travel point. You do get plenty of transportation options though when you do feel like exploring the world.
Mounts can be found throughout the world and come in various shapes and sizes; you can unlock a glider to traverse through the air for short periods of time, and as I mentioned before, a make-shift jetski to traverse the waters.
Your Choice, Your Consequences
One of the game’s most important aspects comes in the form of Tribal Wars. The game features six tribes you can align yourself with. Three tribes battle for the light and three for the dark and each of the tribes has its own idea of a better world. One tribe wants to unite all the other tribes under one banner, while another wants to let the world end and purge the remaining tribes and rebuild society in their image.
Each tribe controls a vast area of territory. You must attack your tribes’ rival strongholds to capture more regions until they are weakened enough for you to capture their main base. As you capture strongholds, you notice that your allies will begin to occupy locations of that region, providing you with less opposition to deal with as you explore.
Once a tribe’s main base is captured, you must choose between either killing the tribal leader or persuading them to join your side. A nice addition to this system is you can always join a different tribe whenever you want as long as their main base is still standing, so you don’t always have to stay on one side.
As you may have guessed, the game features a morality system. Your decisions have consequences and will determine what ending you’ll acquire at the end of the game. Unfortunately, these decisions are right on the nose. and every decision is black and white. You either choose to save or help someone, or you don’t. That’s how obvious these decisions are.
These decisions come in the form of a light angle and a dark devil that appear and mock each other after a decision is made. These interactions are cringy to listen to and, in all honesty, didn’t need to be present. It took away from the immersion of being an outsider having everything translated to me to having something that’s equivalent to annoying background noise.
There is plenty of the aforementioned loot to find in Biomutant, netting you new weapons, armor, and crafting materials. Biomutant has a vast and robust crafting and modding system. Your furry character can look however you want them to look. Put on a full samurai armor if it makes you happy or go wild and dress them up with a giant panda mask, with a jean jacket and a skirt. It’s all up to you.
Crafting gear can be quite fun, especially the weapons where you have various options from the hilt to the type of melee weapon you want. You can have a giant buster sword, much like Final Fantasy’s Cloud wields, or you can go and make Thor’s hammer Mjǫllnir. It’s really up to you. You can then mod the weapons with unique items like scissors and pencils for extra bonuses. Yes, pencils add more damage to your weapon.
Not Flawless But A Lot To Love
When I first went into Biomutant, I thought I would go into an action game like Devil May Cry. If you’re going into it with the same mindset, you’re going to be disappointed.
Biomutant is more of an action RPG, and so it requires a lot more patience. It took me some time to get used to how combat flows, but I had a blast when I finally understood it. The combat heavily relies on parrying your opponent’s attacks and stringing together all the skills in your arsenal to come out victorious. Melee attacking all your opponents won’t get you very far.
Combining melee attacks with your long-range attacks and psionic powers to overcome your enemies is a visual spectacle to behold but also the only way to deal with the game’s more dangerous opposition.
As I mentioned, parrying attacks is a must, but it is pretty easy and forgiving. Three icons appear over an enemy’s head, it’s an indicator they’re about to attack in the same way they do in Spider-Man and the Batman Arkham franchise.
When performing successful parries, opponents get stunned, allowing you to launch smaller enemies into the air and perform aerial combos, or with larger foes, your Biomutant will jump on top of a large enemy and attack their vulnerable, exposed head.
Besides your usual fisticuffs, you get access to Psionic Powers. These powers essentially turn you into a Jedi. You can shoot lighting out of your hands or pick up enemies and throw them around with telekinetic powers. Unfortunately, you can’t have them all, as some of these powers are linked to your Light and Dark alignment.
You also gain access to Mutations that provide unique abilities like bouncing mushrooms that allow you to jump higher or bounce enemies around the environment. My favorite is a sticky bubble that you create around yourself which causes enemies to stick to it. Every small enemy that you run into with the bubble gets stuck on the outside, and it starts to feel like you’re playing Katamari Damacy.
Biomutatnt doesn’t get a clean bill of health, though. I ran into a lot of technical issues, which have become expected from open-world games. There were plenty of times when markers wouldn’t appear for me to interact with, forcing me to abandon a quest for a later time. I even restarted the game, hoping it would fix the problem, but it didn’t always work.
Another issue I had was a weird shadow glitch. Sometimes shadows from trees will block the camera as if the shadow was an object. It felt like putting a camera next to a wall and the camera going behind the wall, but the wall itself isn’t translucent. It was a real pain.
The most important issue to discuss is that if you play Biomutant the game crashes a lot. Those looking to play without a patch are looking at a game crash every hour, if not more. On top of that, those playing on a PS5 will have serious issues, as we were informed by the publisher that the game hasn’t been optimised for PS5.
Though a day one patch has been released, the game still suffers occasionally but they are now few and far between.
An Inventive, Fresh Take On The Open World Formula
Biomutant is a refreshing and exciting take on the open-world post-apocalyptic world. The game thrives off of the world created by Experiment 101 with some of the best world-building I’ve ever experienced. Combat got me hooked once I finally got the hang of it and exploring Biomutant’s gorgeous world never got old.
It’s just a shame that some technical issues and a blatant black and white morality system hold it back from true greatness in today’s market. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for something new and exciting, Biomutant is the game you’ve been waiting for and it lives up to what we were all anticipating.
Biomutatnt releases for PS4 on May 25, 2021, and is available on PS5 via backwards compatibility,
Review code provided by publisher