The critical moment for me in Biomutant came after I had conquered my second tribe (of three) and defeated the second Worldeater (of four). I opened the map and sighed at the sight of several concurrent main quests and the 30+ secondary quest markers I had accumulated (despite having decided to ignore secondary quests for several hours at that point). No matter how much I wanted to be invested in the fate of its world, the characters in it, or engage with the complex RPG and crafting mechanics, I was exhausted. According to the stats, my playtime was only 20 hours, yet Biomutant’s bland and repetitive quest design made it feel twice as long.
It’s a shame as Biomutant has a great premise and gameplay mechanics. Events take place in a lush and vibrant post-apocalyptic future, and Biomutant structured as a fable in the making. A single narrator – who you’ll eventually grow to hate due to the unavoidable repetition in such a long game – recounts the backstory, current events, and even character dialogue (everyone speaks a form of gibberish that he interprets).
The themes feel topical but well-intentioned, covering environmental destruction, the end of humanity, and the history of several species that adapted and rose to power. The environment, despite often appearing calm and serene, is still scarred by pockets of pollution and the tree of life is dying. Some tribes wanting to cleanse the world by accelerating the process, while others want to unite and save it. It ties into the narrative, as taking the light or dark path triggers different responses from secondary characters and changes the tone of the narrator.
I quickly came to enjoy the storytelling in the opening hours, as it effectively covers three time periods...
...traversing the world – especially on a mount – still looks good and feels immersive.
...Biomutant is more of an RPG than the trailers would have you believe.
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series
25 May 2021
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