'Biomutant' Is a Fun but Flawed Open-World RPG

Messy evolution

Key Takeaways

  • Biomutant is a new action RPG from Experiment 101.
  • The game takes many cues from other open-world RPGs, and players will find a large open world waiting to be explored.
  • Unfortunately, though, Biomutant has more than its fair share of flaws, and it’s hard to overlook some of the more glaring issues that plague this post-apocalyptic adventure.
Coverart from the 'Biomutant' game.

Epic Games

Biomutant is ambitious and quite fun at times, but, in most cases, it fails to deliver on its ambitions and ultimately ends up feeling like a muddled mess of plot points, all of which are connected by a fragile thread.

Biomutant picks up years after the fall of humanity, in a time when mutated animals have taken over the lands and now reside in the remains of humanity’s great cities. Players take on the role of a ronin, a lone samurai that calls no tribe or group its own, who has returned to seek revenge on the predator that killed its family.

But, the story doesn’t stop there. There’s also a tribe war you’ll need to navigate and take part in and a threat against the Tree of Life—a massive tree responsible for all life on the planet.

If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is. While intriguing at the start, the story quickly devolves into a mess of narratives, many of which encompass a karma-based decision system. These narratives are broken up by combat and open-world exploration, which is honestly where the game shines the most. 

Awkward Adventuring

There’s a lot going on in Biomutant. Not only does the story contain multiple moving parts that all advance at the same time, but the gameplay, itself, is made up of several borrowed elements from other games. Weapon crafting, clearing outposts, and other staple mechanics of the open-world genre are all present, and players will spend a good bit of time doing all of those as they progress through the world.

Screenshot from the 'Biomutant' game.

While there are multiple parts to the main quest, there are also several side quests and extra areas that players can visit along their journey. The side quests are a relatively large part of the overall story, as they play directly into main quest narratives that become important towards the end of the game. As such, there’s a lot about the game that seems like it should be optional, but at the same time also feels like it isn’t optional.

The positive here is that exploring Biomutant is easily one of the best parts of the entire game. The world is beautiful, and there are an assortment of nooks and crannies for players to find and roam through. Combat encounters are also prevalent throughout the various regions you visit. Still, it also never felt like the enemies were overwhelming and annoying—an issue that tends to crop up quite a bit in open-world games of this sort.

Combat is fun, too. Connecting various combos and attacks can lead to some intense battles with the enemies you come across in the world, and it’s all very fast-paced, which fits the over-the-top samurai-inspired design of the game perfectly. I do wish the fighting had a bit more depth to it, though, as battles can get repetitive and tiresome after a while.

Finding Your Pace

Because Biomutant is an RPG at its core, the story plays a vital role in how the events of the world play out. As such, the cutscenes and different narrative beats you come across are something you’ll want to pay attention to. Unfortunately, this can be difficult.

Screenshot from the 'Biomutant' game.

While the story has an interesting angle, and the karma system makes for some unique opportunities for player choice. The dialogue and overall plot points bounce around a lot. Cutscenes pick up out of nowhere, thrusting players into essential scenes without notice. It’s also a bit hard to follow because of the narrator system, which has the narrator talking over the sounds that the creatures are making, instead of allowing them to talk themselves.

Furthermore, the overall pacing of the story feels like there are chunks and pieces missing that would have made things play out smoother. But, because those are omitted here, the narrative starts to feel like a hodgepodge of mismatched puzzle pieces as you dig deeper into it. This makes for an unevenly paced storyline which some may find difficult to follow.

There is good in Biomutant, though. The visuals are stunning, and the world is ripe for eager explorers looking to collect everything they can. Crafting can be enjoyable, as well, especially if you manage to put together an absolutely ridiculous weapon design.

While it feels like I could sink well over 50 hours into the game and still have things to do, I’m just not sure I want to.

If you’re just dying for a new RPG and don’t mind the flaws, Biomutant isn’t a bad grab; it's just unpolished. Otherwise, I’d steer clear for the moment and let the developers iron out some of the kinks.

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