Biomutant is an open world TPP RPG. In it you play as a… a uhhh… bat… ferret… raccoon… cat… fox… mouse… what the fuck is this thing? You play as a furry something or other, what it is, I have no fucking clue. You in this world, an apocalypse has happened, humanity was wiped from the planet due to pollution, part of it was that the world became partially uninhabitable for humans, and part of it was that animals mutated and some of them kind of killed the shit out of humans. The animals have taken over the world, problem though, it’s dying, the pollution that the humans put out is still there, and it’s infected what’s effectively the tree of life. There’s also some monsters that are destroying the tree just as readily, which is bad news. You play as your own custom character, you create a visual look that impacts your starting stats, my suggestion is just create the character with whatever stats you want and ignore how they look because later on you can re-customize the character’s body without messing up the stats.

Now you can choose what to happen with the planet, which comes about by choosing what group you side with in the game, there’s multiple fighting tribes, the leaders of each tribe use to be part of a society ran by your mother, but after her death they all went about their own lives making their own tribes bigger, each one has different views on how the world should work, some want to save the tree, some want to destroy it, some want to unify the tribes, some want to destroy them. Evil ones want to destroy the tree typically and also want to either destroy the tribes or rule over them with fear, whereas the good ones usually want to save the tree, granted there’s a lot of division on how they want to deal with the tribes, some don’t want unity at all, others want unity. You have your first choice after the prologue basically as that’s the first real main mission. After that each big area you get to you can choose to abandon the group you were with and choose between the new tribes you’ve met as each major area has two. So by siding with a group you determine what you want to do with the tree which changes what you plan to do with it.

You get to choose between a few different class choices for your character, none of them impact the game too much as you can effectively unlock the benefits of other classes as you level up. There’s technically six classes, but the last class was originally a pre-order bonus only and now costs an extra bit of money to get, but again, it doesn’t matter a great degree cause you can unlock abilities from other classes later on as you level. I guess it’s time for me to list all the starting classes then yeah? Commando is a class that starts with an auto rifle (assault rifle) and a one handed weapon, it has perks to do more damage when at low health I think. Dead Eye which is a class that uses a one handed gun and a two handed sword, it starts with a perk that automatically puts a new clip in and gives the next clip twenty percent damage increase for a short period of time. Psy-Freak which is a class that uses psychic powers, basically it’s magic time in the game, they get a bonus to the damage they do with psychic powers, you can obtain all the psychic powers pretty easily and fairly quickly at that with every class, so to me this isn’t a worth while class. Saboteurs which use two single handed melee weapons. And then there’s the last standard class, Sentinels which use a javelin and have a perk that I don’t think you can get with any other class, a perk that gives you a ten percent increase in armor. The sixth one is called Mercenary, I don’t have it so I don’t know what it does. Personally I chose the Dead Eye class because that’s what you saw in the opening video, and what is on the box, etc, also it was the middling class in all aspects and I prefer games as an all-rounder to fully ranged.

The game world is rather sizable, and there’s a bunch of little villages and stuff for you to find so you can fast travel at the sign posts near almost all of them, which, and this amuses me to no end, your character, being an animal, pisses on the sign posts to mark the territory. That’s how you unlock it as a fast travel point, I loved that, so funny. During the game you have a Narrator as well, which you can choose how often it talks, I put it at max, it says some interesting shit. The Narrator talks effectively with the player’s character, not the actual player. So instead of saying what an object is in a way that we the players know, it says it in the funny ways the surviving creatures would use, and talks of things that happened and the like by using terms that aren’t often what we would use but instead odd derivatives of it. Lots of people online seem to not like the Narrator, but I absolutely love it, it amuses me, though it is a bit repetitive. Sadly outside of ruins where you can collect small amounts of stuff, maybe attack a few enemies, and these small villages which serve no purpose other than to buy and sell shit, the world feels fairly empty, you can walk long stretches only attacking a few enemies every now and then. It doesn’t help that most characters you have no purpose to interact with, which means most of the people you find, are kind of bland which makes the world feel empty even though there are people right there in front of you.

Now while I talk about how empty and sad the world is for it, the devs did something really cool, the environment is pretty and there’s a lot of it. There’s even various biomes that are all different, they all have their own hazards. The starting area is safe, but after that there’s biomes that don’t have oxygen for some reason, ones that are super hot, ones that are blizzard froze hellscapes, super radiated areas, even areas filled with sludge that you can sink into and die. So many different places, but as you go around the world you find outfits that give you different states which allow you to enter these areas without taking damage, whereas otherwise you’d die neigh on instantly. Every clothing item you buy has pros and cons to the various resistances, but on top of that you can find specific mutations in areas which you can use to level your character in a few different ways, they can be used to give you mutant magic power, which is separate from the psychic magic powers, or you can use the points to instead increase your resistances. You can level up just one resistance all you want until you become naturally immune to it, however clothing can still take away some of your resistance making you not immune again, which I hope is a bug because that’s dumb if your body is naturally immune to something wearing a skirt isn’t going to suddenly make you not immune to it.

As I mentioned there’s different outfits you can buy. There’s a bunch of different types of clothing, from bottom clothing, top clothing, hand, shoulder, feet, mask, head wear, and backpacks. They come in different levels and rarities, however, a level five and a level twenty item if they’re the same design, it increases the same stats just one increases those stats more than the other. This bothers me because some of the outfit pieces I really like, are kind of just garbage stat-wise. I’d really like it if there was a transmog system in the game, which is where you can make an item look like another item but keep it’s original stats, that way you can equip strong items but make them look like the things you actually want your character to wear. You can however modify your clothes even upgrade them yourself instead of having to buy them or get them as random loot. Modifications often just involve your character sewing random bits of junk to the outfits, it can increase different stats of the outfit, including armor. However, each different piece of clothing has it’s own add-on allotment, and again like the stats mentioned earlier in this, the same outfit at different levels still has the same add-on allotment. So you can customize the look and stats of your clothing a very tiny amount.

Weapons enact very much the same way as clothing, you can equip items to them, and upgrade them just as much, and there’s a slew of them out there. Here’s a list of the various different types of weapons can collect: pistols and revolvers, auto-rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, rifles, knives, one handed swords, one handed hammers, one handed axes, javelins, two handed swords, two handed axes, two handed hammers, pipes, wrenches, gloves, glaves, staffs, boomerangs, even a couple different type of mechs. I’m not even sure that’s a fully exhaustive list of everything. There’s a lot of shit to choose from, you can grab anything, and as you level up you can get perks for any of this shit, for the most part anyways.

Now another cool thing about weapons, is that you can make your own custom weapons. In the world you can find pieces of weapons, both melee and ranged, and can even buy parts in stores. You can use these to create your own weapons, obviously not ever part can be used for every type of weapon, but a lot of them can be used between different weapons. You can see what the visual design of the weapon will look like as well as it’s various stats as you put it together, including how fast it attacks due to weight and the like, when you’re done you can decide if you want to spend the resources and money to build the item or not. The shit isn’t exactly cheap. However it’s pretty cool to create your own kickass gun or sword. Though that being said there are some pretty amazing weapons that you can find in the game world that you can’t make or make better weapons than, but you always have to choose what you want to use.

Now we’ve gone through the world, weapons, armor, upgrading to a degree, starting classes, next I guess is quests and the like, all the side shit you can do. Well there’s a lot of it, I’ve put over one hundred hours in the game and I’m still not even remotely done with the game, hell there’s areas in the game that I’ve not even visited yet. This game world is huge, now most o the side quests you get are, kill these things real fist, go find this monster and kill it, and find all the crap in this ruin, which exists for every ruin, and old homestead, factory, etc. So you have a lot to do if your a completionist, that being said, almost all of it is the exact same thing, find all the crap in the area. Every village, every ruin, every factory, every fucking everything, has the clear it out quest. But there are a bunch of kill enemies and small fetch quest quests, which are… honestly often more boring than just clearing stuff out, because trying to find all the items can be fun if you’re into that, and I am personally. Like I’m the kind of person that LIKED finding all one hundred feathers in the Assassin Creed game, I like collectibles in games, finding the shit is fun. Now that being said, most people don’t like that so this will drive them nuts. You get good items from doing it though, sometimes good outfits, sometimes good parts, sometimes good weapons. It’s worth it to do it, even if you don’t like anything you find, it’s usually worth some coinage, which in this world is ironically Green, like the term you use for money, I’m rolling in the green and the like, but in this world, it’s green leaves and I love it, it’s outright adorable.

Boss battle time I guess, there’s a few types of boss battles. The first are mini boss battles against special large creatures around the world, often they give you keys to get into special bunkers to get a bunch of goodies. They’re hard, annoying, and you will die a LOT in them, it’s really just about you killing them and not dying to them, you find monsters like them that are smaller and easier to deal with all over the world, they’re just bigger higher level bullet sponge super strong versions of regular enemies. The next kind of boss battle is tribe battles. When you choose a tribe to align with the other side will hate and attack you, no matter who you side with, you will need to defeat the other tribes and take over their bases. Each base has battles or conversations that help you win, some even have ways that you can get rid of most of the combatants in it to make it easier. The main base of the tribe will have the tribe’s leader which you can fight, they have their own unique weapons that you take from them after you win. The last type of boss battle are the monsters that are actively destroying the tree, in these fights you are in a mech specifically made to fight that boss. These fights can be kinda hard, but they’re also, mostly, fairly fun to fight in. I like the mechs, it’s a shame that you can’t just pilot them at any given time. Like some of them it makes sense as some are specifically for being in water and if you’re on land a boat isn’t going to do anything. However, there’s an amazing land mech too and you can’t use that in the general cities outside of the area you get it in which is a shame as it was really fun to play with.

Combat is… weird, you don’t have a hard lock-on system instead it’s a soft lock-on which means you attack in a general direction towards an enemy but it doesn’t fully lock onto them. This isn’t too bad until you’re trying to hit a specific person but then others run through and your automatically swing towards them instead because they’re closer. Or an enemy runs around too fast for you to keep up with. However, the system isn’t too bad most of the time, I generally actually prefer soft locks instead of hard lock-ons, so I was pretty into this. It’s just soft locks will always have the same issues and they can be pretty fucking annoying. There is a hard lock-on system but I feel like it’s mostly there for blocking and shooting with accuracy more than melee combat because the camera just goes absolutely fucking ballistic if you’re using it in melee. I also found that cycling between enemies with the hard lock-on system in this game was a massive annoying pain in the ass. Most of your fights are with beasts or people from hostile tribes. Every area has it’s own level that everyone will be at, and I found ironically the good guys tend to be higher level than the bad guys so if you’re farming XP you can simply kill good guys that you’re not aligned with and they’ll become hostile towards you in that fight, once you kill the enemies you can leave for a while, come back and new enemies will be there not hostile to you that you can kill again. I farmed experience at a low level by doing this over and over. the bad guys were level three, and the good guys level five.

Overall, I really liked the game, it has it’s flaws, some of them annoy me, but overall it’s really amazing. It’s combat is fairly good, the world is beautiful though fairly devoid of everything but collectibles, boss fights are bitch’in, there’s a lot to like here. The flaws don’t impact the fun too incredibly much, sometimes enemies are cheap assholes that screw you over, but usually everything is fine. The story is… less than compelling which is why I brought up the gist and then ignored it.

Biomutant was developed by Experiment 101.

Point of Sale: PS4, X1, Steam.

Price: $60

A review copy of the game was provided by the publishers, THQNordic.

darkmikasonfire awards Biomutant the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.