Biomutant is a game that’s hard to review. I’m going to do my best to fully take in and express the experience I got out of it but this is one of those games I could see being incredibly polarising.
There are too many issues and poor design decisions for me to call it a great game but there’s just too much heart to not recommend. This is not a game I can guarantee you’ll like but it is certainly something you should play.
Biomutant Review | Raining Cats and Bugs
Biomutant has you take the role of a mutated rodent creature in a world devastated by disaster and pollution. Set around the crumbling foundations of some great civilisation, you explore the ruins of a long lost group of people and the electronics they have left behind.
There’s this sense of spirituality to loss in Biomutant. The entire game is founded on the collapse of history as we know it and the subtle beauty that comes with that return to nature.
The world is mutated and changed by the presence of some advanced civilization but they too are changed by the animals. This symbiotic nature of existence flows back and forth throughout the central narrative.
The plot is a fairly standard one, being one of the most common you can find in an RPG. After a protected childhood learning of the spirituality of the world and the flow of all things, a big bad comes in to ruin that, taking away your childhood with him.
You are sent on a path to seek vengeance. Or you could put your effort towards a greater world for all. It sets up a very basic morality system and rudimentary story but Biomutant is aware that it doesn’t really need one.
People will come into this much like they might come into a ubisoft open world game — the desire is to explore a big pretty map while punching bad guys along the way. Luckily, Biomutant is very pretty.
There’s this funny prettiness to every sight in Biomutant - the colour on the side of toxic sludge, the blood of a snarling creature, the fluffy texture on the back of that creature that just threw you in the air. In a strange way, this describes the game itself really well.
Even if that creature bites you in the neck, it's kinda hard to say anything other than “aww”. There are plenty of little issues to Biomutant - its many flaws snarl their teeth at you - but there’s a charm to those little bristles on its back.
Many of its systems have small issues and the environment is very inconsistent in design. Sometimes, the path up to somewhere is littered with little characters and interesting environmental design. Sometimes, it's a barren area with broken floors and annoying level design.
The first time I met one of the later characters, the entire floor was covered in a dazzling white texture.
The funny thing about this is I had no clue if this was a broken texture or a design decision I just didn't understand. This annoying, cracked, broken floor represented something.
It shined a harsh light onto the developers faces and revealed their skin, warts and all. Although the experience was wrong, there’s an unmistakable charm to every part of Biomutant.
Biomutant isn’t all cracks and glitches, the combat is visceral and fun and most of the progression is satisfying to make your way through. Combat gives that feeling that watching old kung fu movies does.
You’re pretty sure the moves aren’t accurate but it's so fun to watch that you don’t really care. These little moments are what makes Biomutant a hard game to review. Every time a crack happens, something very human pokes its head through that space.
Every time something great happens, something bad ground it back in the dirt. Biomutant is a game filled with little watercooler moments – in-game stories you tell your friends all about. There’s a side quest fairly early on in the game that describes my time with Biomutant well.
You catch some bad guys burning down and killing a village and stop them in their tracks. After this is done, you talk to the head of the village who tasks you with getting wood to help them rebuild.
This little expedition is random based on what you’ve harvested already so it sent me halfway up a mountain I was poorly equipped to actually climb. This adventure was a slog with some mediocre quest placement and frustrating resources but when I got back to the village and started cutting logs, I couldn’t help but find myself smiling.
Fitting into the village and helping out with my little rat avatar, it gave a purpose that is sometimes missing in games. It feels so willing to make obvious mistakes that even those stumbles have an odd charm to them.
Biomutant is like listening to that song your friend just adores but you don’t have it in you to tell them you don’t like it. You smile your way through it but the experience you really like is watching them talk about it. You stomach the song because you love your friend.
Biomutant is a game I loved but not one I liked very much.
- Fun combat
- Tries lots of ideas
- Very pretty
- Genuinely charming
- Quite buggy
- Lots of ideas dont work
- Mediocre story