Biomutant (Game Diary)

I was hoping to create a “preview” post for the new game Biomutant, but although I was granted a FREE game code by THQ Nordic (or Experiment 101), I requested it a bit late. So, instead I have given this game a little over a week (or about 10+ hours) of gameplay to put together my thoughts.

This was the first game that I played on both my PlayStation 4 Pro to my PlayStation 5. Thanks to Cloud Saves I was able to continuously transfer my latest saves back and forth (between generations). Uploading and downloading saves using the cloud can get a bit tiresome. It’s not ideal but it is a great feature, especially since most people won’t be moving saves back and forth so often. Most people will migrate their save from their old to new console and be done with it.

Biomutant is a very cool original game where the world is now inhabited by furry hybrid animals. (Hybrid Animals is a term coined in the movie I Love You, Man. It was never defined, but I now know what it means, thanks to this game). These are animals who communicate in their own silly animal languages (and there are many silly animal languages in Biomutant). The creatures have become bipedal for the most part, but still run on four legs.

In Biomutant, you take control of a furry creature — the chosen one. Your job is to save the Tree of Life and the world. There are both good and evil tribes and you must choose your side. Even though the world is divided into tribes with separate ideologies, they all have one common goal — to restore the Tree of Life.

Although I do enjoy playing Biomutant while playing and I plan to keep going, this game may not be totally for me. There are some problems I ran into, but since we are at a point with not too many new releases I thought I would give this one a shot (Also, I was provided a game code for FREE).

Let’s go over some of the good and not so good parts about Biomutant:


CUSTOMIZATION

There’s a great deal of customization in Biomutant. From the moment you first boot up the game you start off with character customization: Class, Race, Abilities, Fur, Persistence and more. I carefully chose my abilities leaning heavily towards certain attributes, only to realize that my character would continue to change as he leveled up and I could add points to whatever abilities I wanted. So, in the beginning it doesn’t really matter whether you lay heavy on strength or intelligence or any other attributes.

Biomutant gives you the simple difficulty options of Easy, Medium or Hard. This reminds me of the games of my childhood. The games of today all try to reinvent the difficulty options with things like Baby, Brutal, Hardcore, Legendary, Take it Easy, Give me all you got. It’s like every game thinks they’re Starbucks, trying to reinvent the wheel (Tall, Grande and Venti) — it’s just Small, Medium and Large.

When setting up my character I had this mindset that he would continue to evolve in that same direction I started him in. I paid close attention to all of the character creation options (reading descriptions multiple times). Once the game began I became overwhelmed with all of the options: Aura, Wung-Fu, PSI Points, Mutations… Not only can you customize your clothing and weapons, you can also modify them with new parts. The world is also full of loot boxes, many filled with junk you don’t need — which the narrator calls out at times.

I’m a fan of customization in games I just like it to be simple. I love reading, but I don’t have the time to be reading all of this lore about every tiny item in your game. Voice memos and dialogue recordings work best in these scenarios. That way I can continue exploring without my game coming to a halt while I read some passage on where this silly hat came from.

NEW WORLD

Biomutant takes place on a beautifully, unique world. The animals are now the humans, and you can tell that the humans were once here because of all of the trash, cars, microwaves and old rusty human objects left behind. Although I have only been to a few areas in my 10+ hours of playing Biomutant so far, I can say that the world has some beautiful areas featuring different climates and design. There are also enemies all over the map.

There are many extreme climate zones where thing may get too hot, too cold or too deadly (poison). The map is sort of like a big game of risk where each area is controlled by a different tribe and must be liberated by taking down outposts. In most open world games I’m used to seeing so many missions, objectives, side quests and other points of interests. This map remains pretty simple with the two main points in each area, leaving you free to move on or explore more if you wish.

TONE

I wanted to compare the goofy gopher with the serious night moon.

The narrator is very charming with his serious, yet welcoming voice. At times it feels like the narrator hates silence and has to say anything. He tosses out random unnecessary lines. The tone of the game seems a bit unclear. I’ve always been a fan of humor in my games, when it’s done right.

Biomutant seems a bit unsure of itself in its tone. While we have a very heavy, serious story going on there is just some goofy humor thrown in that doesn’t quite fit. Take for instance that goofy gopher and his silly voice — I wish I had a video but some of the voices in this game are just straight up silly. The narrator also throws in some “jokes” which rarely hit their mark.

It’s a bit odd that they throw in 1960s Batman onomatopoeias (I bet you never thought you’d see that word again after middle school). “BAM!” “POW!” “BLOMP!” Although I’ve always been a fan of these “fight words” in comics, it doesn’t fit the tone of the game to me. It adds some silliness to the combat.

I enjoy when a game has little puzzles in it which take you out of the gameplay loop for a moment. Sure, these are very simple puzzles, but they are sort of fun to figure out. They remind me of Ratchet and Clanks Override puzzles.

Some of the characters we meet in this world have the strangest names, but also the strangest voices (again I wish I had a video of Best-Before talking, but I’m sure you can look something up). These characters seem like their straight out of Bugsnax.

COMBAT

For a game that is heavily focused on combat the fighting feels a bit unfinished. I love that they included this new fighting style specific to these Biomutant creatures (Wung-Fu), but it does feel like I’m playing a game from the past generation while fighting (Xbox 360/PS3).

When a game chooses to use a parry mechanic in combat it is usually very thought out. It’s not just a block, it’s a block that leaves the enemy open for retaliation. God of War (and many newer games) slow down the action after a good parry, so you know you executed it well. Even Dead Cells a simple looking, pixelated game has a great parry system.

Biomutant‘s parry mechanic is not so great. And for a game that rewards you for parrying — allowing you to bash your enemy with a big combo (even launch them into the sky) — they should have really put more work into it. The window for landing a parry feels large in this game (and I’m playing on Medium), but still there’s no special vibration or feeling for when you’ve executed the perfect parry. You just have to stare at your opponent hoping for a big [SQUARE] in front of them (or whatever button on Xbox and PC).

The thing I noticed with good parrying in games is that you feel the difference between a perfect parry, a not so good parry and a totally botched parry. This is how they train you to not only use it but use it well.

Comb

The combat also has no true lock-on mechanic. As long as you sort of aim your camera in the direction of the enemy you will sort of attack one of them. There have been times where I was attacking in the vicinity of my foes and hurting them. Some enemies have ranged weapons and you may try to take them out first, but with no true Lock-on system it’s hard to single them out. Also, anytime you shoot your gun/ranged weapon you just have to hope it’s hitting someone. There are exploding barrels in some battles, but then again you just have to hope for the best.

There is some good with the combat too, I just think they could have put more focus onto this part of the game since it is a BIG PART of the game. I like that you get four PSI powers to use during combat, but make sure you PSI meter is full. I did notice that at first I was sort of button mashing, but the fighting in this game is supposed to be a bit slower. Once I started taking my time and timing my attacks (saving my PSI meter) I was able to take out big enemies easier — but they still have a great deal to fix.

DARK MASTER

Biomutant_20210526142557

I started my journey choosing to be a rogue, outlaw criminal. I chose the darkness, but quickly learned that I am terrible at being evil. My first test was choosing not to help a critter I had just saved from being held captive. My options were “Help him out” or “I’m OK.” I thought the second was more evil so I chose that. Next, I saw a cutscene of me knocking this poor critter out and that’s when I decided, “Ok, I guess I’m not that evil.” From then on I’ve mostly chosen to go with the “light” side.

Biomutant_20210526135249

The first time I came across “The Wheeled One” I thought, Aw man, now I gotta beat up this furry buddy in a wheelchair? but that was not the case. In fact, the JAGNI (the bad dudes) was busy attacking him and I was there to help. That’s when I truly knew that I was good and not evil. Also, after that I had no problem killing evil Biomutants, knowing that they had no problem beating up a poor little animal in a wheelchair.

Although I said this game isn’t completely for me it’s not a bad game. I also don’t think Biomutant is a great game. I would call it a fine game. I do plan on playing some more of this game and exploring this world further.

I really do enjoy exploring this world and seeing the different monsters and creatures in it. There are also small, simple puzzles all over and I really enjoy solving them. I know they’re easy but it still makes me feel smart.


Biomutant is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

I was provided a code for Biomutant on PS4.
Thank you to Experiment 101 and THQ Nordic, once again!

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