Biomutant Is Half Action, Half RPG, All Fun
Biomutant was a game that I wasn’t sure what to classify in terms of describing what it is, as, on the surface, it’s easy to define the game as an action game with RPG elements. The gameplay is reminiscent of other games that are more refined, such as the Batman Arkham series, while having unique mechanics to set it apart from similar titles. The main thing about Biomutant that sets it apart from other similar titles is it's aesthetic, featuring exclusive anthropomorphic creatures with a premise that sounds something out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Players Can Get Creative With Their Biomutant
You control an unnamed protagonist who goes by many different aliases, fighting many different creatures like yourself. Depending on your dialogue choices and actions, the player can either be “good” or “evil,” which affects the way the story progresses over time. There are some instances where flashbacks are told through the perspective of the protagonist as a child and certain answers will determine how characters in the present remember you as. The number of customization players can achieve with their biomutant is on the middling path, while you can’t exactly change the appearance of your mutant willingly, players do so via sliders.
Depending on the build of the anthro character, their appearance will reflect on their stats. A charismatic anthro will be lanky and tall while a strength-focused one will be burly and stubby. Of course, depending on the type of breed, these characteristics are further added upon, making each character feel not too similar to each other even if the builds are similar. Some classes focus on melee over ranged and vice versa. Some depend on the usage of psychic powers, effectively being the “mage” class of the game.
Biomutant Is Heavily Rooted In Martial Arts
Lastly, there are dual-wielding rogue-type classes that rely on avoiding attacks via dodging and parrying. In the first take, I decided to go for the “rogue-like” class and go for a “charismatic” character, yet I wasn’t able to play enough of the title to fully take advantage of my mutant’s charming debonair swagger.
The gameplay advertised itself as a “kung fu fable” and with one look at the gameplay, I could see the kung fu influence in combat. Movement and animations are among the most fluid I’ve seen in a video game in recent memory, with the smaller anthropomorphic fighters blending well with the martial arts fighting style. Switching to ranged weapons is seamless, as depending on the direction of the dodge following the fire of the shots themselves, the character will move accordingly, diving forward, backward, and cartwheeling to the side. The ability to attack from a dodge means that the flow of combat is never broken, rewarding the player with poetry in motion.
The Fourth Wall Is Broken Occasionally
There is a narrator that occasionally provides quips on everything the player does, including the occasional fourth-wall breaking, which adds to the game’s charm and light-heartedness. The characters the players are introduced are all unique, ranging from giants using a car door as a shield to an elderly man tied behind a wheelchair equipped with a shotgun.
The graphics on the PS5 are rendered beautifully, running the action on a solid framerate even with options to increase the graphical capabilities that the game allows. This is one of the first console games to have a field of view slider, which is always welcome, but also limiting motion blurring and screen shaking, the latter in which I wish more games had. There’s nothing more annoying and nauseating than to see a screen jitter about after every direct attack and honestly the vibration of the controller does a good enough job in conveying this without the need of a screen shake.
Controls Are As Smooth As Its Gameplay
Controls were responsive for the most part, though it’s one of those games where you have to dodge/parry moments before the opponent attacks and not right before if that makes any sense. Basically, to ensure survival, players will need to react as soon as the indicator appears on the enemy’s head. Not before, not after, as the latter will be too late but the former will cause the player to go off balance and away from the target. It’s a tricky timing window but once players get the hang of it, it’s not too difficult to grasp.
For first impressions, Biomutant seems to be a solid and well-put-together experience, with enough charming characters to hold its own and a diverse enough gameplay to complement its cartoony-yet-realistic visuals. It gave me Guardians of the Galaxy vibes and that’s not a bad thing to compare it to at all.
Biomutant is on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S