Reviews - Updated on April 2, 2022

Sometimes video game developers take quantity over quality. They flood the player with content or come up with too many mechanics, half of which work somehow. This is usually true for large publishers, but small teams sometimes get carried away. They can be understood – with the rise in prices for games, users want to get the most out of their next purchase. But you need to stop in time, and the authors of Biomutant seemed to be unable to do this. A team of two dozen people decided to create a very ambitious game and added everything they could to it.

Animal of my dreams

For the first hour, Biomutant pours a mountain of everything on the player. First, a multi-stage character editor. We choose one of six breeds that are unlike each other and slightly differ in characteristics. Then these same characteristics are adjusted depending on preferences. We determine the resistance to which elements the hero will have, not yet understanding what it is for and what is better to choose. We decide what color our fur will be. Next, we indicate the desired class, of which there are five. They seem to be different, but in reality, you are unlikely to notice that you have 10 points more armor or that rifles do 20% more damage.

The editor is great for this kind of game – you can really create the fluffy of your dreams. But you soon realize that you messed around with the appearance of the character in vain, since the armor closes everything. Here you don’t just put on hats, but also masks, that is, you stop seeing the face of your little animal almost immediately. And all the other parameters don’t seem to matter much – after a few hours I didn’t even remember which class I chose. By the way, each appearance has a unique code, so you can copy the alien animal you like.

BioMutant Overview

Vehicles can also be modified by changing their appearance.

People are to blame for everything

Then we get into the big world. The Biomutant universe and everything that happens in it is a prick in the direction of humanity, which does not care about nature. Game developers have spoken out on this topic more than once – back in the 90s, the first Sonic the Hedgehog was devoted to this. But here the main character does not fight with a mustachioed man and does not break TVs – in Biomutant, people left the region long ago, and the animals continue to exist, divided into tribes.

The factions have different goals related to the Tree of Life, thanks to which the world somehow continues to exist. Some want to save it, others want to destroy it. In other words, some are for good, while others are on the side of evil. Accordingly, they have a different attitude towards the world-eaters – these are large creatures that have become incredibly strong in the process of genetic evolution and live in different corners of the map.

BioMutant Overview

The natural apocalypse happened a long time ago, so the mutants are used to such a life.

The topic of ecology fades into the background or even into the third plan. From time to time we stumble upon posters and learn details about the past of this world. There was the Toxanol Corporation, which was engaged in mining and dumped waste into water bodies in the hope that they would begin to decompose. As a result, their actions led to an increase in global warming, deforestation and ecosystem disruption due to radiation. It was so strong that it penetrated the windows of the Toxanol buildings, and therefore people decided to build arks and give a tear. The animals called this period the End Times.

Mankind left a lot behind – in dilapidated houses you find furniture and appliances familiar to us. Animals call these things in their own way: televisions for them are eye boxes, guitars are trinkets, microwave ovens are hot-water bottles, and trains are choo-choo. It’s funny at first, but it quickly feels like a repetitive joke. Most likely, this is due to the huge map, due to which all these things turn into banal collectibles. If you find one, a dozen more icons appear on the map. Therefore, it’s not even interesting if the developers wanted to tell stories with the help of the environment – you just run up to a couple of buildings, explore all the floors and move on.

BioMutant Overview

Each location indicates how many items are hidden in it.

It’s already too much

The longer I went through Biomutant, the more I wondered: why did the authors decide to make the map so gigantic? In 2017, they talked about a region of 16 km², but in the end the size increased to 64 km². The open world is not really needed here – while you are running from one point to another, nothing really happens. Well, you will stumble upon a couple of opponents, well, you will see a totem that will leave resources after destruction, but that’s it. Yes, and many “points of interest” are boring – I found a couple of chests, and the location is considered cleared.

All collectibles from the old world have tried to be accompanied by puzzles, but regardless of the object they are exactly the same: you need to turn the wires, levers or buttons so that the yellow and white colors match. This, to put it mildly, is tiring – if the authors wanted to repeat the success of The Witness, they failed. Therefore, the performance of side tasks related to “gathering” turns into a routine, and you no longer really want to receive gifts for completion.

There are a lot of such “puzzles” here.

The only thing that justifies the scale of the territory is the structure of the plot. At the beginning of the game, we choose one of two factions and capture foreign outposts scattered around the map. We are not talking about any large-scale battles – just fight in the arena with a couple of guards, and the outpost is yours. And sometimes you don’t even need to go there.

I chose the side of the good-natured and tried to do only good deeds – for example, I did not kill or capture the leaders, but tried to negotiate and invite them to my faction. At some point (after several successful negotiations), Biomutant suggested that I skip a piece of the game – they say that the other leaders of the tribes have heard a lot about me and are ready to capitulate. That is, the developers themselves understood that running from one outpost to another across the map is not very fun.

You don’t even need to come up with a signature.

After the disaster did not become more fun

During the breaks (and after the capitulation of the leaders) there are a lot of other plot tasks: either we get to know new heroes, or we are transported to the childhood of the protagonist, or we get new opportunities. And there are many of the latter: different vehicles, unique types of weapons, special suits, without which one cannot survive in areas of increased radiation or unbearable heat. But much of this is almost of no interest because of the monotony, pointless running from point to point and other shortcomings.

BioMutant Overview

Until you find certain suits, you can’t get into dangerous areas.

For example, animals speak their own language. First, the creature speaks a phrase for a long time, and only after a few seconds do you receive a “translation” from the narrator. Dialogues are already dragging on because of this, besides, they are generally overflowing with unnecessary information – a simple task in which you need to move a kilometer and pick up something is accompanied by a dozen stupid remarks. If there had been a decent story with interesting characters, the impressions would have been different.

The same applies to episodes from the protagonist’s childhood, where he is taught martial arts, and to other memories – they are drawn out and empty, and a stupid idea with the narrator makes them even worse. Moreover, the narrator constantly comments on everything: moving to a new area, entering an abandoned house, sunrise, nightfall, and so on. Fortunately, the number of his (repeating) remarks can be significantly reduced in the settings, but this does not speed up the dialogues. It rarely happens that I fall asleep during the passage of games, but here it made me sleepy, even when I sat down at the console awake.

BioMutant Overview

The questions that the hero can ask the interlocutor sometimes seem completely delusional.

They also added a system of karma here – after every little decision, a kind of angel and demon appear. From their very first dialogue, you feel awkward from their voices, which are better to voice cartoons for the smallest. Yes, and they talk about the same thing – they don’t reveal the universe of the game in any way, but you can’t say much about light and darkness. It is very easy to be good or evil: you just choose the appropriate lines, agree to help or refuse – everything is the same as everywhere else.

furry fighter

The combat system also leaves mixed feelings. It seems that everything is there: different types of weapons for close combat, and pistols with machine guns, and parry, and evasion. But everything is somehow slanted and raw, as if you are playing a bad indie game (I have plenty of examples – I immediately remember Ary and the Secret of Seasons). Here, too, slow-mo turns on at every opportunity – both when you dodge and when you start shooting after a roll. But you don’t feel like Max Payne at such moments – the effect looks cheap.

I will not say that the animations here are mediocre, and the blows are not felt – this can be understood from the numerous gameplay videos. Much more upsetting is the lack of a normal balance. The number of cartridges in firearms is unlimited, so even strong targets do not pose a threat and you do not need to climb close to them. In most cases, opponents cannot oppose you: they run in vain in your direction and throw objects that are easy to dodge. And when you collect high-quality firearms, which have large clips and fast reloading, you generally stop engaging in close combat.

Therefore, the benefits of mutations and other improvements are not felt. And the point is not only that there are three types of points that are distributed in different sections, obtained by different methods and because of this there is no desire to delve into the menu. It’s just that mutations are not so useful – yes, for the sake of beauty, you can pour acid on the ground or throw up opponents with a blow from under the ground, but this battle will not significantly speed up the battle. Although there are still useful upgrades here – mostly passive skills.

Treasury in the fort, apparently, is only enough for five guards.

But the creation of items is implemented in an interesting way – you can modify things in your inventory, changing not only their characteristics, but also their appearance. The options are plentiful, but it can be a bit tedious to scroll through long lists looking for the best detail if you’re scouring the locations and picking up all the junk. But the implementation is excellent in any case, although you often do not have to go to the menu. For example, it was interesting for me to assemble weapons from different parts, but for the sake of armor there was no need to do this.

Obviously, a lot of effort has been invested in Biomutant, but they were directed in the wrong direction. It is impressive that a team of 18 developers made such a large-scale game, but this did not affect its quality in the best way. And the fact that in the past these people were engaged in the Just Cause series quickly becomes noticeable – the same empty open world, the same unremarkable plot and the same annoying mechanics. If it had been a linear adventure, it would certainly have turned out much better. And so this is a game that tries to offer much more than its budget allows.

Pros: charming characters; an interesting item creation system that rewards exploration of locations; rich combat system; a great voiced narrator who had to read thousands of lines.

Cons: the open world is large, but there is nothing interesting in it; not the most exciting story, which gets worse due to long dialogues and translation from the narrator; the combat system is damp and poorly balanced; many mechanics are not brought to mind; with the pumping system too smart.

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