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A long wait preceded the release of Biomutant, as the title was announced two years ago. The game was introduced in 2017, and with its unique world, it instantly gained quite a few enthusiastic fans. No wonder it’s been made for so long, as Experiment 101, recruited from Avalanche Faces, is a team of just a few dozen developers, and Biomutant promises in many ways more than even a medium-sized standalone title. The creators have swung in a lot of ideas over the years, as well as showcasing countless gameplay, but even so, it was difficult to decide what kind of game this vital game would be. While you don’t expect to be disappointed with the size of Cyberpunk, I’m sure not everyone gets what they expected.

Biomutant is based on the two most important RPG pieces in the modern open world, Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so we’re going to run into a lot of familiar solutions. Also, PS2 platform titles like Ratchet & Clank or Jak & Daxter Games could have been serious inspiration, but to be honest, I can list up to five or six more titles, so it’s a lot to break into this few gigabytes.

And in fact, this leads us to one of the first serious negative traits in the title, which I have to mention shortly, because most of us will soon encounter this problem. One feels the developers don’t want to miss out on any of the best ideas of the last five years, so specifically, they put everything into their very first project that crosses their minds, and in the first three hours, it’s sure to hit the player.

It all starts with generating the character, then we choose a class so that when we put it into the game, it turns out that there is a karma system. Right after that, we get stuck in the first battle, then learn the lottery, and the flashback comes with which the story begins, and then we go back to the present to learn about the different tribes that dominate the game’s world. Then they show you how to develop your character, then use your skills, then the mini-game that takes up space, then the various vehicles come in, and then it turns out that there are even puzzles – and you go two or three more. Hours until you reach the first boss, from which we will finally rest.

The problem is not only that the developers have bundled a lot of ideas into one game, but how they present them to the player. In Horizon: Zero Dawn mentioned above, for example, the features were introduced gradually, incorporated into the story, to give the player time to understand them and leave plenty of time to get to know them one by one. On the other hand, here we are instantly thrown into deeper waters and shake our heads at the sight of the various game mechanics.

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And by the way, Biomutant also has positive qualities, and if we leave time for it, it will entertain us well. Here, for example, the world and universe of the game, which is quite interesting and varied as we saw in the preview. Thankfully, we didn’t get a huge map as useless as previous work from the developers, but it can’t be said that crawl space is also tight. The title takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where, thanks to the machinations of a huge oil company, humanity is completely extinct and the environment destroyed. However, we cannot call the countryside nonliving, because rodents and animals in general have been mutated by toxins and dominate the countryside in subspecies.

In the story, the protagonist will be tasked with saving or destroying the tree of life in the middle of the map, depending on karma, thus creating a new era in the world. To do so, we need to defeat the huge monster hidden in the four corners of the map. This kind of approach may be familiar to Zelda, but the overall mission structure and dialogue system will remind us rather of classic guerrilla games.

The plot itself isn’t very exciting anyway, even if it’s full of interesting, weird, or just weird characters. Although we do get a lot of flashbacks through which we can also get an insight into the protagonist’s childhood, the story is simply unable to get past the video player cliché. Honestly, what was most interesting to me were the animated posters here and there, as they use cute graphics to tell how the planet was ravaged by the evil oil company.

Okay, but if that’s not the story, the gameplay definitely takes the Biomutant on its back, right? The test writer faces a difficult situation trying to list what works in this title, as the developers, as I mentioned earlier, really wanted to incorporate everything that has been popular or successful over the past five years. The bio-transformer will undoubtedly be varied and it will take many hours to figure out every little detail, but there are downsides to this selectivity.

Take the combat system, for example: it is mainly based on melee attacks, but you can also use firearms in addition to various abilities. It is possible to combine, we can prevent it, and by avoiding attacks and shooting in the air, we can even slow down time. When staring at the game’s videos, the combat is incredibly impressive thanks to so many options, but with the controller in our hands, we’re not sure we’ll have much fun.

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Despite such a large number of features in combat, none of them were designed very well. This results in the player being able to do surprisingly well even with random hitting of the buttons. A little bit of shooting, some hacking, some abilities, and oops, you really win, you can keep going! Plus, the controls seem very inexpensive: The PS2 titles came out in the heat of battle, and while they give everything a kind of retro flavor, I’m not sure that was exactly what the game makers wanted.

In fact, the aforementioned ideas can be pulled over the entire game, which can make this adventure very messy and often stressful. In our case, it is very true that less is sometimes more, because it was worthwhile for the developers to get rid of unnecessary nonsense from the lineup so that they can better focus on others. Character development, for example, is very complex, as we can feed our little rodents on three different skill trees, but none of them provides enough variety to make us feverish.

At the level, like Fallout games, we can harden our main features, and we can unlock abilities and so-called Wung-Fu moves with different XP coins (covering these different combos). And again, we’re just facing the same problem as the combat system: It’s good that there are so many things, just none of them are deep enough. For example, I considered wung-fu abilities to be maxed out early in the fourth hour of the game, because I didn’t unlock some combos that weren’t very fun for me, and then I could spend my remaining points on trivial tricks.

But what’s interesting is that despite its superficiality and flaws, Experiment 101 is still fun, because despite familiar ideas, it is unpredictable what awaits us in the next hour. Maybe we’ll get a new car, another weary character will emerge, or we’ll run into the type of opponent you’ve never seen before. It is also supported by the fact that the game has an atmosphere that cannot be confused with anything, and that so much exclusivity has been pushed into the design that it cannot be eroded together with five episodes of Call of Duty.

One of the most creative solutions in the game is to have a narrator constantly commenting on everything, who will be present as a kind of translator when chatting with the characters, as they communicate by quoting the classic titles, just gargling. He often talks about the events during the fight and the discovery, although he often repeats many hours behind us, but fortunately we can adjust the pace of his speeches on several levels.

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On the technical front, Biomutant shows a mixed picture just like the gameplay. During the day, while hiking in the open terrain, you will be able to enjoy the picturesque landscapes, and thanks to the colorful abilities, you will also provide an interesting scene during the battle scenes. However, when wandering through bunkers or dark or deserted caves, the game can be so ugly that some PS2 titles look nicer next to it. And it would be a shame to deny that Unreal Engine 4 is here or there, the title shows so much development time, because what was acceptable and beautiful in 2017 will be gone today.

And if it is beautiful, I must also mention the facade, which has rarely become weak and useless. It’s real-time travel to an era when the pointer on the console wasn’t even known yet, so we have to navigate a sea of ​​different sub-menus to find what we’re looking for. Additionally, the to-do list and their relationship to one another can become embarrassingly opaque. It is inconsequential that after a few hours, six main missions have already been noticed, and the poor player does not even know where to start.

I can totally understand those who, after all these years of development, have been waiting for a more mature title, and because of this, they will end up shedding the vital axiom aside in a few hours with a feeling of imperfection and frustration. People might have fallen into Experiment 101 in vain, like the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 or Dyling Light 2, to try to please the audience as much as possible by seeing the hype players, so almost everything they could think of a product breakdown game was crammed like a castle of cards under lots and lots Of ideas. Too bad, because the unique design, no matter how accepting it is, unfortunately doesn’t take everything off its back.

Biomutant was released for PC, Xbox One, and PS4, but it can of course play on next-gen consoles as well. We tested it on Xbox Series X.