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Biomutant Xbox Review

Biomutant is one of those games where the trailer made me go, “I want it”, which is always ideal when you run a site about gaming. Now with a new update, Biomutant from Experiment 101 is on Xbox Series X|S and looking as beautiful as you’d expect. So, of course, I wanted to do a Biomutant review. It’s an imaginative, single-player action RPG set in a post-apocalypse world where tiny animals have become martial arts masters. What’s there not to get excited about?

Biomutant lets me go full Darkside

Not only do you get to customise your character fully, but you also pick whether you want to follow the path of good or evil. It’s not much of a choice for me. It’s time to go full Darkside for unlimited power! I’m going evil, and I have zero regrets.

unlimited power

The Game

Biomutant is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans dumped toxic waste into the oceans, causing mutations. These were covered up before it fittingly became the end of humanity, and the animals rose up. Think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That’s exactly how it happened, except the humans died, and no one is sad about it.

The animals are trying to heal mother nature by nurturing the Tree of Life. The protagonist’s mother, the leader of all the animal tribes that occupy the land, was defeated and killed by a beastly animal called Lupa Lupin. In fact, Lupa Lupin killed both your parents, leaving you an orphan like Batman… but with no need for a batsuit, no money, no car… okay, only the orphan part is like Batman. You’ve got to look on the bright side.

With the tribes in ruins and your parents killed, you left your home to survive. Kind of like Batman. You come back home to find your world in ruins and the tribes now at war with each other (like Batman), Lupa Lupin is still at large, and now four powerful beasts called World Eaters are devouring the Tree of Life. It’s the end of the world 2.0. Now it’s up to you to bring the tribes back together, defeat the World Eaters, and seek out Lupa Lupin to avenge your family.

biomutant screenshot 2

There’s a pretty long and detailed character design screen to start the game. Pick your animal (six different ones to choose from), the type of character you want to be, your mutation, and a host of other customisations. You can create your character to look however you want. You can even pick fur colour and your tribe’s paint colour. I went with a purple-painted rat because why not. You can pick up further customisations through the gameplay as you pick up clothing.

After that, you go through a reasonably linear intro before being deposited into the open world. Choosing a tribe to ally with locks you into certain goals: uniting or conquering the tribes and saving the Tree of Life or letting it die. Be good or go full evil. Whatever you choose, the enemy base conquest mission quickly becomes a series of repeated sequences and recycled battles. You are limited to a rigid series of encounters repeated from tribe to tribe and base to base, whether you’re trying to unite the tribes or conquer them. You don’t get as much freedom as you think, but you do get to enjoy some cutscenes that are different.

Look & Sound

One thing you’ll notice straight away, even on the Xbox S, the game looks beautiful. The characters are highly detailed and animated. The fur looks like fur and moves exactly as you’d expect. And the open world is full of bright colours and scenery that look incredible. Even the areas that have been ravaged by toxic waste look amazing.

The cutscenes look fantastic, and even with all the character customisations, it looks seamless. The only disappointment visually is the background can be blurred out at times. I imagine this saves a lot on processing power, but it takes away from how great everything else looks. It’s like you’re near-sighted and can’t see anything at a distance.

The background music as you play is not as memorable as other games, but it still captures the mood remarkably well. I’m not a massive fan of music in games, though, as I’ve spent much of my life playing games on mute or quiet. But, like with some games, you also have a narrator so at least keep the speech volume up. Sometimes that’s entertaining, but you want some peace and quiet other times.

What is interesting, though, is that the animals have their own language they talk in. So when you speak to any NPCs, the narrator translates and summarises their speech from a third-person perspective rather than having it translated with subtitles. I don’t know why I enjoyed that so much, but it’s a nice touch.

biomutant screenshot 1

Length & Replayability

Biomutant should take around 12+ hours to complete. But you can stretch that out a bit if you want to do and collect everything.

As for replayability, that will depend on how much you enjoy it. I hoped there’d be a massive difference between choosing to be good or bad, enough that you could play through it twice. Throughout, you’re constantly asked to decide whether you want to be good or bad, and whatever you choose doesn’t change the overall narrative of the story. That change alone would add massive replayability to the game. I wish it did.

No matter what faction you pick, whether you choose to kill or not, it makes no difference. None of the touted moral choices is permanent. The options do nothing but give you points for your psi skills. Both routes play the same.

Conclusions

For a small team of developers, what Experiment 101 has done with Biomutant is great. There’s a lot to enjoy about it, and visually it’s stunning, even if it does lack at times with blurred backgrounds. The game gets a bit tedious, though, with insufficient change/variety. There are some brilliant weapons, but other than looks, they aren’t that different.

The big disappointment, though, is the morality system. The scope for potential is massive, and it offers some hilarious cut scenes with how savage they can be if you select to be bad (my evil guy booted a hurt and already beaten animal in the chest, which I imagine wouldn’t happen if I’d chosen to help him instead). But that’s about as far as it goes. It could have been so much more, actually affecting the gameplay and story. It teases that it will do, but it doesn’t. Nothing changes storywise, and that’s a real shame.

The developers should be commended for the scope of the game, though. For a team of 20 developers, it’s a mammoth task to build a game that looks like it could stand up to AAA titles. But looks aren’t everything, and I’d rather have lower graphics and more put into a diverging storyline depending on what you choose throughout the game.

It’s not a bad game by any means, but it’s also not as spectacular as I’d hoped any time I saw the trailer. I give Biomutant 6/10.

A code was kindly provided for us to review this.

Like my Biomutant review? Whilst you’re here, why not check out our other Xbox reviews? We play a wide range of games, so there’s bound to be something you’d enjoy!

We Score This Game

rating score: 6

Good!

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