BioMutant Review

BioMutant has been a long and tortuous road from preparation to release. The path is filled with mystery and anticipation, an exciting combination for any game. After years of waiting, though, the cyborgs are here, ready to be explored. Unfortunately, for all the potential the world has to offer, BioMutant is still struggling to find its footing on top of a seemingly solid mountain of game concepts.

Before its release, Bionic Mutants was positioned as a cross between Breath of the Wild and Shadow of Mordor, two of the most iconic open-world games of the past decade. It’s easy to see these inspirations when exploring BioMutant’s vast map, but it comes across as a version of the diet offered by its contemporaries. The world isn’t as rich as Breath of the Wild or Shadow of Mordor, the enemies aren’t as deep, and the exploration isn’t as open.

It’s not for lack of trying, though. In fact, the similarities between the two games form the core of everything players do on their BioMutant journey. There are four “Poofs” scattered around the world for players to defeat, and in doing so, save the world tree – sort of a metaphor, but it still looks interesting in BioMutant’s landscape. This usually involves completing a set of character acquisition quests, unlocking specialized mounts, and then challenging Poof in a boss fight.

Fighting  with  Jumbo  Poof The boss fight with Poof isn’t all that exciting, though the most notable one is the underwater fight with Murk Poof. The formula is clearly inspired by the mythical beasts in Breath of the Wild, but Bionic Mutants eschews the puzzle-box element that makes the mythical beasts in BoTW interesting, and instead plunges players into a battle with a would-be Gannon. Visually, Poofs aren’t all that noticeable other than their size, and the characters working with the player to knock them down are never fleshed out.

Clash of Clans — another of BioMutant’s main goals — suffered from a similar problem. Early in the game, players will choose which faction they want to assist, with the first two options being black and white moral decisions. Clans can be changed later, but Bionic Mutants doesn’t really explain the process behind doing so. Additionally, players can cut Clan Wars to an unbelievably short amount during a level, advancing the story but skipping parts of the game.

As part of Clan Wars, players are tasked with taking over outposts to expand their territory, but taking over outposts is a tedious process. Some require the player to fight several waves of enemies, others require the player to complete a quick objective–usually collecting an item or pressing a switch–and still others can be solved with simple persuasion checks. Players then destroy a faction’s stronghold that holds several of its objectives together. Defeating a faction will unlock its weapons for the player to use, which can change the battle.

BioMutant  riding  at  night These reshuffles are also a godsend, as combat is at the heart of everything BioMutanthas has to offer. Visually, the themed mechanics are fun, with an action-movie style that few games can replicate, plus a comic-book-esque “whack” when it hits the ground. There are several different weapon types, though many of them have the same combo inputs. There’s a radial menu that allows players to equip different weapons on the fly, so having similar combo inputs really helps to keep combat from bogging down.

Throughout the experience, players never felt so powerful despite dancing around the on-screen shooting guns and throwing swords. In fact, the opposite is true. Even small enemies in BioMutant can take a hit, so it’s often a fair amount of effort for the player to clear them out of an area. It’s all still possible, but BioMutant’s combat system would benefit greatly from having lots of weaker enemies.

There’s a nifty crafting system for players to create their own weapons, allowing them to mix and match weapon components to their liking. Weapons are level-gated, so it might take some time for players to really feel free to create their creations, but it’s easy to create some cool-looking combos. The distribution of crafting resources is somewhat uneven, which can make it difficult for players to cobble together a good weapon when they’re missing key resources, but it’s a relatively minor issue.

Perhaps its biggest selling point, the world of cyborgs does visually pop, and it’s open to exploration–with a couple of asterisks. Essentially, the corporation’s disregard for the environment has resulted in the dilapidated, mutant-ruled world that players now roam. Crumbling buildings and dilapidated infrastructure dot large swaths of the landscape, while others are marred by toxic smoke and sludge.

BioMutant  World  Tree  root Here, BioMutan encountered one of its worst problems. It provides players with vehicles to explore the world, such as mechs and a type of jet ski, but the areas in which they can be summoned are very limited. BioMutant provides players with fun toys, but rarely makes players take them out of the box. This is especially tough on the jet ski mount, as Bionic Mutant’s swimming mechanics are very limited, only allowing players to swim for a few seconds before drowning–and do so slowly.

Worryingly, the game does have performance issues, even when running on the PS5. While many of the worst issues we encountered seem to have been fixed in the latest patch–notably a bug that would cause half the screen to go black–there were still crashes and framerate drops. These dips don’t happen with alarming frequency, but they’re still common enough to be a problem.

BioMutantis is full of potential, but a lot of that potential is wasted. It’s not a bad game, but it won’t be the stellar project THQ Nordic fans hoped for. Still, even with all the kinks, players may find themselves booting into New Game Plus mode after their journey, though relieved when they finally see the credits roll.

BioMutant launches on May 25th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Game Rant reviews BioMutant on Origin PC’s new Neuron desktop. It’s a top-of-the-line PC that can be customized to suit every need. Read full details about neurons here.

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