During my time at Gamescom 2018, I had the chance to give Biomutant, THQ’s upcoming action RPG, a try. I knew next to nothing about the game going in, so I came in with a wide open mind. And, Biomuntant absolutely delighted me. It drew me into its apocalyptic, yet fairy-tale world. The gameplay is fun, the world is beautiful and terrifying at the same time, and, in my short time with the game, I saw the potential for a wonderful experience to unfold. I can’t wait for it to come out next year.
Biomutant at Gamescom 2018
The first thing that greets you after starting up Biomutant is the character creation screen. I admit, I kinda blew through that one fairly quickly, trying to get to the game as soon as possible. The demo limited gameplay time to twenty minutes, I wasn’t too keen on spending too much of it on character creation. In retrospect, I wish I had payed more attention, because the character creation is pretty robust. There’s a lot of stuff you can play around with to create your perfect little hamster mutant; from fur length and color, to size, and so on. There’s also a sort of ability wheel, where you choose your characters strength, dexterity, charisma; the usual RPG stuff. But, as I’ve said, I kinda just rushed through that part.
Then, the game began, and I was greeted by a vibrant, yet clearly diseased world. The narrator reveals some further details about what’s going on, which I won’t reveal here to avoid spoilers. But, either way, something terrible has happened in this world, and something even worse is going to happen. Radiation is everywhere, and tribes of mutated hamsters like yourself, as well as other creatures, roam the landscape scraping by. It’s kinda like if Pixar did Mad Max. I admit, I was taken in immediately. I really wanted to explore the world as far and as wide as possible, but I had to keep things simple due to the limited time.
That said, I found the game to be weird, in a really good way. By that I mean, it surprised me very positively. I knew that the game was an action RPG, but I didn’t understand just how “action” it was going to be. I really didn’t expect that Biomutant’s combat will remind me of the likes of Devil May Cry. The combat is incredibly fast and smooth; you have the ability to link together some pretty fun combos with flashy moves. It’s really damn cool. Plus, there are some super moves that you can execute, as well as special attacks from different gear that you can find. For example, a rocket-powered gauntlet. Oh yes. You read that right. A rocket-powered gauntlet. It’s a ton of fun.
Then, there are also some platforming elements. They are not exactly the dominant mechanic, but they are there. There’s walking across tightropes and, well, jumping on platforms. Plus, you have to use the Snot Bubble “power” to create a bubble around yourself. You can then use that to bounce across chasms, and it also serves as a shield. Do not land into the water, though, no matter what you do. Oh, and then, there’s more fun. Possible spoilers here, so skip to the next paragraph just in case. I’m of course talking about the mech. Oh yeah, you get a mech in Biomutant. You can use it to traverse the land, shoot at enemies, and slurp up puddles of spilled oil. That’s necessary both to keep your machine running, and also because those pools of oil can kill you. I got to fight a gigantic boss monster in the mech, shooting rockets while flying around to dodge. It was a blast.
Honestly, the only thing that somewhat annoyed me is the narrator. Sure, he does help craft this fairy-tale-gone-seriously-wrong atmosphere. However, he reveals way too much information that I would have preferred to find out by playing the game. Again, I’m not going to reveal anything to avoid spoilers. Suffice to say, the narrator revealed some things about the world that I feel should be left for the player to discover. It’s a minor gripe, to be sure, and maybe things will be different once the full game comes out.
Biomutant is coming out in the summer of 2019 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Judging only by my short time I had with the game, I think I’m probably going to pick it up for myself. So, you know, take that for what it’s worth.