It’s hard to believe, but Biomutant was first shown nearly two years ago now. Its debut, in August of 2017, was met with excitement and generated substantial hype for the new IP from Swedish developer Experiment 101. However, since that debut and a targeted release date of 2019, the game and Experiment 101 have generally been in hiding.
We got our hands on it again at E3 last month and thankfully we’re here to report that it’s not only still in development, but feels quite good to play as well. Let’s look at a few of the details that players can expect when it eventually releases.
Deep Character Creation
The character creation suite has been shown in prior previews of the title, but having the opportunity to play around with it demonstrated its depth. After choosing to be male or female, you are given a radial menu where you balance five attributes; strength, agility, vitality, charisma, and intellect. This selection adjusts a wide range of stats that will likely have a large impact on how you play the game. With specific stats related to armor, persuasion, and power resist/pierce, this will presumably be a large scale RPG involving varying combat styles and NPC interactions.
Additionally, your character possesses a luck trait that will impact critical hit chance and a very notable statistic, loot chance. While Biomutant is said to be an ARPG, to date we haven’t seen much of what can be expected in terms of looting. That said, with characters having such variety in stats and loot chance being a core statistic, we’re certainly excited about the possibilities.
Character customization looks to be substantial as well, with a wide range of look, styles, and colors capable of being selected from right at the start. You can even choose whether you want your fur longer or shorter and according to Experiment 101, that will only be the beginning as you will unlock a wealth of customization options throughout the game.
Exciting, Comic Book Like Combat
Originally touted as an “open-world, post-apocalyptic kung-fu fable”, players naturally had questions regarding what was meant by kung-fu. In our time with the title, combat felt fast and fluid with a feel reminiscent of modern super-hero titles. You have the ability to chain combos across several enemies at a time eventually culminating with an ultimate flurry attack that results in massive damage. Better yet, words like “POW!” even pop up over enemies’ heads after hitting them.
According to Experiment 101, players will be able to alter both their abilities and appearances with mutations, gear, and bionic enhancements. You’ll also have the ability to acquire new “Wushu” combat styles from “Masters” that you will meet throughout the world. We didn’t meet any in our time with the game, but with combat already feeling so fluid and fun, knowing that we’ll be capable of using a variety of styles and skills is definitely promising.
An aspect of Biomutant that has stood out since it first debuted has been the gorgeous open-world environments. Gorgeous, detailed, and varied, the world of Biomutant looks to be one that players will love to explore. What really struck me through my journey is how natural the world felt. In particular, I’m referring to the lush backdrops and how creatures scattered high and low around me as I navigated the remains of a likely once vibrant city.
Beyond simple exploration however, are more RPG elements for players to dive into. This is where looting will come into play as you will find a large variety of objects throughout the world that will enhance your abilities, broaden your character’s customization, and allow you to experiment with crafting. Crafting looks to play a major role in the title as weaponry ranging from clubs to LMGs being able to be created with several different stats.
An Exciting Blend of Gameplay Styles
Biomutant seems like a mash-up of some of my favorite elements from a wide-range of games. Character building, looting, open world exploration, and action infused combat are all here, and could possibly combine to form a very memorable title.
Of course, creating a polished title with that level of depth is no easy task and with Experiment 101 being a small, relatively new studio, I have to wonder if the hurdles can be overcome. That too could be the primary reason why we haven’t seen a lot of Biomutant over the past 12-18 months and I hope that the acquisition in late 2017 by THQ Nordic has added more resources to the team.
Regardless, my hands-on time with the title showed a lot of promise and further emboldened my level of excitement. I hope we see more of Biomutant soon and in case you missed it, you can find a short off-screen capture of gameplay from E3 2019 below: