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What The Critics Are Saying About Biomutant

"Biomutant," the latest release from THQ Nordic, has interested fans since its announcement several years ago. After a long period of radio silence from THQ Nordic, fans finally learned that "Biomutant" would release on May 25, 2021. It turns out that the game took longer than initially predicted because THQ Nordic employs a relatively small staff and needed time to develop such a large game. So how has that work paid off?

"Biomutant" follows a young mutant in a post-post apocalyptic world. The player's mutant must work to unite the clans sprinkled throughout the land, or destroy the clan leaders that threaten to promote discord, all while doing some sick kung-fu moves. "Biomutant" promotes fluid action and a beautiful, sprawling world for players to explore.

For its part, THQ Nordic seems overjoyed with its accomplishments on "Biomutant," and even paid to have comedian Conan O'Brien roast its latest game on air for publicity. The delightfully snarky host couldn't think of too many bad things to say, and fans felt confident that the long awaited "Biomutant" would fulfill all their gamer dreams.

However, critical reviews paint a very different picture of "Biomutant." Many depict the game as being a little scattered, but with great potential.

The narrator might annoy some players

James Davenport of PC Gamer gave "Biomutant" a middling 60/100, noting that the game was equal parts charm and tedium. Davenport explained that "Biomutant" looks beautiful at least, writing, "'Biomutant' feels like it's going to be much more, but in practice it's an endless stream of new ideas that go nowhere and beautiful, toxic landscapes with little to offer except an excuse to use photo mode." While gorgeous and sprawling, "Biomutant" did have some flaws, according to Davenport.

In his review, Davenport said that the narrator of "Biomutant" made the game particularly difficult to play. "David Shaw Parker's performance as the omnipotent narrator isn't bad," Davenport wrote, "but his saccharine tone clashes with the fragmented English in the writing, which is often embarrassingly twee." 

Unfortunately, the narrator permeates every aspect of the game, from the mutants' conversations with each other to explanations of the post-apocalyptic world. If a player doesn't like that narrator, or doesn't enjoy the presence of narrators in general, then "Biomutant" might prove a struggle. In fact, most reviews of "Biomutant" seem to mention the narrator as a prominent negative aspect of the game.

Things can get repetitive in Biomutant

Luke Reilly at IGN also noted that "Biomutant" has much more ambition than substance. He described its good parts as being "married to some fairly basic and repetitive objectives, quests, and puzzles, as well as a story that seems to regularly overstate its own substance." Reilly went on to write that "Biomutant" felt repetitive, and that while its world felt expansive and beautiful, the overall plot and structure of the game was lacking. Reilly rated the game a 6 out of 10.

Zach Zwiezen similarly stated that "Biomutant" felt repetitive. In his review for Kotaku, Zwiezen described the gameplay cycle as being one neverending loop of getting a quest to go fight a Worldeater, defeating said Worldeater, then returning to the Tree of Life for another mission. While that might sound like a classic type of game, Zwiezen noted that it doesn't work that way in "Biomutant," which is full of repetitive lessons imparted after missions. Zwiezen said he felt like he was "stuck in a never-ending TED Talk." While the game has interesting and varied combat, the plot itself remains cyclical in an unpleasant way. 

Biomutant is just too big

Alice Bell at Rock, Paper, Shotgun explained that "Biomutant" suffers when it tries to combine too many gaming elements at once. The game is full of solid ideas, but tries to cram too much into one story. An elaborate crafting system, for example, seems like a great idea — until one considers all the other tedious aspects the game expects players to understand and use. Bell praised the combat in "Biomutant," as well as the crafting system, but said that "the core ingredients are decent enough ... but then you have a bunch of other stuff that gets in the way."

The "other stuff" Bell mentioned consists of a morality system, shops that feel unnecessary, mechanical mounts, and strange interactions with villagers that seem to follow an inexplicable internal logic. While any one of these traits could be fine in isolation, the combination of the elements proves too much for one game. As a result, "Biomutant" ends up as a crowded, oversaturated adventure that most reviewers agree is just okay.