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By: Nick Lehner
-May 1, 2021 1:00 am EDT-

Breaking Down Biomutant

Unraveling the Kung-Fu RPG  

Described as an open world “kung-fu fable” action RPG, Biomutant captured gamers attention when it was revealed back in 2017. A launch date was then slated for the following summer with anticipation building all the while. Segway then to May of 2021. THQ Nordic is no stranger to delays; Metro Exodus being delayed till the spring of 2019 as the most prominent example. Regardless of that familiarity, however, and after a long wait we're finally approaching the games official release date. So, with that in mind, let’s unravel the mystery of one of the most intriguing RPG’s coming to consoles this month.

The campaign

The Tree of Life is dying, its five roots are bleeding out death as evil creatures called World Eaters devour them. The six tribes are divided as the apocalypse unfolds around them; what happens now is up to you. Make enemies or forge alliances, in Biomutant each choice, impacts a karma scale resembling those in Fable. This will then affect how NPC’s view and react to you. Kill the World Eaters to ensure the worlds survival, unite the tribes once more, or bring it all down.

 Your choices significantly influence the world you explore, and in true RPG fashion everything is in your control. Each area you go to poses different challenges and different threats. Biomutant is a delightfully over the top story driven experience saturated with cartoony aspects and colors. The post-apocalyptic 3rd person RPG resembles the Kung Fu Panda meets Fable mosh up we didn’t know we needed.  

The character & their Automaton

In Biomutant customization is a major focus point for developers. Character creation and development sat center stage in this regard. Each player can customize their anthropomorphic racoons genetic code. This includes strength, vitality, intellect, agility, and luck. Players can take things even further with bionic mutations affecting physical attributes, (spiked tails, mantis claws, ect.) as well as psionic mutations altering their DNA and giving them abilities such as levitation and telekinesis. Not happy with your genetic code? No worries, you can change it at any biohazard pool within the open world.

Then comes your characters Automaton. Not a lot is known about the scrap metal side kick. In gameplay videos the bejeweled cricket is all but absent, and in interviews developers have never touched on Automaton’s purpose within the game. The only facts known are that some NPC’s within the game can craft (and presumably upgrade) automatons. Automoton could be used as a scout like Ikaros in Assassins Creed Odyssey, or possibly play a much larger roll along the lines of Claptrap from Borderlands.       

Weapons & Combat Style in game

Weapon crafting in Biomutant is taken up a notch compared to your average RPG. Developers boast over half a million combinations that can be crafted. Whether you prefer melee weapons, revolvers, rifles, or something more unique you can craft it in Biomutant. Crafting then goes a step further allowing players even more options. Add physical modifications such as chainsaws, cork screws, bio contaminated sludge, or radio-active material.

The best part of the weapons in Biomutant? No hunting and hording ammo, guns use a cool down mechanic in Biomutant to allow the player full immersion on the task at hand. That leads us to the combat style of the game. In a recent interview at Gamescon 2019, Head of Studio at Experiment 101 Stefan Ljungqvist described the combat style as something close to Batman Arkham and Devil May Cry. Developers goal was to create free-flowing gameplay that allows players to utilize their given playstyle with as much creativity as possible.           

The world of Biomutant

Biomutant allows players to explore the world around them, but just how big is that world? In an interview during Gamescon 2018 head of studio Stefan Ljungqvist specified the maps exact size as eight kilometers by 8 kilometers, not including the height and depth of the mountains and bunkers within. Players face a diverse landscape of seven different areas to explore. Each with different modes of transportation, unique enemies, and environmental challenges.

Bio-contaminated wastes and radioactive bunkers require players to craft and dress accordingly to survive the elements. Explore the world using a goop (water-ski) to cross open water, or a Puff Blimp (air balloon) to get to the high mountain tops. Finally, the world will experience seasons. Going to an area in the Spring and then revisiting that same area in the Winter will leave you with an entirely different set of challenges to overcome.

Release & Platforms

Experiment 101 is a small development team consisting of about 20 people. Regardless, Stefan Ljungvist has emphasized the quality of his crew. During a 2019 interview at Gamescon when asked about where the game was in development he answered, “It’s more refining features that we have, because we have a lot.”. Two years after that interview Experiement 101 is ready to deliver, and release a quality story in an incredible world.

You can purchase Biomutant in three different editions: Standard, Collectors, and Atomic. Standard speaks for itself, however the collectors edition will include the games soundtrack, fabric Artwork, a high Quality protagonist figure, and a premium display box. The Atomic Edition takes things even further including everything within the Collectors edition, while also including an oversized mousepad, a themed T-Shirt, and a massive bio mutant Diorama. How much will each cost you? Standard will be $59.99, Collectors $119.99, and the Atomic Edition, $399.99.

When will the game release, and what consoles will it be heading to? While pre-ordering is available now, Biomutant will release on Xbox One, Plyastation 4, and Steam on May 25th. Rumors had previously been circulating that the game may also be releasing to Nintento Switch. However, at this time that does not seem to be the case.