Biomutant - Review
Biomutant, it is difficult to abstract from the borrowings that Experiment 101 from the famous blockbusters did not hesitate to make. To the credit of the Swedes, it is worth noting that they did not settle for copy — paste technology, but went along the path previously trodden by Rockstar North.
The latter, creating its Grand Theft Auto, has stuffed so much high-quality content into it that the mechanics peeked at by others fade into the background, so organically it is woven into the world of the game. But about everything in order.
Biomutant begins, as it does not sound prosaic, from the beginning. The introduction is rather crumpled and disorganized. Judge for yourself: the hero from the first frames is thrown at the main antagonist and, having taught the combat wisdom inherited from Devil May Cry, is forced to flee. During a tactical retreat, the newly minted mutant meets a strange character in a wheelchair, who rubs him stories about the Tree. They say that it is the meaning of life, and you need to do something with it.
Players who fall asleep in the course of the story will lose little, the main thing to understand is that the vegetation can be saved from wilting, or personally destroyed. This is where one of the most important features of the game opens up — its non-linearity. The developers promise at least two endings of what is happening, manifested by the choice of the dark or light side. An angel and a demon will give advice - constantly entering into a skirmish of the essence, living on the right and left shoulder of the hero, respectively.
Players need to choose a road and follow it, making decisions in vital situations. For example, at the beginning of the path, a mutant may join one of the camps of the natives: the madmen who believe that the peace of the world lies through its conquest, or the opposite, more loyal to living beings side. I would like to remind you that the scales are not required to fall in one direction or another. The balance of power can be in balance, but for this, the options for the development of events must be alternated: to kill a pet caught with a net, or to leave alive, it is up to you.
The non-linearity of the authors resulted in an open world, visiting every corner of which is limited only by the abilities of the mutant. On Earth, there was an apocalypse, the approach of which was promoted by the greedy corporation Toxanol. Echoes of her story will be found everywhere in posters about the "joys of life" in the form of destroyed nuclear factories, bomb shelters and toxic reservoirs.
Unfortunately, players in Biomutant should not expect freedom of movement in the manner of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, since the possibilities for mutating the protagonist will be limited at first. He will not be able to visit the radioactive waste dump without pumping 100% resist or prematurely finding a protective suit. Yes, at the beginning of the game, such zones are small in size, but it is often there that all the goodies are stored.
Non-linearity also manifests itself in the choice of weapons and equipment. Equipment can not just change-finding a new gun, it can be completely redesigned for yourself. By adjusting the handle or blade on the sword, the player can turn the stabbing weapon into a club, and the rifle into a shotgun. By hanging body kits, you can weigh down your Frankenstein monster, thereby increasing the damage, or increase the accuracy and reload speed, if it comes to firearms. The most effective, of course, is to replace the base, equipping the destruction tool with the ability to set fire, shock or freeze enemies.
The authors separately emphasize that the ammunition does not wear out, and you can use your favorite gun at least the whole game. Moreover, a weak item can be strengthened by increasing its rarity level and the quality of the material. Unlike body kits, you need to find special workbenches on the ground — one for weapons, the other for equipment.
Do not forget that Biomutant is a role-playing game, which means that the hero is also given to pump and strengthen with magic and other abilities. After accumulating a sufficient number of psi points, users can give the protagonist the abilities of Jesse from Control, namely levitation and telekinesis. Fireballs are also available, as well as a bottomless black hole that opens after a long pumping.
Immediately after the title screen, players are offered a choice of six races that differ in the characteristics of dexterity, intelligence, strength, and others. Users can build a kind of tank or raise a magician and even a trickster. The most interesting subject for the initial choice is a charismatic hero who gets an advantage in negotiations.
Interestingly, the parameters affect the appearance. By pumping out the power in the menu, users will make the hero broad-shouldered, intelligence will increase the head, and agility-limbs. But you should pay more attention to the choice of class, because this is how the character gains the initial ability to carry two blades or hit the enemy with magic, increase the damage from long-range attacks or withstand more injuries in close combat.
Fans of the crying devil will love the option of a huge cleaver and two pistols in the arsenal, the commando shooters with an assault rifle, and the fans of the exotic-the defender with an umbrella as a weapon. Pre-ordered users of the product developers give an additional, sixth, class, capable of carrying two swords at the same time.
The combat system in Biomutant is quite sluggish and can't match the speed of Devil May Cry, but it doesn't need to. The main thing in the game is, undoubtedly, the element of research. The mutant world isn't just big, it's huge. And it's not so much the scale as the fullness of it. In each village that the hero decides to visit, he will be taken into account by local residents and will strain his own pile of problems. Almost everyone you meet is in a hurry to give you a quest, a riddle, a point on the map or a grumpy dialogue. Sellers, of which there are not one, but three or four in the village, strive to sell stale goods, claiming that they have "the best, and you can not find another one".
Unfortunately, the process of buying and selling is performed in the game in an unsatisfactory way. First, the icon of the worn item (which was introduced into the game by the second patch) "floats", bringing confusion to the inventory. Unknowingly, you can sell the equipment you use, because the game does not warn you about it in any way. Fortunately, the biostock protection coveralls and other plot-important or critically important items are blocked and cannot be sold. It is also unclear how to buy parts for weapons, because the characteristics specified in the store can not be compared with the ones used. This is the main and perhaps the most annoying of the shortcomings of the game.
The second problem is the radar, or rather its complete absence in the search. You know, our mutant goes into a ruined city, and they pour out a complete list of what can be found in the ruins. And then you can turn around as you want: climb every corner, look under every stone, open every oven and examine every garbage can-maybe luck will turn to you, or you may have to spend half an hour of real time on research.
Despite this, the spirit of the discoverer in Biomutant makes you come back to the game again and again. The feeling of exploring the limitless world is comparable only to Ghost of Tsushima, although the latter has a head better graphics. For some reason, Experiment 101 decided not to pursue technological progress, using the Unreal Engine exclusively to create a seamless world. Yes, the effects of thunderstorms and raindrops flowing into puddles on wet asphalt remind us of a modern engine, but the overall picture refers to the generation before last: the detail and quality of textures do not stand up to criticism, plus all this is covered with poisonous colors and cartoon flashes of "Bams!" on impact (which, by the way, can be disabled).
Biomutant was sharpened for the PS4 and Xbox One systems, so it does not even have the semblance of a nextgen version. The more powerful Pro and X got a frequency of 60 frames, but it is implemented, to put it mildly, lousy. The game suffers from poor optimization, so users of powerful consoles of the last generation can not see a stable picture, like their ears. Especially saddening sagging during the battle, the outcome of which may not be decided in your favor.
If you run Biomutant on PS5 in emulation mode, the frame drawdowns will mostly disappear, although the game will still lag when loading particularly heavy scenes. In one of the patches, the developers disabled support for 4K resolution, adding soap to an already not outstanding image. At the same time, the effects were cut, most of them shadows, the graphics became much worse, but the brakes did not disappear anywhere. We hope that in the future, the developers will be able to improve the optimization, especially the native support for the PS5 and Xbox Series, they promise to roll out in the very near future.
The main thing is that the gameplay was interesting. Enthusiastic players will easily lose dozens of hours of life in the project. Perhaps, it will take even a hundred to complete all the quests and completely clean up the locations.
And the Biomutant map has something to catch on: a lot of populated and abandoned places, residents of villages and individual communities, friends and enemies, as well as bosses are waiting to interact with them. The main storyline will fit in two lines and does not shine with originality — it is clear that all forces are thrown into the "living" world. Fans of open lands and fans of digging in objects will have an unforgettable adventure with their own original feed and assembled mechanics from other projects that came to the place.
Special mention should be made of the full Russian voice acting and translation, which, as they say, was approached with a soul. Mutants have long forgotten human speech and call things by their proper names. Their slang, sometimes comic, complements the general atmosphere of absurdity of what is happening on the planet. For more absurdity, the developers have invented several languages that the narrator translates to the player. The latter sometimes complains about the complexity of a particular adverb, but his irony does not bother him at all. In the process of research or battle, the narrator can insert a couple of sharp phrases that give the action a dynamic character. If he gets bored, you can always turn off the audio evaluation of what is happening in the settings by increasing or lowering the frequency of statements.
In general, the Experiment 101 turned out to be a product close to AAA, which, despite the external shell, fascinates from the first minutes. You don't want to get out of the world of talking remnants of the atomic war, listening to their inarticulate chatter, inaccurately translated by the narrator, as well as performing stupid tasks and solving everyday problems.
However, it is worth warning potential buyers that at the time of writing, Biomutant was a fairly raw product. Poor optimization of the PS4 version and the total number of bugs that sometimes do not allow you to complete a quest or solve a puzzle, forced you to lower the rating.