Biomutant Review — A Flawed Mutation

Biomutant's post-apocalyptic open world differs from the norm, even if it's guilty of adhering to a few familiar tropes. The remnants of its neglected towns are still populated by dilapidated buildings and roaming bandits, and its overgrown roadways are littered with the burnt-out husks of abandoned vehicles. But Biomutant also utilizes a vivid color palette that makes its verdant fields and picturesque red mountains pop with the kind of striking vibrancy that's rarely associated with the apocalypse.

Throw in some furry anthropomorphic creatures, and Biomutant's character design and general style is certainly atypical of the genre. Yet it also consists of a mishmash of fairly obvious influences, from a Breath of the Wild-esque structure to combo-driven combat that's similar to Devil May Cry, and other familiar elements from the likes of Fallout, Max Payne, and Borderlands. It's a flavorful petri dish, for sure, and there are plenty of uneven and drab aspects to its overall design and structure. The mixture between old and new ideas doesn't always sit right, but Biomutant also manages to carve out its own identity amid its many inspirations.

This begins with the character creator, as you step into the flocculent skin of one of the aforementioned creatures--an odd hybrid between a squirrel, rat, and any other scurrying critter that comes to mind. Choosing a breed affects your starting stats to a certain degree, and you can pump points into specific attributes if you fancy, say, dealing more melee damage or increasing your chances of bartering with merchants. If this sounds like your typical by-the-numbers RPG progression system, it's because it is. There's some personality to the character creator, as your body shape will change depending on which stats you opt to emphasize--big head for intellect, big biceps for strength. Ultimately, however, your starting attributes aren't especially significant. You're able to put 10 points into a category each time you level up, so it's easy to build a fairly well-rounded character within a few hours.

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