Biomutant Review (Nintendo Switch)

Sometimes more isn’t more.

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On paper, Biomutant is a bizarre but unique open-world RPG. Featuring bipedal cat-like creatures, it stands out through its combat system that combines martial arts with gunplay and elemental attacks. In reality, it is yet another mediocre cookie-cutter RPG that falters under the weight of its own ambitions.

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Experiment 101’s debut title originally launched in 2021 and is now coming to the Nintendo Switch. How does the kung-fu fable fare on Nintendo’s 7-year-old console, and does the gameplay make up for its lack of a clear direction?

Biomutant releases on May 14th for Nintendo Switch. It is already out on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

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With a long list of features, all kinds of mechanics, and a huge world, Biomutant is a jack of all trades—and a master of none. Sadly, the quantity-over-quality approach is evident throughout, as the team seems to have tossed an eclectic mix of ingredients into a pot, leaving the final product undercooked.

The game places you in a post-post-apocalyptic world on the precipice of destruction. You start your journey by choosing and personalizing a mutated critter that looks like a cross between a ferret, a mouse, and a cat.

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Once the game kicks off, you are faced with warring tribes and four “Worldeater” monsters threatening to end the world. It clearly drew inspiration from Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but that just made me want to play those games instead.

Biomutant has a vast and lore-rich world, but the narrative lacks depth to get you invested. The same can be said about the game’s lackluster dark-vs.-light morality system, which could have added weight to the story were it not devoid of moral ambiguity and nuance.

A Gorgeous but Pixelated World

<em>Biomutant</em> features beautiful biomes that suffer under the Nintendo Switch’s subpar visual fidelity.
Biomutant features beautiful biomes that suffer under the Nintendo Switch’s subpar visual fidelity.

Where the game shines the most is in its world. The map boasts diverse biomes, including lush forests, tropical beaches, barren wastelands, icy tundra, and more.

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These look gorgeous, yet whenever I stopped to admire the world, I couldn’t help but be saddened by the lack of visual fidelity on the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch 2 really can’t come soon enough.

Both in handheld and docked mode, blurry textures, pixelated visuals, and janky performance with constant pop-ins made it difficult to enjoy the otherwise stunning surroundings.

Tons of new areas, loot, and enemies enticed me to explore off the main path. At least until I had completed a bunch of quests, at which point I realized how each one was just a slightly altered version of the former with yet another checklist of samey stuff to do. The atmospheric soundtrack is just as repetitive, with several tracks playing in a loop, exacerbating the rinse-and-repeat feel.

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Biomutant’s Kung-Fu Combat Doesn’t Pack a Punch

Some of the enemies in <em>Biomutant</em> are hilariously bizarre.
Some of the enemies in Biomutant are hilariously bizarre.

Biomutant throws a huge variety of enemies at you, each more bizarre than the other. From colorful seals and black gooey blobs to furry crocodiles in pajamas, each time I thought they couldn’t get any weirder, they did.

You fight them with a martial arts-style combat system that lets you get creative. You can equip melee and ranged weapons and learn various elemental special attacks, allowing you to cartwheel across the battlefield swirling swords, slinging guns, and shooting fireballs.

You can build all kinds of weapons and armor with <em>Biomutant’s</em> deep crafting system.
You can build all kinds of weapons and armor with Biomutant’s deep crafting system.

Using the game’s deep crafting system, you can machine weapons and armor by combining all sorts of loot you find in the world. Despite the frustrating menus, those who love crafting might enjoy getting into the weeds of this; however, the game doesn’t really encourage you to use it, as most of the main weapons you acquire are pretty sufficient.

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Regardless of your weapon of choice, in Biomutant, a small cat-like creature packs as much of a punch as you would imagine—none. Combat feels painstakingly weightless, lacks rhythm and fluidity, and is overall clunky and jarring.

You can combine moves, weapons, and special attacks using various button combinations, yet these are barely ever needed to gain the upper hand. While using the combos will get you through fights more smoothly, I never encountered a fight where button mashing couldn’t also get the job done.

The imprecise aiming of the joy-con on the Switch to boot made combat more of a nuisance than an exciting challenge. This is one of the fundamental issues of the game: it lacks nuance and challenge to keep you engaged.

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Experiment 101’s team of around 20 people had high ambitions and good ideas yet couldn’t tie them into a package that works well. Less would have been more, and it would have done the game favorably had the team focused on a few core elements instead of tossing everything they could think of together.

A quote in the game says: “Your destiny awaits on the path you’ll take to avoid it.” It feels like Biomutant desperately tried to avoid the path of yet another cookie-cutter RPG, and in the process, it ended up exactly that.

Biomutant: 6/10

6 out of 10

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Written by Lisa Kamlot

Articles Published: 67

Lisa is a passionate video game content writer with an insatiable appetite for all things gaming and an avid movie enthusiast. When she’s not diving into virtual worlds, she’s riding waves as a dedicated surfer. She’s always on a quest for adventure – both in the digital realm and IRL.