Biomutant was available on THQ Nordic’s show floor at Gamescom along with Darksiders III!!
Biomutant was a new IP that came absolutely out of nowhere. In addition to that, there’s not a lot known about the game itself other than how it plays and the atmosphere of the game. With so much little known about the game, and the kind of gameplay and atmosphere it has being almost as niche as Devil May Cry, I concluded to myself that it seems that the game won’t be successful enough to get THQ Nordic back into our rogues gallery of great game developers. And so, I was delightedly surprised when I came to their segment in THQ Nordic’s show floor where the waiting line manages to be as long as, if not longer, than the waiting line for Sekiro, which also gives me a sense of dread as it also gives me an idea of how long I have to wait to go in and try the game.
Now being a THQ Nordic game, I was a bit scared that it turned out not as I expected as was the case with the Darksiders III demo I tried the day before, a fear that I am glad turned out to not be true.
First of all, from what I have seen, it seems that either there are more than one version of the demo, or that there are branching paths in the game. How I came to this conclusion is because I saw some player reaching some kind of snowy area that in my time playing the demo I never managed to come across, and I’m sure it’s not the screen color shifting at extreme angles, they used those ROG monitors that costs as much as a PC, so it shouldn’t happen.
That aside, the demo started with a character creation screen. The creation is rather simple, you basically choose your attributes pentagram style, which not only affects your stats but also your appearance. On one side it’s kinda neat, but on the other, let’s just admit it, we all wanna play as either our own small-animal sized furry OCs or Rocket Racoon (I’m with the latter team by the way). You’re then treated to a short, semi-controllable cutscene where you’re headed somewhere, but some tribe of other furry animals start dragging your ship out of the air. You can try to resist, but it’s useless anyway and then you start to fight.
Combat in this game is great and satisfying, which baffles me as Darksiders III managed to fail in that department. Button presses are responsive, and as I chose the agility-centric stat, moving and dodging around was a definite blast, hopping over the backs of the enemies or sliding under them and other fun shenanigans you can do as a smaller critter. Parries are somewhat iffy, as your character is about at least only waist-high compared to anything bigger than yourself, it can be quite hard to discern whether you just parried an enemy or you actually hit them before they are even parry-able, but when you do, the enemies will be vulnerable for a pretty long time. It might sound broken, but believe me when I say you’re gonna need that when you’re almost always surrounded by at least 4 enemies.
Oddly enough there’s some kind of stamina bar called Ki energy, which thus far only depletes from dodging and using your ranged attack. Why I find this weird is it felt like both too much and not enough. When you have a full bar, it feels like you can keep firing your gun and dodging indefinitely, only to suddenly run out when you for some reason dodged or shot too much. And when you do run out, the bar does not recover fast enough and you’ll be out of options. Sure enough, this still can be tweaked to be better or removed completely seeing as the demo is the Alpha build of the game, which I hope it would.
Now, before we end this article, there is one thing I have to say. Of all the games that was present in Gamescom, there is one thing that Biomutant, and only Biomutant has, that separates it from every other game out there right now. What is it, you ask? The answer is: Humor. The sense of humor is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in today’s games, in fact the last time I’ve had this kind of comedy in a game was back in PS2 but even then it was not as prominent. If you’ve watched a gameplay footage previously, you might know what I mean. Yep, it’s the narrator. Since everyone in the game is a critter, the narrator explains to us what everyone is saying or doing, and yes, everyone including your character. Now this might sound annoying to many of you people, but believe me when I said it is hilarious due to the fact that the narrator sounds like he is some combination of Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson, and his comments on what is going on on-screen is what you’d expect from either of those person.
Biomutant was great. It was not without its weaknesses, but knowing it is an early build, it definitely puts you at ease as there might be things that will be adjusted for the better. It was one of the best experience I had in Gamescom as it actually made me laugh at least a chuckle and not just smile or be giddy just because of how fun it was to play the game. Biomutant would definitely be one of the three fighting for top spot in my wishlist.
-F- out, and awaaaaaay!