Should you dive into the upgraded version of Kung-Fu Raccoon?
Biomutant is an open-word, post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG, with a unique martial arts styled combat system allowing you to mix melee, shooting and mutant ability action. Your actions play a major part in the unfolding of a story where End is coming to the New World. A plague is ruining the land and the Tree-of-Life is bleeding death from its roots. The Tribes stand divided, in need of someone strong enough to unite them or bring them all down…Although you are guided through the world by a Storyteller that narrates every step of your journey, it’s your actions and choices that’ll decide how your story of survival ends.
I missed out on the original version of Biomutant when it launched last year, but from what I’ve seen it did moderately good overall from other critics and the only real criticisms stemmed mostly from technical limitations of the PS4/Xbox One hardware. Sure, there are other issues that I will cover in a moment, but I can say that the PS5 version is highly impressive in terms of visuals and most importantly, performance.
The game comes with 3 options to choose from 30 FPS 4K/60FPS 2K or 4K with a framerate that is mostly a balance between the two, much like how Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart handled things. I tested each but found the best option came from the latter option which literally gives you the best of both worlds and I rarely saw a framerate drop, even during the more hectic combat situations that the game throws at you.
I will say that Biomutant is a slow burner, it does take a while to get going and getting used to how your character handles with their quick combat, shooting and hack-n-slash combos. But once you master all that, it does feel very satisfying to defeat a large group of enemies or a giant boss that stands in your way. The good thing as well is that you can choose your own path, forge the story to either save the Tree-of-Life from the threat by siding with factions to defeat the evil trying to destroy it, or simply the reverse…joining fascist factions that want the world to end. The choice is naturally a moral one, though it is interesting to see it from both sides and I’d recommend it especially if you played the original version one way but wanted to try it from the other side.
Every aspect of your story is narrated, even the characters talking to each other as they don’t actually, well…talk. It does seem odd at first and it can be a little annoying for some, but the story itself is a good one and obviously a take on corporate greed, corruption and pollution that doomed the planet, almost as if it was trying to make a point…*insert sarcasm here*. The world itself is a decent size and getting around it will take you a good while, it took me roughly 40+ hours to do and see everything the game had to offer, though that will vary on play style and if you actually want to scour the map for every nook and cranny.
The visual improvement from the original is plain to see. Biomutant is more detailed with more fur and the world itself looks more vibrant overall. The load times are also reduced dramatically, while like I said the performance is definitely improved with a nice range of options to choose from and the soundtrack is also impressive.
Biomutant is a fun action RPG that takes a while to open up but is worth it if you invest in it. PS4/Xbox One owners can get the upgrade at no extra cost, making it a no-brainer for them if they already have it. But for newcomers like myself, I’d still highly recommend coughing up for what is a game that maybe too ambitious for its own good, but still ultimately a good game that deserves a chance.