BIOMUTANT Sa­mu­rai Pizza Cat

PCPOWERPLAY - - Preview - DE­VEL­OPER EX­PER­I­MENT 101 PUBLISHER THQ NORDIC DUE 2018 biomutant.com

You might not know the name Ste­fan Ljungqvist, but he’s been work­ing on games for 15 or so years, both as an art di­rec­tor, de­signer and team leader on games rang­ing from the ad­ven­ture game Gast, to the open world ac­tion of Just Cause 2 and Mad Max. Af­ter leav­ing Avalanche Stu­dios in 2015, Ljungqvist founded in­de­pen­dent de­vel­oper Ex­per­i­ment 101. Don’t let the in­de­pen­dent na­ture of the stu­dio lead you to think that the stu­dio isn’t am­bi­tious, how­ever – Biomutant, the first game from Ex­per­i­ment 101 looks about as am­bi­tious as you can get.

An open world ac­tion RPG billed as a “Kung Fu Fable”, Biomutant is set in a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic universe of mu­tants in which a plague is fur­ther dec­i­mat­ing the land. The Tree-of-Life has be­come the tree of death, spread­ing de­cay from its roots. The var­i­ous mu­tant tribes stand di­vided. The world needs some­one strong enough to ei­ther unite them or de­stroy them once and for all. The player, of course is that cer­tain strong in­di­vid­ual, an ugly/cute furry mu­tant cat/rac­coon thing. At least that’s what they are in the be­gin­ning. Through­out the game play­ers will be able to mod­ify the char­ac­ter phys­i­cally by mu­tat­ing their body or adding cy­ber­netic pros­thet­ics. We’re not sure how the me­chanic will work in prac­tise, but in ef­fect play­ers will be able to grow claws for melee com­bat, wings, dif­fer­ent kinds of legs and the like, each chang­ing the way the char­ac­ter plays. Some mu­ta­tions or pros­thet­ics will al­ter the way an es­tab­lished me­chanic works, while oth­ers will grant new pow­ers and abil­i­ties.

Play­ers will also be able to craft their own weapons from parts found through­out their ad­ven­tures. Again we’re not en­tirely sure how this will work but the de­vel­op­ers say that play­ers will be able to mix and match parts to make unique one or two handed slash­ing, pierc­ing or crush­ing weapons. Com­bat will be a com­bi­na­tion of kung-fu and gun­play, and it looks as though play­ers will be able to craft guns in a sim­i­lar fash­ion to melee weapons. The gun­play looks fast and fu­ri­ous, deal­ing good dam­age and al­low­ing the mu­tant hero to con­tinue or ex­tend com­bos, as well as hav­ing spe­cial moves – dual wield­ing one handed guns gives the play­ers a short AOE flour­ish that can dam­age all sur­round­ing en­e­mies by the looks of it. We’re not sure of what long guns can do as yet.

Ex­plor­ing the open world looks as though it will be a key com­po­nent of the game, and to this end there will be a num­ber of ve­hi­cles avail­able to fa­cil­i­tate mov­ing around. The b-roll footage we’ve seen in­cludes a jet-ski, a wind up hand that func­tions as a mount but can also flick en­e­mies or shoot them with a fin­ger gun, and a hulk­ing, heav­ily armed mech suit. There will also be glid­ers, hot-air bal­loons and more. Of course, with var­i­ous mu­ta­tions or pros­thet­ics, play­ers will also be able to run faster, jump higher and even fly un­der their own power. There is no of­fi­cial re­lease date for Biomutant as yet, but Ex­per­i­ment 101 and THQ Nordic are pos­i­tive the game will be avail­able some time in 2018. DANIEL WILKS

that cer­tain strong in­di­vid­ual, an ugly/cute furry mu­tant cat/rac­coon thing

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