It’s the end of the (post-apoc­a­lyp­tic) world as we know it

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Think post-apoc­a­lypse, and your mind un­doubt­edly con­jures up images of bleak, bar­ren waste­lands in ev­ery shade of grey and brown. With BioMutant, Swedish de­vel­oper Ex­per­i­ment 101 is com­bat­ing the stereo­type that a pre­req­ui­site for a world gone to ruin is an abun­dance of bleak vi­su­als and som­bre tones. But its rich and vi­brant colour pal­ette isn’t the only thing that sets this open-world ac­tion RPG apart from the crowd.

As we step into the adorable paws of a furry crea­ture that could be Ratchet’s dis­tant rel­a­tive, we’re instantly im­pressed with the level of free­dom on of­fer. De­tailed cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions al­low you to tailor your char­ac­ter’s phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance. The choices you make also af­fect your base stats – for in­stance, a smaller mam­mal may have less health but will be faster on his (or her) feet.

Be­gin­ning in a lush green for­est, a di­verg­ing path instantly presents us with a choice. This is more sig­nif­i­cant than merely de­cid­ing a route through the fo­liage, how­ever: the yin-yang sym­bol in­di­cates it’s a karma op­por­tu­nity. The left op­tion is the path of dark­ness (the di­a­logue high­lighted by a red back­ground, in case we were in any doubt), while the right (blue) path of­fers us a chance to build up some good karma. We’re told that di­a­logue choices will have an ef­fect on re­la­tion­ships with the world’s odd­ball in­hab­i­tants, and key de­ci­sions will re­sult in dif­fer­ent end­ings.


Ex­it­ing the area, we’re con­fronted with our first en­emy. He’s sur­pris­ingly large and men­ac­ing for an ini­tial en­counter, and we quickly learn the value of the dodge but­ton ( e). Bat­tles are a sat­is­fy­ing mix of shoot­ing ( w) and hefty melee at­tacks ( r). More dev­as­tat­ing blows can be trig­gered by hold­ing down o. When us­ing guns, this causes our char­ac­ter to toss his weapons like deadly boomerangs. Adopt­ing a mix of bul­lets and sword strikes, we whittle down the hulk­ing beast’s health. A mid-air melee at­tack is enough to sever his wooden weapon, but he quickly re­gains the ad­van­tage, com­ing back for round two with a mighty flail. We’re warned that this en­counter is be­yond our means, so we make a hasty get­away through a hole in a nearby struc­ture.

Scat­tered through­out the en­vi­ron­ment are boxes con­tain­ing use­ful items like elec­tric bul­lets, and what ap­pears to be junk. Later, when we stum­ble upon a craft­ing bench, the rea­son why we’re car­ry­ing a vir­tual junk­yard around be­comes clear. The var­i­ous com­po­nents we’ve found can be used to craft new weapons, with cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions rang­ing in the thou­sands. Us­ing our col­lected parts, we con­struct an elec­tri­fied melee weapon, stick­ing rusty nails on the end for max­i­mum dev­as­ta­tion. Both firearms and melee weapons can be of the one-handed or two-handed va­ri­ety, the craft­ing op­tions re­in­forc­ing the sense of player-cre­ated free­dom that em­anates from ev­ery as­pect.


One of BioMutant’s most in­trigu­ing facets is the mu­ta­tion sys­tem. This grants you new abil­i­ties that aid in com­bat. The first we ac­quire en­ables us to un­leash a group of moths at our unsuspecting en­e­mies, whip­ping them into a frenzy. Telekine­sis adds some strat­egy to pro­ceed­ings; when faced with a tow­er­ing, shield-bear­ing foe, we best him by toss­ing some nearby bar­rels and us­ing our guns to make them go boom. Mu­ta­tions can also be help­ful for travers­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. Util­is­ing the Fun­gai abil­ity, we de­ploy mush­rooms to al­low us to reach higher ledges and hid­den ar­eas.

With pro­fi­cient com­bat and in­trigu­ing mu­ta­tions, Ex­per­i­ment 101 is al­ready onto a win­ning for­mula. Then there’s the prom­ise of a free­dom-filled open world, and crazy ve­hi­cles – like a me­chan­i­cal sev­ered hand that shoots out its fin­gers – with which to ex­plore it. Colour us very ex­cited.

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