Wrapped up in more fea­tures than you can fire a Squip at

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - START - Adam Bryant Pub­lisheR THQ Nordic De­vel­oper Ex­per­i­ment 101 ETA 2019

In this apoc­a­lyp­tic ac­tion RPG, the Tree of Life is dy­ing. Its five roots that sprawl across the land are be­ing de­stroyed by World Eaters and it’s up to you to ei­ther de­feat these crea­tures and save the planet or, as the de­vel­op­ers have teased, help them in or­der to de­stroy it.

You’ll do this as your own fully cus­tomis­able rac­coon crit­ter. Al­though ex­ten­sive, cus­tomi­sa­tion is easy. A tap of the Y but­ton re­codes your DNA for a ran­dom phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance and com­bi­na­tion of base stats and the left stick re­fines those stats. You can then change fur type, style and colour.

Com­bat shares many sim­i­lar­i­ties with Devil May Cry and the Bat­man

Arkham series. While slic­ing and shoot­ing en­e­mies through the air, icons pop up above their heads to trig­ger cer­tain coun­ters. You’re also gifted with a range of spe­cial at­tacks and abil­i­ties. At­tack­ing en­e­mies builds up your Su­per Wushu me­tre – once full you can un­leash a Su­per Wushu move that changes de­pend­ing on the weapon you’ve equipped. For ex­am­ple, swords have you dash­ing be­tween en­e­mies, cut­ting them down to size, while guns will shower them in bul­lets in slow mo­tion.

Spice of life

The game is full of de­vi­a­tions and your ex­pe­ri­ence will likely be dif­fer­ent to some­one else’s. There are mul­ti­ple branch­ing sto­ry­lines, and crea­tures and en­e­mies have ran­domly gen­er­ated ap­pear­ances. Even the lo­ca­tions dif­fer, with vary­ing haz­ards, such as ra­di­a­tion, frost and heat. There’s a Metroid­va­nia el­e­ment to the game, too, with cer­tain ar­eas be­ing out of reach un­less you pos­sess the cor­rect abil­ity or equip­ment.

Quests are dished out by NPCs, each of which have an align­ment me­tre. If your ‘Karma’ value aligns with theirs they may of­fer you fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties. One mis­sion has us fix­ing up a mech suit called a Mek­ton, which we take for a spin. The one we con­trolled had the abil­ity to suck up lit­tle squir­rel-type crea­tures called Squips that you can fire from a crit­ter can­non and be used to dis­tract en­e­mies. The ve­hi­cles come in all shapes and sizes, have var­i­ous weaponry and just like ev­ery­thing else in the game are fully cus­tomis­able.

There’s also a full day/night cy­cle on of­fer, with crea­tures that only come out at night, and a dy­namic weather sys­tem that can af­fect the en­vi­ron­ment. For ex­am­ple, you may come across a body of water that you’re not able to cross, but if it hap­pens to snow it’ll freeze over, al­low­ing you to pass.

Biomu­tant looks ex­cit­ing so far, but with so much go­ing on we hope the en­joy­ment doesn’t get buried un­der­neath all of its fea­tures.

“Your sword cuts en­e­mies down while your gun show­ers them with bul­lets”

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