Biomutant is Experiment 101’s upcoming open world, anthropomorphic animal action RPG. Originally revealed at last year’s Gamescom, studio head Stefan Ljungqvist recently went a little more in-depth on some of what’s in the game, including its character creator, at a PC Gamer event.
At the center of Biomutant’s world is a giant tree with five large roots stretching out into different parts of the map. Bosses at the end of each of them are effectively poisoning the tree and need to be defeated in order to help ensure the survival of the world. Different things you do and complete during a playthrough will all be oriented around this central fact and go toward a final probability that will determine, once the game’s finished, whether the world continues to grow or deteriorates further. It sounds like an interesting way to do multiple endings and make the game into a sandbox where your goals diverge from the usual “go save the princess” or “go get revenge.”
The game’s character creation tool also looks pretty interesting. A hex grid and sliders let you change not only how your furry biomutant looks but also adjust a range of stats. “Recoding” your DNA like this changes things like fur shape and color but also things like how big certain parts of your body are which will then affect a range of cybernetic and biomutant abilities. I’m a sucker for numbers, especially ones you get some say in, and looking forward to trying to do a max luck run of this game. I also like the idea of playing with sliders rather than designing from scratch.
One of the big mechanics in the game is weapon crafting. The studio head suggested there are hundreds of thousands of different possible variations. These come from the fact that you can customize several different parts of a weapon—maybe it’ll have ice bullets or a poisonous edge if its melee—by building them yourself rather than just picking up already made ones. It almost looks like the gummi ship building stuff from Kingdom Hearts (to pull out a really dated reference).
We’ve seen some of the game’s combat before too, but I really like how the mix of long range and melee combos comes through in the latest trailer as the little creature hops off of mushrooms to cut up an opponent. One of the features I’m most interested to see in action in the final game is its seasonal system. In addition to dynamic weather, Biomutant will also have a more general climate cycle, something I’d love to see in more open world games. And as you explore the world you’ll also apparently encounter different fighting styles you can learn, all of which will be whimsical, animal-centric variations on traditional martial arts including things like “chicken-fu” and “gun-fu” to use Ljungqvist’s phrasing.
Something about the mix of post-apocalyptic violence mixed with the vibrant and verdant over world reminds me of the type of action game from older console generations that slowly went away as mid-tier publishers went bankrupt. That’s maybe not suprising though given the game’s being publisher by THQ Nordic, who recently went on a buying spree and has slowly been re-assembling the properties of its namesake.
The game is set to release sometime in 2018 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can see the entire interview and the new trailer in the video below.