So first of all, before you read any more of what I have to say, watch this trailer. When you’ve finished salivating, and cleaned yourself up, we can continue.
There, feel better now? Silent for almost an entire year, Biomutant is the wonderful anthro brainchild of Experiment 101, and published by THQ Nordic. It’s a game that seems to have taken inspiration from literally everything, and yet created something fantastically unique in the process. I’m not going to pretend it’s not on your radar; it’s clearly getting love from IGN in their Summer Expo Day 5 and it’s likely top of every Furry’s Xmas list. I just want to gush about it for a bit, because a new trailer has popped up and it’s glorious. So, feel free to come with.
Let’s start with influences. In that trailer I’m seeing everything. There’s riding your creatures ala Horizon or Red Dead; there’s the combat full of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry’s sword and gunplay acrobatics, slow motion bullet time from the Matrix, and comic book noises written out like in XIII; it’s got an Asian Steampunk aesthetic going on, but also has gun’s and high-tech items as well, bringing to mind Aloy’s post-post apocalyptic world; it’s got Monster Hunter-style monster battles galore; it’s got an extensive character creation system with stats and abilities akin to Mass Effect but on the scale of Destiny; bubble magic that looks like Katamari; hand-gliding, cold and hot zones, and a non-linear open-world straight out of Breath of the Wild; rocket backpacks that look like Boba Fett from Battlefront; Kung Fu from Kung Fu Panda; and the platforming of Ratchet and Clank. Seriously there is something to love from every genre, and it’s all covered in gnarly furry little anthros you can personalise.
Biomutant has got everything. Creative Director, Stefan Ljungqvist describes an extensive toolbox of gameplay options at your disposal, and he’s not kidding. Riding creatures from horses to jellyfish, driving vehicles from hot-air balloons to your jet-ski, your splayed-wing hand glider, that insane-looking robotic-hand walking tank, the extensive weapons and crafting system out of scrap; sliding, flipping, running on all fours, and supposedly, a weapon and gear crafting system not too dissimilar in scope to Monster Hunter, just with scrap instead of monster parts. It’s pretty mind-boggling to think this is coming from such a small team, and yet looking so good. It’s no wonder it’s taking some time.
Biomutant features the ability to create your own anthro avatar and this is Furry 101, you know coz of Experiment 101, ah nevermind. There is nothing that says someone identifies as a Furry more than them creating their own animal-themed social media avatar. Ljungqvist talks about six tribes of creatures, six DNA strands with which you can morph and craft your own creature. He says you are not limited to six characters or looks, but that you can combine them specifically to create something unique from hundreds of options. This aspect makes the game a wonderfully personalised experience.
At the same time, it’s a ‘full blown RPG’ which means a lot of the way your character looks and morphs is also tied to stats and Ljundqvist even talked up a class system which governs whether you are able to use psionic and magic abilities. Add to that, gear, weapons (‘millions’ of combinations), armour, coats, belts, hats, bandanas and dozens of other customisable elements, and you have what is literally the most extensive anthro creator we have ever seen.
We also got our first idea of the premise of Biomutant. At the centre of the world is the Tree of Life, a physical representation of the status of the life of the planet. When the planet is hurting, the tree dies; when the planet is healthy, the tree is blooming. You are able to ally with at least one of the six tribes and you have to option of aiding them in destroying the world and the tree of life, or in hunting down the World Eaters, at least four massive bosses that will require everything you’ve learned and crafted along the way. The story seems to be what you make it, but full of quirky cuddly characters throughout.
Biomutant is also big, like real big. Ljungqvist was art director on Just Cause and Just Cause 2, and has said Biomutant is the biggest open world he has ever worked on. And because of that, it’s taking a long time to do that final testing phases of development. Anyone upset with how long its taking, should instead take solace. It still exists, its still coming, but it won’t be released with hundreds of bugs; it’ll be honed and polished, and if the recent trailer is anything to go by, absolutely wonderful.
Biomutant still has no release date, but it sounds imminent. Could it be possible that if the Furries put this on their Xmas list, Santa might actually deliver?
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