A Six?! But There’s an Elvis Gopher! Biomutant

I hesitated to buy Biomutant. The reviews were all over the place. IGN, which is usually quite generous, gave it a six. A six??? Once I played the game I felt a bit like Audrey Landers in A Chorus Line. Dance: 10, Looks: 3? Maybe t!ts and a$$ are quite literally what Biomutant is missing and why so many gamers are trashing it?

Biomutant can do terrific fan kicks! (Yes another A Chorus Line reference). So what’s the disconnect? Well, it is a weird little game. And those without a whimsical sense of humor won’t like it. And yes, my first playthrough I’ve had it on medium and it’s not much of a challenge. So just up the difficulty, Cindy. Duh.

Yeah, I almost never get to say that.

But there’s an Elvis gopher! And you pee on signposts to mark them for fast travel! And I’ve got Sizzlepuff poo I’m not quite sure what to do with…but it’s Sizzlepuff poo! Have we all lost so much of our sense of humor post-COVID that we don’t find that f@*king hilarious? Well, maybe so.

So let’s look beyond when Dadaism met Mooma. The central story has a deep, resounding message. But Cindy, you said there’s Sizzlepuff poo. Yes, I said that and there is, but the central story is so moving, it surpasses Ghost of Tsushima in its zen-ness. And maybe I am biased because my bleeding and fragile heart needs to hear wisdom such as: “Now the time has come for you to remember and act…Your life is your life, not the story you’re told about it.”

It’s Kung-Fu Panda meets The Witcher 3. Okay, The Witcher is high praise coming from me, maybe Kung Fu Panda meets Yakuza Kiwami. Yes, that’s it. The Yakuza games have this whimsy about them that shouldn’t work, but does. Same for Biomutant. I shouldn’t want to collect treasure from abandoned toilets, but I do. And the game makes me want to do this. Therein lies its strength.

The main complaint from IGN seems to be that the mission types aren’t unique enough. Ummm…they aren’t in any open world game and won’t be because let’s face it, it’s all Legend of Zelda recycled over and over and over again, including Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. And those games are f@*king brilliant. Not because the missions are any different than any open world RPG game, but because the flavor of each game is so unique.

There’s nothing else out there like Biomutant. And I refuse to take issue with the simplistic puzzles or predictable boss fights because, well, that’s just gaming. If it didn’t have those elements we’d be scratching our heads wondering what the f@*k we were supposed to do in this game.

There are genres of games for a reason. Just like there are genres of movies, books, songs, etc. Are you going to give a murder mystery a bad review because someone gets killed in it and the MC has to figure out who the killer is? Ummm, no. That’s what makes it a murder mystery.

It’s the same for Biomutant. It’s an open world RPG. You have to explore, fight some bad guys, fight some really big bad guys and find lots of loot and level up to prep for the fighting really big bad guys.

Gameranx Before You Buy gave a much more balanced review of the game and I think a much fairer one. The quests are a bit repetitive but I really could say that about every game I play these days.

For me, the big draw is the just plain weirdness of the world and the gentle beauty of the story. Those elements can make me forget I’m doing the same quest over and over and over again. If we’re honest that’s all great games do: make you forget that devs can’t reinvent the wheel and there’s only so many types of tasks you can be sent out on. If I had to assign a number (which I don’t usually do), would I give it a 10? No. No, I wouldn’t. Would I give it a 6 (I’m looking at you, IGN)? No, I would not. I think an 8 is fair and reflexive of the game’s strengths and weaknesses. A co-op mode would have been a wonderful addition.

For those taking great delight in trashing the hard work of Experiment 101, I’d refer you to the words of Anton Ego at the end of Ratatouille: “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”

For those still griping about the game, all I have to say is Elvis gopher…Elvis gopher…*drops the mike*

(I know I said I dropped the mike, but if you could like, subscribe, and share, I’d be really grateful)

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