Biomutant Review - Screenshot 1 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

It's been a long road for Biomutant's Switch release. The action RPG originally came out almost three years ago, back in May 2021, with the Switch version slowly getting pushed back time and time again. However, Experiment 101’s debut title is finally here, but it maybe should have been held back for the Switch's successor.

Biomutant takes place in a post-apocalyptic open world, where the Tree-of-Life, a gigantic natural wonder that brings life to the whole world, is slowly being destroyed by five creatures gnawing away at its roots. You begin the game by creating your mutant character who, during the adventure, can choose to save the Tree-of-Life from these creatures and let the tree heal or let the world fall to ruin. After the intro tutorial, you can visit a variety of tribes scattered throughout the corners of the world, side with them, and complete quests that meet their wishes for the world. Some want it to fall to the plague and others are united in trying to save the Tree-of-Life.

Initially, Biomutant seems like a rather flexible game narrative-wise. However, that illusion of choice quickly lifts and before long we found ourselves stuck in a repetitive cycle of completing the same monotonous tasks for the tribe we allied with. The number of these tasks wouldn’t be an issue if they felt innovative or presented us with unique characters to talk to. Rather than quests that allow you to help the creatures of this world, it's all just busy work. Biomutant feels less like a story you embark on and more like being instructed to do request after request, and it feels woefully outdated for a game in 2021, let alone in 2024.

While the game tries to present itself as a classic storybook-like fairytale by using a narrator, it ultimately lacks the substance and impact that those beloved stories have. Additionally, the narrator is used in place of giving characters their own personalities and voices. Instead of a quest giver telling us their story, the narrator will fill in the details and say, for example, “This creature is lost and needs to find his way back to his tribe”. This completely drains any vigour and identity the world of Biomutant has. It feels less like we are exploring it and more like we're being told about it in a lecture at university.

Biomutant Review - Screenshot 2 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

We completed quest after quest and spoke to character after character while listening to the same deadpan voice that, while initially entertaining, soon outstayed its welcome. We would have much rather seen that time and energy be used to give voices to the many characters throughout the world. Thankfully, there is an option to decrease the narrator's input, but it leaves the game feeling rather vapid and empty as nothing fills the space that is left vacant by doing this.

Thankfully, the rest of Biomutant holds up much better. The game’s open world is vast and varied with every region and area each feeling distinct from one another. The blend of real-world infrastructure like highways and buildings and vast forests and hillsides is one of the highlights. This is married with impressive enemy and creature designs that do live up to the fable-like impression Biomutant puts forward. We were constantly discovering fascinating enemies that looked distinct from one another.

Taking these enemies on was also a treat as combat is easily the strongest part of Biomutant. When crafting your mutant at the beginning of the game, you can pick a class and some basic weapons. As we played, we found tons of pieces of gear and unique weapons that allowed us to develop our little mutant in any way we wanted.

Biomutant Review - Screenshot 3 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

That freedom is impactful when it comes to combat and, unlike the story, the choices here did drastically change how we fought enemies. We started with a gun and a simple melee weapon, but eventually, we could take on enemies and the many imposing bosses entirely with ranged weapons or use a blended loadout of abilities, powers, guns, and melee weapons. Frankly, combat is where we had the most fun with Biomutant, and it helped make the otherwise by-the-numbers exploration and quests enjoyable,

Swiftly switching between jumping and spraying bullets, firing a ranged ability, and then rushing in for a melee attack with a dash feels fantastic, and upgrading stats allowed us to deepen the core strengths of our mutant further and hone in on a specific build. There are so many options here that you can play Biomutant several times in completely different ways every time.

However, the Switch port might turn you off of that idea. Biomutant ran mostly fine during our time with it, with no significant crashes, stutters, or frame rate drops, the game does not look great on the console. The world looks muddy due to lower-quality textures, reduced draw distance, and poor-quality character models, especially compared to what you can find on other platforms. These issues exist both in handheld and docked modes and the game isn’t exactly nice to look at, especially when so many other RPGs have been pristinely ported to the Switch.


Biomutant has a solid core. Unique enemy designs, a wide variety of weapons to use in combat, and flexible, fun combat are all highlights, but an arduous narrator and a monotone story filled with repetitive quests and tasks weigh the experience down. Pair all of this with the unpleasant visuals and low-quality textures, and we have to wonder if the game should have waited for Nintendo’s next console. The actual gameplay experience is great, but instead of feeling like a polished handheld version of the game, Biomutant feels like it has been rushed out the door and left standing on the porch a bit dishevelled.