The wait for Biomutant has been a long one. First revealed back in 2017, as an open world action RPG with martial arts combat, it had a central premise that immediately caught the attention of many. A few delays and here and there would mean that Experiment 101’s game wouldn’t launch when it was supposed to, but now, with its release date finally around the corner, the excitement surrounding it is rising once again. We recently had the chance to shoot some of our questions about Biomutant over to its developers, asking about its open world, its combat, its progression, and much more, and got many interesting answers from the game’s director and Experiment 101’s studio head Stefan Ljungqvist. You can read the full interview below.
"The size of each biome is individual – some are a bit larger, some are a tad smaller, but they are all full of content for some hours of gameplay."
Given the mixture of martial arts melee combat, shooting, and magical abilities in Biomutant’s combat, it seems like there’s a lot of focus on variety. Does that lend itself to build variety as well? How freely can players mix and match, or conversely focus entirely on one style?
There absolutely is a lot of focus on variety! You can mix and match just as you like. You can use all weapons, all skills and any equipment with every character and combine their use as you wish.
Based on all that has been shown so far, it seems like traversal is another area where the game is encouraging variety, and from various vehicles to things such as jetpacks and gliders, it looks like they’re going to be plenty of options available to players. That said, do players have total freedom over choosing their preferred method of traversal, or are there sections of the world or within the story where specific traversal methods are necessary?
Yes, certain parts of the game – for example the big archipelago area, some of it is even polluted, so you will need your skiff boat to travel. But in most parts of the world, you can use a large variety of mounts, jetpacks, flying creatures and such to travel. However, you can’t use certain traversal options in all parts of the game – the Mek is for example only available in the Dead Zone.
How much of an impact do players’ choices have on the story and how it plays out? Can you tell us how many endings the game has?
Yes. Biomutant has 2 major endings in terms of the main storyline around the Tree of Life. Additionally, the Tribe War has his own possible outcomes, depending on which tribe you allied with and how you acted towards other tribes. And many of other choices you made during your playthrough will be reflected on when the game comes to an end.
"I’d say the biggest challenge was the sheer size and to make sure the game releases in a very good condition. Now, the game is ready to be released, because it is just like we wanted it to be."
What can you tell us about the Dead Zone? With players requiring specific gear and items to make it through it, it’s clear that it will be harder to get through than other parts of the game’s world, but is there a risk-reward mechanic involved for those who do decide to take on the challenge? Alternatively, can players completely avoid the Dead Zone if they wish to?
It’s an oxygen deprived area, so you will either need the Mek or protective gear to survive there. But other zones are similar – there are zones where it is too hot, too cold or radioactivity is around. And each of these will eventually kill you, if you don’t have appropriate resistances and/or protective gear. It’s absolutely worth taking the risk, as you can find some very good loot in these areas. And no, you can’t completely avoid them, as parts of the story will lead you to such areas.
How large is Biomutant’s world? What should players expect in terms of the diversity of areas and biomes? Additionally, with so many methods of traversal available in the game, how is the world designed to encourage all of them, whether that’s air travel or traveling across water bodies?
The world is 8×8 kilometers big, so 64 km². And we have different Biomes, such as an Archipelago, the Dead Zone, green grass lands, a desert and some frosty areas. The size of each biome is individual – some are a bit larger, some are a tad smaller, but they are all full of content for some hours of gameplay. As for traversal options: we offer many different ones, on land on air and on water. And it’s up to the player to find their favorite among them.
Biomutant’s seen a few delays in the time leading up to its launch, and you’ve talked in the past about taking that time to polish up the game and make improvements in other areas. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? How much of a difference have these changes and improvements made to the overall experience?
It was unfortunate that we created 16,500 bugs in the first place, but when they were there, we had to fix them! Ok, just kidding – after the initial feedback we got after the announcement, we decided together with THQ Nordic to increase the scope of the game. Initially, we had for example 80,000 words of text in the game. Now we have about 250,000. And I have to emphasize, we are a small studio of only 20 people. And we didn’t wanna crunch if we are not working towards a deadline, like for example a gamescom-demo. So I’d say the biggest challenge was the sheer size and to make sure the game releases in a very good condition. Now, the game is ready to be released, because it is just like we wanted it to be.
"Our estimation for a ‘rushed’ run-through of Biomutant is at about 12-15 hours."
Roughly how long will an average playthrough of Biomutant be?
Our estimation for a “rushed“ run-through of Biomutant is at about 12-15 hours. This means: focus on the main story, skip most dialogues, don’t go wandering off for exploration and ignore sidequests. On the other hand, one of our team-members is just giving Biomutant a go the way he usually plays games. He isn’t done yet and has about 65 hours of playtime. So it really depends on what type of player you are.
Can you talk about your post-launch plans for Biomutant? Should fans expect DLC or expansions in the weeks and months ahead?
We are focusing on the launch of Biomutant on May 25th. Afterwards, we will continue to work on the game, based on players feedback. Currently, we have not planned to add more content to game – but that does not mean this is never going to happen.
What resolution and frame rate is the game targeting on PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S? Furthermore, will the game have multiple graphical modes?
For PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we will have 1080p with 30 FPS. The game will also run on PS5 and Xbox Series SX and make use of their improved hardware. So the game will run better on the current-gen consoles, than on the last-gen ones.