Biomutant review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Experiment 101
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that’s so incredibly average as Biomutant.

By that, I mean it doesn’t do anything spectacularly well, but it also doesn’t do too much that’s egregiously awful. It feels like a mash-up of other, better games, but in the most boring way imaginable – you can see what its influences are and what it’s trying to be, but it’s neither so good at stealing that it makes you forget what it’s stealing from, nor so bad that you just want to play those other games. It’s just about the definition of mediocre in every way imaginable.

Which makes you wonder: why did THQ Nordic bother porting such a bland game? It’s not like it got rave reviews back when it first released on other systems back in 2021 – my colleague Tyler wrote about it at the time, and his vaguely positive/sorta negative feelings on the game were pretty par for the course. Now we’re here in 2024, and pretty much everything he wrote then is still valid, for better or for worse.

In fact, the only real difference is that where Biomutant might have stood out on the Switch back in 2021, it faces much stiffer competition now. While I wouldn’t say that the Switch is teeming with open-world shooters, at the very least it has Borderlands 3, and even if it’s not a perfect port, it’s still miles better than Biomutant in every way that counts. You want a big world to explore with lots of different guns to build lots of things to loot? You could get that from Biomutant, but you’d get way more of it from Borderlands 3.

To be fair to Biomutant, it’s not just a Borderlands-style looter-shooter. It also adds in a bit of Ratchet & Clank here, a bit of Devil May Cry there, even maybe some John Woo or Kung Fu Panda, depending on how you look at it and if you want to bring in some non-gaming influences. But again, it’s not really as good or as interesting as any of those media. The guns aren’t as fun, the combat isn’t as enjoyable, and the world isn’t as interesting.

Unfortunately, just about the only part of Biomutant that’s really memorable is its narrator, and that’s because of how annoying he is. Sounding like a bargain basement version of Stephen Fry, the narrator tosses in little asides throughout the game – sometimes narrating what’s happening around you (because Biomutant is a strong believer, in a “tell, don’t show” kind of storytelling), other times telling you about the interactions your character is having on screen (since the characters don’t speak, so you just get the narrator’s summary of what they said). Unfortunately, he’s incredibly grating, and he’ll have you searching the settings very shortly after starting to figure out how to lower his volume. (The good news: you can, and doing so makes the game much less annoying.)

But apart from that, Biomutant is entirely forgettable. There are an abundance of much worse games to play on the Switch, to be sure, but there are also plenty of games that are better, so unless you just want to kill time shooting things in an open world – which, to be fair, is sometimes a wholly understandable impulse – you’re better off avoiding this one entirely.

THQ Nordic provided us with a Biomutant Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 6.5