When I first started playing Biomutant, I was having a pretty hard time adjusting to its combat style. The game’s brand of third-person (or third-raccoon-thing?) combat feels a little loosey-goosey, especially compared to other recent-ish sword-slashing action games like Ghost of Tsushima. For me, Biomutant’s parry mechanic leaves a lot to be desired, and the ranged lock-on system can be a little finicky (to put it generously).

But once I started to hear what Biomutant’s combat was trying to say, I found an exhilarating (if not somewhat unwieldy) combat system that was just a tad bit deeper than I initially expected. When this clicked for me, I went from actively avoiding as many battles as I could to seeking out unsuspecting nogoodniks so I could bebop and scat all over them by the dozen.

Combat here is by no means as demanding or precise as you’d expect from the Devil May Cry franchise or Killer is Dead, which rely heavily on split-second timing of dodges, blocks, parries, and counters. I actually hate those types of games.

Although Biomutant does offer a decent level of precision — and it does demand some of the player’s attention at times — it is way more forgiving than the games I mentioned in the previous paragraph. It offers a happy medium somewhere between laser-focused hand/eye coordination and good old-fashioned button-mashing.


There is also something to be said for the flashy finisher names as they erupt on screen, like the old Bams and Pows of the 1960s Adam West Batman show. This is an affable cartoonish touch that helps to lighten the mood while simultaneously heightening the player’s enthusiasm. It gets you excited about ripping through each cadre of enemies until the last one flies back in slow motion, ultimately joining their now-dispatched allies in a collection of strewn-about corpses.

And once I found that balance, the game’s combat system really sank in for me. Combat makes up a good portion of Biomutant — when you’re not engaging with colorful and kooky NPCs, traversing lush and gorgeous landscapes, or scavenging everything that isn’t nailed down, you’re bopping your enemies with style and finesse.

And that, my friends, is what combat in Biomutant is all about. Style and finesse.

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