24

Paracusia

May 26, 2021 by Tim

It was an… interesting choice, delivering the entirety of Biomutant’s story and character interaction through a sole, ever-present narrator. I’m not sure it paid off.

It’s charming for the first little while, but eventually it becomes too much. I highly recommend that you go into the audio settings and lower the frequency of (or even silence altogether) the narrator .

And not just because he insists on random commentary about everything, but because having every NPC you meet in the game fed through this singular lens, this singular voice, has a detrimental effect on the ability to form connections with these characters. None of them feel as individual as they should, when you basically have a translator interpreting for you the whole time. Like I said, it’s an interesting choice, but the game probably would have been better served by separate voice actors.

It’s a small drawback in a game that has its fair share. If you’ve seen the review scores for Biomutant, you know that they’re trending firmly mediocre in most instances. I understand why. I recognize where the game falls short, where some of the repetitiveness of the quests makes the game feel less fleshed out than it could, and where the story gets overly preachy and longwinded at times.

To that all I can say is, while reviews certainly have their place, there are instances where you can’t quite sum up a game with a tidy numerical score. And while Biomutant has some areas where it falls short, there’s also a lot to enjoy in spite of that. The graphics, the world, the customization. The combat, though relatively simply, provides a sort of “comfort food, sit back, relax and just play” kind of vibe that I find pretty fun.

It’s not a triple-A title, and it’s not quite going to send shockwaves through the industry, but it’s an enjoyable game that’s got a vibe all its own. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but even if you wait for some patches, or a sale, it warrants more than outright dismissal due solely to its review scores. Which, while valid, don’t quite capture the whole story.


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Vicente Sampedro Burgos
Vicente Sampedro Burgos
4 months ago

I’m really enjoying the game so far, it has a lot of the old Rareware games vibe, but that Narrators needs to shut up, it reminds me too much of certain fairy of a Zelda game

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
4 months ago

Hey.

Listen.

Pocket Astronomer
Pocket Astronomer
4 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

While I found your comment amusing, I am downvoting it on general principles. I hope you understand.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
4 months ago

Look. Watch out.

*enranged tinging noises*

David K.
David K.
4 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Came here to make this joke. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one 🤣

Egasilon
Egasilon
4 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Nari I swear to the gods if you don’t shuddup, you will feel the Biggoron’s sword, game mechanics be damned.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
4 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

Look at it this way: it’s better than “Master, the batteries in your Wii Remote are nearly depleted.”

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
4 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Ugh I hate Fi so much. The game already had a low battery icon show up on screen and make its own sound effect, Fi did not need to also chime in. Same with low health – I can already see the health bar is almost empty, and it’s blinking, and maybe making sound, and Link is visibly slumped over in pain/exhaustion when I don’t move the control sick. Stop chiming in to state the obvious, Fi. Also, Fi, stop automatically popping out and telling me the solution to a puzzle before I’ve even had a chance to try and… Read more »

TomB
TomB
4 months ago

That’s kind of judgy, isn’t it? (Not your comments, the fact the computer takes one look at you and says ‘This palooka will never solve this one… I’m just going to cut to the chase….’)

Not likeable.

Johnny 5
Johnny 5
4 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

“Ah! There’s an important quest card at the guild for you.”

Some Guy
Some Guy
4 months ago
Reply to  Johnny 5

Favourite bit in Fable 2 is when it talks about how he was found with “YOUR HEALTH IS LOW” carved into his forehead.

Jacob Keller
Jacob Keller
4 months ago

Yeah watched a little bit from the beginning of the game from a couple you tubers I watch streaming it and the narrator translating all the dialogue really took me out of it.

Game really looks interesting but I will add it to the list of fames to get on sale.

MasterofBalance
MasterofBalance
4 months ago

The voices are back again…

DahrAmahr
DahrAmahr
4 months ago

yeah well… it worked for Bastion so they thought they’ll give it a shot.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
4 months ago
Reply to  DahrAmahr

It didn’t work for Bastion. It was a bad idea then, it’s a bad idea now, it will forever be a bad idea.

jaelte
jaelte
4 months ago

So you’re saying that if I loved that part of Bastion, then I should give this one a shot?

Humsterr
Humsterr
4 months ago
Reply to  DahrAmahr

I’m pretty sure that it’s just a way to save money on hiring different voices

Pocket Astronomer
Pocket Astronomer
4 months ago

The thing is, Bastion was (almost?) entirely narrated by a single person and it was glorious.

I think the difference is that he knew when to stop.

The Schaef
The Schaef
4 months ago

It’s amazing what you can do when you have both a buttery-smooth baritone and a modicum of restraint. You could also get away with a mildly British accent if you were Steven Fry; he is literally the reason that Pocoyo wasn’t banned from our small-child household in the way that things like Caillou or Yo Gabba Gabba were quickly banished. It’s charming if Steven Fry tells you it’s charming. The narrator here – and all credit to him – is kind of baritone but not really, and kind of British, but not really, and in the absence of those things,… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
4 months ago
Reply to  The Schaef

Steven Fry could read the phone book to me, and I’d sit and listen for hours and be annoyed when we had to break for intermission.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
4 months ago

He absolutely did not know when to stop. Every little thing you do, more narration. It was so annoying. I quit playing the game because of that obnoxious git.

Toke
Toke
4 months ago

Not having played Biomutant, I would guess the difference to be: The Bastion narrator, narrated the stuff you did, so you had something to listen to while just doing stuff in a semi-fast paced action game.

In Biomutant, you stop and talk to people. It’s an rpg, and relative slow paced and repetitive compared to bastion. (right?)

Hotair
Hotair
4 months ago

The lack of emotion in the narrator’s voice, the long waiting while each creature speaks gibberish, only to get a rather unenthusiastic narration after… it leaves a lot to be desired. Gameplay is fun though.

Vicente Sampedro Burgos
Vicente Sampedro Burgos
4 months ago
Reply to  Hotair

Maybe the lack of emotion is something I’m missing because I’m playing the Spanish version, it can be one of the few cases that we are lucky

TomB
TomB
4 months ago

Is that because Spanish is or seems always emotional? (Seriously, is it just better narrators or is there something inherent in the Spanish aspect or language that automatically cancels the lack of emotion?)

I hear Spanish and it feels warm to me.

Paul
Paul
4 months ago

Appreciate this mini-review. I was flip-flopping over whether to get the game now as it looks beautiful, but given the hefty price tag for a game you’re saying isn’t AAA makes me think twice. Probaby wait for a sale.

Urazz
Urazz
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Exactly what I was thinking. Not worth the $60 price tag in my opinion.

nealithi
nealithi
4 months ago

Took a bit to get started for me. Steam was having issues when I got home last night. Some of the customization feels too diametric. Like strong being the opposite of smart etc. So I stuck with perhaps the least inspiring character to start with. Middle of the road. I still have not found the gender select. But one thing on the narrator. I think he is the mechanical cricket with you. Because during the get out of the bunker phase in the beginning. He says “I think we need to get out of here now. No I really mean… Read more »

nealithi
nealithi
4 months ago
Reply to  nealithi

And now I have beaten it light path. Now to sleep. . .
I was wrong on the narrator, maybe. It seems it is Mirage doing that narrating. And using the information from your automaton?
Fun game with an interesting story. The sandbox is a little broken. Dialog sometimes runs in circles and I did all world eaters before the tribe war. But I was still accused of putting the war first?

It was still cute and worth the cost.

Kaogen
Kaogen
4 months ago

Hey, i mean, it could have been “GOBLINS HATE ICE AND FIRE BOTH!”

Doodm4n
Doodm4n
4 months ago
Reply to  Kaogen

Still cannot finish that game. I have restarted it three times now, between PC and Console and just cannot keep it going…

Tracker
Tracker
4 months ago

I half wonder if the conversation aspect might’ve been better served with translation-esque subtitles instead – this way you’re understanding it but from the aspect of the character you’re playing, as opposed to merely being a observer to the character you’re playing?

A shame, might pick it up when they’ve fixed some of the issues or the price drops a bit, looks like there’s a solid enough core to justify it.

Last edited 4 months ago by Tracker
ReaverRogue
ReaverRogue
4 months ago

I haven’t played it yet, but from what I can see, being developed by a team of 20? This game is a labor of love. I honestly feel bad for them getting reviews that aren’t at all constructive like “fuck off and die you C$!^” or whatever. It’s just unwarranted nastiness.

From what I can see, it’ll have its flaws. But I think it will also have a lot more heart than pretty much anything AAA on the market today, which is what I think is missing in lots of games nowadays. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot!

nealithi
nealithi
4 months ago
Reply to  ReaverRogue

I hope you are exaggerating those negative comments. No one really deserves that. And this game is not full of bugs like Cyberpunk and it has this kid/adult feel to it that is refreshing. Like Redwall meets Fallout type of thing. And for having such a tiny dev team the world looks stunning.

TomB
TomB
4 months ago
Reply to  ReaverRogue

I assume most of us, when we review something, we try to see the pros, the cons, and we may include some statement of the things we enjoyed or didn’t (and why). Just being abusive, angry or obnoxious is clearly inappropriate.

I’ve had games I really disliked, but I recognize some portion of that is my own tastes and part of it is specific failures in the software that I can identify. That doesn’t mean the devs need to be cursed and maligned.

Doomsong
Doomsong
4 months ago

My friend sons instantly feel in love with this game. Pretty much something you can put right next to Rayman or Crash Bandicot.

James Brewster
James Brewster
4 months ago

Why am I imagining all of this in Morgan Freemans Voice?

Halosty
Halosty
4 months ago
Reply to  James Brewster

Mmm, suddenly I like this scenario a lot more. Might still end up in a straitjacket, but I’d be happy about it.

Logan
Logan
4 months ago
Reply to  James Brewster

Either him, or make it more… “colourful” with Sammy J.! xD

Kenju
Kenju
4 months ago

“Hey! Listen!”

Seriously, should have had Link in a straightjacket right next to the little guy lol

David Gibson
4 months ago

I imagine the reasoning was halfway between “lets go for a nature documentary feel” and “VO is expensive and every time someone steps in the studio it’s a thousand bucks; if we stick to one person, we’ll save a quarter million.”

Flintlocke
Flintlocke
4 months ago

I’ll agree with you, it’s a *fine* game, with some flaws.

One thing that i quickly turned off is the “cartoon exclamation” (or something like that). It just feels out of place.

Leon
Leon
4 months ago

That’s my schizophrenia…..

Fotis
Fotis
4 months ago

The only successful game I can think of that’s entirely narrated, is Darkest Dungeon.

Ruin has come to our family

Rune
Rune
4 months ago
Reply to  Fotis

Bastion, Transistor.

I liken a game with a narrator to be almost like having a GM describing things to the player like at a tabletop RPG game. not every role-polaying interaction is delivered in the first person.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

If this had been a $30 or $40 game I think it would have been a LOT more well-received. There’s a lot of neat stuff in here, but unfortunately the shortcomings are just too much for a game at this price. When you’re charging $60 and are backed by a relatively major publisher, “but we’re just a small 20-person team you guys” doesn’t quite stand up. Leaning into the indie goofy/unique angle, but then still advertising and charging full-price like a AAA is a hard sell. A single narrator for everything in a $30 game is quirky and a bit… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Alex
AnonyMan
AnonyMan
4 months ago

Anyone else have a Biomutant ad at the bottom of the page while reading this lol?

Norbert
Norbert
4 months ago

In options you can lower the frequency of the narrator, I pulled all the way to 0, so it only narrates the important parts.

BENJAMIN SMITH
BENJAMIN SMITH
4 months ago

This game reminds of me of Xuan Yuan 7. Not quite as polished as a AAA title, but unique and engaging enough for me not to care.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
4 months ago

Sounds like Bastion. Except it’s nice to hear that Biomutant has the decency to give you an option to silence the narrator. Bastion wouldn’t even do that, you had to also kill the music or sound effects (I don’t remember which) because the narrator was bundled in with one of those audio sliders.

I never did finish Bastion because of it. It was annoying with the narrator talking, and really dull to play without all the other sounds on.

Del Cox
Del Cox
4 months ago

Lower the frequency? Does making the narrator a baritone improve the experience?

Logan
Logan
4 months ago
Reply to  Del Cox

Wrong kind of frequency. xD

(But, that *did* also come to mind the first time I saw it. Lol )

TomB
TomB
4 months ago

I’d like to thank the brain trust here; I’d been looking at Biomutant and I don’t have enough money to spend on so-so games. Similarly, I liked the look of Bastion, but some of the issues there would drive me around the twist too. Thanks for the information. I know nobody is trying to put anyone off getting it, but people describing their experiences gives me a good barometer of how I’d react because they’ve given enough detail that I can see the narration would drive me past drink and off the cliffs of catatonia.

Urazz
Urazz
4 months ago

To be fair, if they could’ve gotten Morgan Freeman to narrate instead we would’ve been completely fine with it I think. lol

Part of it is getting a person with a great voice to narrate and the other is to now when to stop the narration.

Brian Glenn
Brian Glenn
4 months ago

so the entire time I’m reading this I’m giving the narrator the voice from the Stanly parable

Pal87
Pal87
4 months ago

Ah Tim, your love for broken or bad games is endearing at this point.

Every game reviewer I trust come out with a bad rating for games, and I know I’m going to get a comic of you loving on it 🙂

Pal87
Pal87
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Hey man, people love ugly sweaters too.

As long as you own it 🙂

Pulse
Pulse
4 months ago

stanley parable 3.0?