As part of the ramp up to the PC Gamer Weekender coming up February 17th and 18th, this week we spoke to Stefan Ljungqvist, Founder & Head of Studio Experiment 101 about their upcoming game Biomutant, which will be playable for the first time in the UK at the show.
Since Biomutant was first announced, we've known that a core part of the gameplay is altering your playable character's DNA via mutations from other creatures. While we've seen some change the appearance of the character, and we've seen some change the character's abilities, we wanted to know what the balance between those was, and if any mutations purely did one or the other.
All mutations have an impact on how you play. They will grant you new skills. If you grow wings, you can glide. If you grow Crab Claws you can pinch and throw people, or slam into the ground. While most of them do have a visual impact on your character, the ones we call “PSI-Mutations” are mind-based only. Think of them like Jedi-Powers – you can fire sparks from your paws or throw objects or enemies around with the power of your will.
On the topic of the mutation system, Ljungqvist wanted to emphasise that it was more important to differentiate mutations from each other than to wedge in pure numbers of mutations, and have us a decent sense of the number of upgrades to be found in the game.
The Mutation System is very important for the game and quite big. We’ve Biomutations, PSI-Mutations and we would also like to highlight the Bionic Enhancements (Cyborg Stuff!) as part of this. The minimum number is five of each type, each with five upgrade levels. We want to make sure that they all have a meaning in the game, so you really want to have them and that they aid a certain playstyle. In addition, you can "re-code" your molecular structure at the bio-pools, altering your DNA and basic attributes. That said, we want to make sure they all vary compared to each other. We won’t implement, let’s say, six different ways to jump higher. Additionally, there's a wide range of Wushu combat abilities to unlock or learn and upgrade. Both unarmed, melee and shooting and, on top of this, you are able to train for the different Tribe Sifus and learn their specific combat styles.
Lastly, we were curious quite how much you could make your character vary from their starting form as a small gun-and-sword-wielding furry raccoon creature. Apparently, you should temper your expectations if you were hoping to end the game a drastically different type of animal.
You have the ability to affect both the look and the attributes of your character drastically, including gender. What we've shown so far is a smaller range of what's really possible in terms of re-coding the genetic structure of your hero – a.k.a. the anatomy, look and attribute stats to match that. Of course, you are a furry mammal type of creature at the core, but you have a lot more options than what you’ve seen so far. And you are able to mutate this at bio-pools over the course of the game.
Biomutant will be playable for the first time in the UK at the PC Gamer Weekender February 17th and 18th. On top of that, buy a ticket to PC Gamer Weekender and you will receive a free 'Four Pack' copy of competitive projectile fighting game Lethal League worth £29.99 after the show ends, allowing you to not only play the game, but gift copies to three of your friends as well!
You can find more information about the PC Gamer Weekender, as well as buy tickets here. Additionally, Kotaku UK readers can get a whopping 20% discount on tickets by clicking "enter promotional code" and entering the code KOTAKU20 before selecting their tickets.