Within the first few hours of Biomutant, you have to make a choice. You’ll find yourself at the fulcrum of a war between two opposing factions. Whichever one you don’t choose will, by virtue of you being an unstoppable badass, eventually cease to exist. And the one you align with will dictate the rough roadmap of the rest of your playthrough.
Much like other open-world action-RPGs, Biomutant, out now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, features a morality system. Further, there are six factions in the game, each of which fall on different pegs of the morality spectrum. From light to dark: Myriad, Ankati, Netra, Pichu, Jagni, and Lotus. Broadly speaking, the three on the light side want to bring a peaceful resolution to the tribe war and save the world from certain annihilation, while the dark three want to destroy the world and everyone in it.
Following Biomutant’s plodding, needlessly lengthy tutorial, you’ll start “The Tribe War” questline. See, the Myriad and Jagni tribes are at odds, and both want to recruit you — again, an unstoppable badass — for their war efforts. Whoever you side with will give you their armour and their “tribe weapon,” a unique melee tool or ranged weapon. You can’t customise tribe weapons like you can other pieces of gear. On the plus side, they’re fairly powerful. (Note, too, that starting a conversation with one tribe’s sifu doesn’t give you the option to just back out. You’ll have to either team up or fuck off, the latter decision forcing you to side with the other tribe.)
I chose the Jagni for the sole reason of “their outfits looked cooler,” and haven’t regretted it for a second. The Jagni tribe weapon — a long wooden staff — has proven one of my most-used melee tools, and by aligning with them from the jump, I’ve been able to use it the entire game thus far. Despite their “dark” alignment, the game hasn’t prevented me from making “light” decisions. Plus, cool outfits.
Spoilers follow for the end of Biomutant’s tribe war storyline.
Halfway through the “Tribe War” storyline, you’ll be faced with a choice: You can either end the war or keep fighting. Going with the former will end the war right there. I went this route, as did Kotaku’s Zack Zweizen (though he, a ding-dang goodie two-shoes, allied with the Myriad). The game might give you the impression that, by going down this road, you’ll essentially gate yourself off from unlocking the remaining tribe weapons.
Not so. As representatives for THQ Nordic, Biomutant’s publisher, told Kotaku via email, you can still get the tribe weapons of those you end up “skipping” when you end the conflict early. All you have to do is find the main outposts of each remaining faction — something that sounds like a breeze but is actually somewhat of a tall order, given that you only get the headings of main outposts when the Tribe War quest is active. (Tip: Search in the areas that aren’t coloured bright green on the map.) When you do find the outposts, the tribe weapon in question should be sitting in the sifu’s throne room.
Note too that, per the THQ Nordic reps, whatever tribe you choose from the start will “restrict [your] decisions regarding the endgame. The [Tree of Life] will die when you ally with a dark tribe and live when you ally with a light one.” Well, if that doesn’t help you decide who you want to ally with, I don’t know what will.