Square Enix and Platinum Games’ NieR Automata is one of the anticipated titles to be released in North America and Europe this March 2017. This Square Enix-Platinum Games’ title is more than a Metal Gear Revengeance-like fighting game as it also features gameplay and camera angles usually seen in other genres. NieR Automata also immerses players in a complicated but compelling story of androids and machines in a desolate wasteland of a city.
NieR Automata’s “hack and slash” gameplay is great for its spectacle but not its system. Pressing attack buttons will make large arcs of sword swings which definitely look good and deal a decent amount of damage against characters of any level. However, the regular enemies and boss fights are easier if they’re below your level. Remember to set the game at the highest difficulty if you want to land those combos.
However, NieR Automata is abundant in gameplay genre shifts. The story mode missions have portions where the game plays like a shoot ‘em up, text adventure, top-view roguelike, and even a giant mech battle. NieR Automata definitely has some variety and does not specialize on a certain gameplay genre.
In NieR Automata, alien invaders drove humans out of Earth and made them coop up on the moon. Humans are barely mentioned in the story, but the game is rich with non-human living beings with personality. Even though the surroundings are desolate, the game nails a good setting for androids, machines, and other beings trying to live on earth.
As for its main characters, YoRHa units 2B, 9S, and A2 are mostly in the grey areas of their mission and its surroundings. While the Machines are demonized as YoRHa’s enemy, they are not at all evil and even show signs of primitive sense of family, society, and thought. Players will see a rich setting of character interaction and dialogue not only in the game’s main quests but also in its side missions. All in all, NieR Automata provokes thoughts on each mission, character, and interaction they come across.
Lastly, the game features a new playthrough rather than just a “New Game+” mode after each ending. Players will carry over their progress through each main NieR Automata ending and reveal more lore and story. Fans loved the first NieR as it encouraged players to go for another playthrough to reach its true and conclusive end. The playthroughs are paced nearly the same as the previous one and the game doesn’t drag its story with the seemingly extended content. New players should consider each ending as the end of a game chapter rather than an overall conclusive end.
Despite being a great game with a rich message, NieR Automata isn’t safe with the conventions of its genre. Similar to most RPG games, players will be sent on fetch quests to gather and deliver items for NPCs. However, the game saves itself by making these side quests and the whole journey fairly entertaining.
- Great visuals, setting, and character design
- Complicated but still palatable story
- Makes players think by replacing all humanlike characters with androids and robots
- Gameplay variety
- Tedious side quests
- Weapons barely make a difference outside damage output
- Fighting turns into a chore once you become too strong