The sequel to Draakengard spinoff Nier, Nier: Automata is a post-apocalyptic open-world hack-em-upgame with some unexpected twists.
The game doesn’t start the way most games do, with a tutorial or some lengthy introduction to the game’s story and the universe. Nope, Nier: Automata throws you right in to the action without much explanation. Players will be beset with what I can call the longest intro sequence to a game ever, and you’re only allowed to make your first save should you complete it.
Suffice the say, the game is a combination of bullet hell and open world exploration, though the first quarter of the intro is spent flying and shooting your craft ala Gradius, while you avoid projectiles being fired at you from all sides. Also, you can get killed in the intro sequence, and there’s multiple boss battles waiting for you here.
As the story goes, humans have fled to the moon following an attack on earth by aliens, who have pretty much wiped the planet clean of our species. Instead, the world now crawls with machine lifeforms which the YoRHa units (that’s you) are locked in combat while they protect the last vestiges of mankind who hopefully will one day be able to reclaim the Earth. However, something seems to be up when 2B and her companion 9S encounter something strange while on the planet’s surface which sparks a pretty epic (albeit long in the coming) plot twist. That’s about all we’ll spoil you with though, so if you want to find out more you’re going to have to pick up the game yourself.
The game itself has a bit of a learning curve due to them just flinging you into the deep end of the pool, and we admit we were a bit caught off guard as our version started in Japanese (we had to change it manually to display in English). Some bits of the game are a little weird as well, like you can ride animals and there’s also the option to..fish.
Nier: Automata has a lot going for it in terms of graphics, story and score. The music is lovely, and the graphics are expectedly pretty good. I personally am not a huge fan of the game’s perspective changing on the fly as you progress, but at the least it’s quite seamless and the battles are pretty fun. You can even resurrect your dead body to fight alongside you if you happen to die.
As for the replay value, the game has a LOT of endings (albeit a lot of them are joke endings) so you might be motivated to play through the game a few times. Some endings will unveil more about the story, so you’ll be finding yourself playing through the same storyline but with a different perspective and different characters.
Overall, Nier: Automata is pretty fun game to play. Even if you’re not really in it for the story (which in itself is pretty good) you’ll have plenty of action to make up for it. It’s a little too open and fast paced for me as I’m more of a Telltale games kinda person, but you won’t regret giving it a try.