About NieR Automata
NieR Automata is an action role-playing game with multiple gameplay styles flowing seamlessly within. Combat androids battle hostile machines in an open world environment and the player faces multiple different challenges.
Wow. This a game hasn’t hit me this hard emotionally in a long time. The story is deeper than the surface-level story of android vs machine and places it in the realm of quality scifi. This game has multiple endings which you can complete while going through your play-through, with some abruptly ending the story, while others provide alternative stories that deepen the emotional impact of the plot and characters. When you finish the game, truly, truly finish the game, it forces you to question everything you had assumed up until that very moment. I always appreciate a game that really forces you to make an irrevocable choice, and when faced with one I chose to do so. With the ending permanently etched, I had to sit back and stare at my screen for several minutes to absorb it all.
So that’s the story. You have two options for audio, Japanese or English. I thought I would be a snob and switch back to the original Japanese, but then I had to pay attention to the subtitles during combat. I switched back to English, and guess what? The voice acting is great.
Now on to the gameplay mechanics. This is a hack and slash action adventure RPG. Cool, I can do that easily. Upgrade my weapons, replace some costume items, go on side quests, yay! Oh what? This is a side scrolling platformer? Oh no, it’s a bullet hell flight simulator!? Nope, we’re going to get into some giant mecha action. Wait, no. Actually, it’s freakin’ asteroids! Now, this might feel overwhelming, but I really felt the transition between the different gameplay styles flowed pretty well and did not disrupt my gameplay at all.
The music. O.M.G. I’m listening to the OST (Original SoundTrack) when I’m at work, when I’m in the car, when I’m playing the game, when I’m NOT playing the game. It smoothly transitions into several variations of a song depending on context, from full orchestral with vocal, all the way down to 8-bit when you’re in the hacking mini-game. The music is AMAZING.
We need to be objective here. It’s not a perfect game. There are reported issues with the port, most of which are resolved by the FAR mod. I haven’t really noticed the issue, but that’s because I never looked into what it was, and didn’t really have any problems on my end. I didn’t play this game with a keyboard and mouse. I tried it every now and then, but the way it plays it feels like you should use a gamepad. Do yourself a favor, go out and buy an Xbox 360 Controller. You’ll thank me.
So to sum it all up:
Overall, a game that has a big emotional impact, forces the player to think deeper, has a beautiful score, and best of all, has enjoyable gameplay.
My only regret/non-regret is going through with ending E. I made a choice there, one that I could not back out of, but I thought it was worth it.