Nier Automata is the sequel to a little-known game called Nier. It’s an RPG, a JRPG to be precise, even though it may not look like one on the surface. For that matter, you can’t really tell the exact genre because it’s a mishmash of many genres and utilizes all of the different types pretty darn well. The game has 26 different endings, and after you play it once, we’re sure you’ll want to play it again at least a few more times. Also, the fact that there’s so many endings means the game has replayability value, something we all seem to want desperately in games these days.
The game’s still relatively new so we’ll avoid any major spoilers. The story is amazing – you WILL want to play through the game again to get a grasp on the entire story. Like we mentioned, there are 26 endings in the game, one for each letter of the alphabet. The first five, ‘a’,’b’,’c’,’d’, and ‘e’, are what they call “true” endings, or endings which are directly relevant to the story. The end result is this mind-blowing story that you would not have expected from a game like this one. What about the remaining 21 you ask? That’s just Yoko Taro trolling us. They’re quite funny though, definitely worth playing the game 26 times.
Now for the basis of the story: humanity has moved to the Moon because Earth has been taken over by machines. Well, it’s hundreds of years in the future, it was bound to happen! To tackle the situation, Humans created androids (humans never learn), very human-looking androids, to reclaim the planet from the machines. The game has a large open world for you to explore. There’s a lot of weird and quirky characters for you to meet and tons of side-quests to complete. There’s comedy in the right places and tragedy(a LOT of tragedy) in the right places. And then they’re there in places you’d least expect them. As you progress through the game and more information is revealed to you about the machines that have taken over the planet you become more and more vested. You WANT to find out what happened. What’s behind this? What’s happening?! And you’re left in this state perpetual “wtf” all the way to the end of the game. And even finishing the game doesn’t answer all your questions!
You need to play again, and again, and again… And you’ll want to. Which is what makes it such a good game. Be prepared for some serious “feels” though.
OMG, the music. The music was so good we’re actually giving it a sub-head of its own. It’s actually that good. Each track just fits. It’s just right. We don’t know what more to say. Maybe YouTube the OST. We were listening to it as we wrote this.
The game starts off with a galaga-like shooting phase, then it’s a third-person action game, next thing you know it’s a side scroller game. Throughout the game, you’re exposed to different kinds of gameplay. And the transition is incredibly smooth and well done. And if that wasn’t enough, once you finish the game and start over (which you will), you can do stuff you couldn’t in the first playthrough. Every new playthrough adds something new to your repertoire.
Now for the combat, which mostly happens in the third-person (read: mostly), after all this is Platinum Games, you know, the folks behind Bayonetta and the action-packed Metal Gear Rising. It’s smooth and feels incredibly satisfying to send giant robots flying across the room. You can seamlessly switch weapons, dodge enemies, parry, all while your little drone friend rains bullets upon your foes. We thought it was pretty great the first time around, but like we said, every time you start over you get more ways to do stuff.
You get a lot of drops as you run through the huge world, you can use these to upgrade your weapons. Then there’s a chip system which you can use to upgrade the android. As you level up you can have more chips installed which could aid your Android in various ways, from offensive or defensive stats, to improving abilities and even making additions to the HUD.
Core i7 2600k, GTX 680, Corsair Vengeance 12GB RAM
Windows: Rs. 1,999/- PS4: Rs. 2,999/-
However, and that’s a big however, the PC port of the game is frankly, horrible. The game is optimised for controllers. While you can adjust the controls for your mouse and keyboard, it’s still pretty obvious that the game is meant to be played via controller. Then there’s the resolution issue, which was still present as of writing this review. Cutscenes are locked to 30fps (*gagging sounds*), and a lot of people have complained about the game crashing frequently. Good thing you can save frequently.
Nier Automata: Verdict
Nier Automata is a very good game. A game nobody expected would be THIS good. It’s good enough to make some “greatest of all time” lists. Yoko Taro and Platinum Games have outdone themselves with this one. It’s got fluid gameplay, an amazing and emotional story, interesting characters, different types of gameplay, great combat, a vast open world to explore and a beautiful soundtrack. We’d give it a 9 but the horrible PC port brings it down to 8.5. There’s unofficial ways to get around the issues on the PC port, if you take the trouble to find them.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.