Concise Game Critique - NieR: Automata

Concise Game Critique - NieR: Automata

Developer: PlatinumGames
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: March 17, 2017 (Windows)
Played on: Windows (also available on PS4, Xbox One)
Played for: 57h (all endings)

NieR: Automata is a beautifully melancholy, and often fascinatingly strange and charming, post-apocalyptic tale about humanity (in which you play as beautiful androids fighting cute robots).

It is a pretty damn great, responsive action game in its own right, but what really makes it special is how each playthrough unveils something new, both gameplay and story wise (and the story is good). You need to play through it multiple times; the first time the credits roll is really just the beginning (and the true ending is, quite frankly, fucking amazing).

Visually, a lot of the game is grim, barren wasteland, but it has its own sort of beauty to it, especially when paired up with the gorgeous music that fits the mood of the game perfectly (and the pace of it as well, as many of the tracks have different versions to fit each situation).
The bleak atmosphere of the game also makes the really astonishing scenes (which it does have, but I don’t want to spoil here) truly memorable.

Concise Game Critique - NieR: Automata Concise Game Critique - NieR: Automata Concise Game Critique - NieR: Automata Concise Game Critique - NieR: Automata

There are some annoying invisible walls in the otherwise open environments, and some awkward camera angles in the more experimental sections of the game. Running back and forth between the same few areas can also become tedious before unlocking fast-travel (which takes a good while). Then again, it’s cool to realize that by the end of the game, or probably sooner, you know the land like the back of your hand.
Also, a word of warning to PC players: the PC version doesn't like Alt+Tab. At all. And though I personally didn't run into any other problems, the port is reportedly a mixed bag when it comes to bugs and glitches.

All in all, NieR: Automata is a fantastic game, which takes advantage of the medium like very few games have. It is a near perfect mix of satisfying mechanics and beautiful storytelling, and its final act made me emotional in a way only a videogame can (quite literally).
I haven’t been this compelled by a game, especially a AAA one, in years.
This truly is a game to remember.

5/5 Glory to Mankind.

Get NieR: Automata:

Jay Marksman, December 10, 2018

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