If you read my Drakegard 3 review, then you will know that I’m a fan of Yoko Taro and his Drakengard and Nier series. When Nier Automata, set 10,000 years after the first Nier, was introduced, I was excited.
Nier Automata takes place 10,000 years into the future and I found myself recognizing a few references from the previous Nier, but not enough to recommend that others play the previous game. Aliens have attacked Earth and a special unit of androids have been deployed from the moon to fight these aliens.
Yoko Taro set out with a mission to teach the current generation of players a lesson; that auto save makes video games too easy. I spent two hours, dying at the start of the game and being sent all the way back to the very beginning. The only way I could save was to find a save point protected by enemies. Once I defeated the enemies, I was able to save more than an hour after starting the game.
I became very eager to perform my best while playing Nier Atuomata or else I’d loose hours of game play and experience points. Reading the plot of Nier Automata makes one think that this is is a typical good guys versus bad guys, but this game is not that. 2B, 9S, and A2 are not the happy life sparing individuals often seen in Japanese role-playing games. The supporting cast help bring out different sides to 2B, 9S, and A2, and I found myself liking my playable characters to different degrees.
In typical Yoko Taro fashion, I had to complete the game several times to see different sides of the story. Unlike Drakengard 3, this was spelled out to players to play Nier Automata over and over again. I played mini games in the second play through and obtained access to a berserker mode and more of the story in the third play through. I have spent years of my life failing to be wowed by any medium’s story; continuously predicting correctly what was next in any story.
As I continued playing this game, I could not see what was next and that made me happy. This is thanks to Yoko Taro’s unwillingness to hold back on religion, sex, and violence.
Despite Platinum’s efforts to make Nier Automata well polished, I fell through the level once. Being interrupted by cut scenes so many times gets old pretty quick. The story’s constantly talking about robots and their emotions was getting on my nerves as that is a trope I’d like to see die.
The positives outweigh the negatives and I highly recommend Nier Automata to any Japanese role-playing fan and players who want to play something new. Nier Automata and its wonderful music is available here.