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Nier: Automata - Analysis

Square Enix has been a video game company that I never particularly liked. I’m being totally honest with you right now. My views on Square Enix are not the brightest due to their shady business practices and the way they've handled their noblest properties. Their two flagship franchises, Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, were once simple to understand but now have gotten more confusing than they have the rights to be. I'm not talking about their stories in general, but what it takes to actually enjoy these games. They are both third person action RPGs with stylish combat and visuals. Now those should usually be the games that I’d like, especially since I love games with stylish combat that push the player to their limit, but if you were to take some of these games apart and put them back together you may find a few design problems.

I look at the gameplay for these games and I ask myself if Square Enix knows what it means to make a video game? It looks like the combat is more focused on the detailed flashy animation rather than being challenging or engaging, and the pacing seems to be all over the place. The writing feels contrived in many areas, and the plots are no longer aware of how over the top they are and come across as flat and soulless. You spend all this time building up a story and characters, but there are so many plot holes left behind because you didn’t take the time to fully explain key information to the player. I’m not saying you have to hate the storylines for these games. It’s just that it takes more time than it really should to understand what is going on. To understand the events of Kingdom Hearts 3, you first need to play the dozens of other Kingdom Hearts games that came before. Not just the first and second game, but also the several spinoffs. To a Kingdom Hearts fan this doesn't sound like a problem, but for someone who is new to the series it is. They would have to spend countless hours grinding through the other titles, spend more money to play those games, and only then they are caught up on the Kingdom Hearts storyline. Same goes for Final Fantasy XV.To truly grasp the plot of the base game you have to watch an animated movie, a live action film, and pay for several DLC packs to understand the main plot and endgame events. I feel like Square Enix is making their games too complicated for the fans. Rather than letting all the details add up they instead find a way to market off it. Butcher their games, sell crucial points separately, and release finish-unfinished games.

Other franchises Square Enix own the rights to don’t really get that much attention or love, and they're usually the ones that die out within less than a decade because of those business practices. Just Cause is an amazing series known for it’s open world, creative toolset, and the amount of chaos you can cause by simply messing around with the game's psychic engine that they spent a lot of time programming. However, it was driven into the ground with the terrible buggy release of Just Cause 4. Deus Ex, one of the many groundbreaking immersive sims from the classic days of PC gaming was rebooted with two entries and hasn’t seen a new entry since 2016 which was released under controversial fire. The runtime of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was cut short due to Square Enix not giving the funding Eidos Montreal needed to finish the game, and the funding was then given over to Kingdom Hearts 3. Wow, such a great move there guys. Octopath Traveler, a JRPG that pays homage to classic JRPG design while putting in new ideas to help modernize the formula, sold poorly due to poor advertisement and shortage of physical copies in Japan. Otherwise, the number one place to sell a JRPG, because they target that type of audience. Out of all these franchises, Deus Ex games and Octopath Traveler are the only ones I really liked. There aren’t any other games I like published by Square Enix, well maybe besides the big one.

A Beautiful Song

PlatinumGames, a development team known for making fast paced hardcore action-adventure games and most commonly today's topic. One day, Square Enix came and offered PlatinumGames a deal. PlatinumGames was tasked to make a sequel to one of Square’s forgotten gems, Nier. Nier was a spinoff entry to one of Square Enix’s most poorly managed franchises, Drakengard. I know Drakengard has a cult following, but it’s possibly one of Square Enix’s least acclaimed game series. The games didn’t age well, had terrible design, and public criticism for the series was mostly negative. When Nier came out, almost the exact same thing happened with it. Reception for Nier was mostly mixed, but there were a few of those who quite liked it for its setting, gameplay, and surprisingly deep narrative? It started off as a simple journey about a brother wanting to save his sister but then transformed into this deep philosophical dive. Seeing how far a person will go to save a loved one. It was exhilarating and the industry hadn't seen a narrative quite like it.

Nier is more of a game that flew under the radar, and for several years the fans have been wondering if Square Enix would give this property another chance. Tell another beautiful story rather than pump out the meaningless soap operas they do year by year. In 2015 that chance had finally arrived. PlatinumGames and Square Enix partnered up and announced the development of a sequel, Nier 2, which later during development was renamed to Nier: Automata. Most gamers expected this game to underperform due to how the original Nier financially flopped and this one presented really bizarre ideas, but once Nier: Automata came out it blew away everyone’s expectations. The story was well presented, gameplay was thrilling, and the deep themes which the original Nier was known for was here again and presented better than ever. In fact, the narrative was fantastic. Sales and reception for Nier: Automata were higher than what PlatinumGames predicted. Being Platinum’s most well acclaimed game, gaining quite a few awards and nominations in 2017, and helping save Platinum from shutting down entirely. Nier: Automata is amazing and even after three years upon release it still stands up as one of the best written and compelling games the market has seen.

Before I played Nier: Automata, I was expecting it to be like any ordinary Square Enix game released. Cringy dialogue, lackluster story that didn’t add up, crappy game design, and all that galore. However, after the first few hours of Automata my expectations were blown. The action was good, but the story was what kept me playing until the true ending. Recently I played through the entirety of Nier: Automata again and I have to say it still holds up today. I appreciate the game more than my first playthrough and I can happily say it’s a masterpiece. It does have a few faults and it's not for everyone, but what it does is outstanding, and everyone should witness the beauty of the story. I would do a basic review of this game, but there are so many components that I need to pick apart for Nier: Automata to deduce why this game is a masterpiece. So today we’ll be discussing what makes Nier: Automata such a memorable experience and why it deserves your utter attention. This essay will be spoiling major plot details so if you haven’t played Nier: Automata then I recommend doing so before going any further.

The Birth of Automata

First let’s talk about some of PlatinumGames’ previous projects and what would lead to Automata. Most notable is Bayonetta, one of the first games Platinum ever released. This hack and slash adventure helped establish PlatinumGames as a contender in the gaming market. It had character, style, personality, and took keynotes from other famous hack and slash action titles like Devil May Cry, Darksiders, and God of War. But compared to some of these other contenders it struggled to compete. Now this is probably a bad assumption to make since Bayonetta was new for its time, but the influence is obvious. Devil May Cry has had several years to establish itself as a smash hit franchise and most of the ideas seen in Bayonetta could be traced back to being in Devil May Cry or the other few. Juggling enemies in midair using sick combos or ranged weapons that keep them up longer while you walk towards them. Activating special moves or forms using a meter that builds up while fighting enemies, but slowly drains as you attack more while using it. Fighting demonic hordes that get stronger and appear in bigger numbers over time. Bayonetta was a great game and was more refined than most hack and slash games, but it wasn’t aiming to innovate.

Next there was Vanquish, a jet fast third person shooter. It was received with positive reception due to how it sped up third person shooting combat at the time. A majority of shooters were beginning to slow down in gameplay but Vanquish came along and reminded of the faster days of the shooter genre. What it meant to adapt on the fly. Sadly, it didn’t sell as well as PlatinumGames wanted, because it was even more bizarre than Bayonetta. There was the time PlatinumGames collaborated with legendary game director Hideo Kojima to develop Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. A spinoff sequel to the franchise. It’s pretty good and in some way underrated, but fans of the Metal Gear series were left confused with this game and how it even plugged into the Metal Gear storyline. Some fans were even displeased with Metal Gear Rising and how it ditched the slower, more compelling storytelling of the Metal gear Solid series. Then there was the change from being a tactical stealth game to being an action game. It pleased action fans but left an odd taste for others who were expecting traditional Metal Gear.

Finally, there was Bayonetta 2, a sequel fans of the first game were dying for. Everything leading up was going well, but in 2013, PlatinumGames made a deal with Nintendo to make a few of their next releases exclusive to their new console, the Nintendo Wii U. Bayonetta 2 was one of the games planned to be released exclusively to the Wii U, which upset many since the first Bayonetta was available on multiple consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Some fans even boycotted Bayonetta 2, which is kind of dumb, but I guess that’s what fanboys do!? Bayonetta 2 sold decently enough and got better critical reception than the first game, but it still wasn’t anything groundbreaking for PlatinumGames. The company budget needed a savior and fast.

This leads us to where we are now. PlatinumGames was tasked by Square Enix to develop Nier: Automata. A product that was born to die. They were told to follow a similar vein to the original and not do any of the over-the-topness their other action games had. Luckily, that wasn't the case with PlatinumGames. I can tell PlatinumGames didn’t want to make a game heavily similar to Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, or the original Nier. Most of Square Enix’s games are set in a mystical fantasy setting, because I think they believe that's the only way to differ even though what they needed was some strong writing. Nier: Automata was different. It did take place in a fictional world, but one inspired by our own. It showed what happened after the downfall of mankind.

A dystopian world taken over by alien machines, and humanoid androids are created by man to fight against the scourge. They manage to keep the fantasy feeling but offer a different flavor so that it wouldn't taste bland or terrible. Let's say I ordered a pizza. I could order a plain cheese pizza or add some toppings to make it taste better. Some topping combinations will taste better than others, but at the end of the day it was still a pizza. When it came to the core elements of Nier: Automata, PlatinumGames knew how to have an even balance between gameplay and storytelling. Gameplay sections are chunky and the difficulty scales rapidly as you progress. Challenging the player to react faster and master their arsenal. The story and writing make the player invested with the world and characters, and when the big twist is revealed, it makes them reconsider everything they have been working towards. They wanted that right amount of engagement. There were exposition dumps, but what the player got was important. They made a story that worked.

The Wonders of a Broken World

The reason why most video games have stories is to keep the player playing the game or see what happens next if they continue to play. I know it's pretty obvious info, but trust me it's important. Not all video games need a plot to drag the player around, but if you pull the presentation off just right you may end up making a story that feels close to cinema or watching a television show that gets you anticipated for the next episode. I believe a good story is one that takes its time and shows how the world changes as the player’s actions affect other conflicting elements, or major events drive the plot forward towards threatening situations. Making sure every piece clicks together.

A bad story on the other hand is poorly thought out and is nonsensical. Plot holes, rules of the universe constantly being broken, and characters being given made on the fly rules and pass cards so that they can continue being part of the story even when they aren't needed. Being inconsistent and failing to tell an effective narrative. Let’s take Batman, a comic book character, for example. One of the most major rules for Batman is that he has a no kill policy. He reasons with his foes. In the films and Arkham games this rule is very inconsistent, and they don’t do such a good job to showcase how Batman’s violent action affects the main plot or world. It's inconsistent. Then you have to consider your audience and how they are digesting the story you give them. Don't feed them too fast to the point where they don’t understand anything, and not too slow where they are shouting, “get on with the bloody plot!” and eventually just lose interest in playing.

In Nier: Automata we follow the role of an android named 2B, one of the many combat androids created by mankind and fighting for YoRHa. This being a group of androids who fight the alien machines that took over earth several years before the game’s main events. Their motives for fighting the aliens are given clearly to the player. It’s to preserve whatever is left of mankind's past and one day rebuild society. We already showcase what YorHA is made to do and what their purpose is. To fight. 2B is sent down to earth’s surface to fight the machines and collect data on the aliens who once invaded earth. She is aided by a scanner android named 9S and overtime they form a very close bond. 9S having the most emotions between the two. He's kind, optimistic, and tries to cheer up 2B even though they're androids who were ultimately made to not feel or have emotions. At first, 2B doesn't have any feelings or free human thinking due to her nature of being to always follow the objective, but through main story events she learns to develop emotions.

NPCs actually play a role in Nier: Automata beyond giving an objective for a side quest. They are there to flesh out the world, show there is soul to this world, or help make this apocalyptic setting actually believable. Much like the androids of YoRHa, the alien machines learn to develop emotions and personal thinking and it’s thanks to them we learn not all machines are mindless killers made to invade earth. They too begin adapting human thought, and some have begun to recreate human actions. There are machines who believe in prosperity by becoming employees to an amusement park. Machines who formed a kingdom out in the forest and try to establish a monarchy with bravery and honor. Machines who try to procreate despite not having the organs to do so. Then the machines who wish to find peace by setting up a simple society. Some NPCs even have unique questlines, and the stories they offer are good enough to make you see them as actual people. Individuals trying to survive a dying world when there is nothing else to live for.

The Color of Depression

The main story is where Nier: Automata shines best, because it not only tells the tale of both love and hatred, but it also dives into the themes of existence. Human nature. What drives us to keep moving forward. As you progress through the game you notice that 2B and 9S begin to develop deep feelings for one another. They both develop their own free thoughts and go against their coding. 2B fights because her main priority is to preserve mankind's knowledge, but 9S fights because 2B is one of his closest friends. 9S found someone who was willing to talk to him and even visions 2B as a loved one. At first 2B doesn't care, because at the end of the day they are just machines designed without emotions or that's what they at least expect. Overtime, 2B begins to realize how much 9S cares about her and from there she develops emotions as well. When she witnesses 9S lose his memories she's genuinely devastated. Another 9S can replace him, but nothing can take away the soul. What made the 9S whom 2B knew special and important.

They learn to protect one another, and if one of them gets hurt the other one always comes to the rescue. They learn to love. A feeling against android coding. Affection comes at a cost though. The horror, violence, and war in the world can sometimes change how a person thinks and behaves. What they do to try and preserve happy moments. Remember our two main characters are androids. They can’t die and their main programming is kicked over to other bodies, but their memories may not remain intact. So, imagine being an android who is aware that they will die. That they will either lose themselves or be easily replaced by a copy. They don't even know if heaven or hell awaits them after death. What will these androids aware of life do to make their deaths meaningful? That is what Nier: Automata addresses later on in the story. How we as human beings view life and the purpose we serve in the world.

2B and 9S realize how corrupt individuals can be. How they can be blinded by personal goals and ideologies. That there are those who will go to great lengths to achieve what they desire. No one can be truly happy in a world of suffering, and those with high expectations for true happiness are left disappointed when they realize what they really wanted only made the world worse. Now this is where I dive into late game events, so here's another spoiler warning if you haven't played it.

The End of Yorha (Spoilers)

Around the final act of the game 2B dies. All of YoRHa is wiped out due to a virus created by the alien machines, and 9S is left alone to wander a decaying world where there is literally no sign of life as it was revealed earlier that mankind went extinct before the aliens even showed up. He wonders if this is the punishment for murdering dozens of machines. Like God has now trapped him in what is now an empty android hell. Taking away his only friend and the group that gave him purpose. A job, a duty to fulfill each day. The reason he gained a soul from the beginning is now gone.9S then goes on a rampage to defeat any remaining machines and claim vengeance for what was taken from him. His purpose is to live, to fight, to care, and to protect. Mainly he is seeking vengeance against a rogue YoRHa member named A2. He witnesses A2 plunge a sword deep into 2B's chest. Unaware that 2B was infected with the virus and wanted to protect 9S from her. Asking A2 to kill her before the corruption spreads. 9S goes on the hunt for A2.

There's this one scene in particular where he goes into his own memory banks and the virus begins slowly deleting any memories he has of 2B. He doesn't want to forget the moments he had with 2B, the moments when he was truly happy, those moments of pure comfort. The reason to live each day. So he recklessly destroys the virus and goes mentally insane afterwards. From here he loses his sanity and by the end of the game he is lost to his own corruption and not one created by the virus. He was overcome by hatred, confusion, and importantly of all loneliness. Everything eventually goes away and the thing we may consider as comfort might just be the reason we keep clinging onto hope. PlatinumGames really wanted to take their time with the story, because they wanted their audience to realize that everyone has a reason to exist. As with the first Nier, Automata addresses human nature. What we do during stressful moments and how we react to the end.

Constantly Adapting

Between the gameplay of Kingdom Hearts and Nier: Automata and which one aims to be a good action roleplay game, Nier: Automata truly drives towards being a solidly designed action roleplaying game. You level up when you gain enough experience points from killing enemies and completing quests, there are multiple weapons and abilities to use offering different playstyles, and the difficulty of combat encounters scales as you progress. Providing a challenging experience.

There are multiple enemies in the game, each having different attacks and weaknesses. You constantly have to change up how you approach combat and situations, because during encounters with big groups of enemies huddled together you can’t just rely on one simple approach. PlatinumGames carried over the essence of their previous game, but also blended it with the style of Nier to create one of the most accessible combat systems they ever made. Personally, I think I like it more. You can see bits of Bayonetta in there with how easy it is to pull off combos and how you are encouraged to juggle enemies about. They also carried over bits of Vanquish and how you are equipped with a projectile attack that fires rapidly. Your Pod, which is what you use to fire projectiles, is good for laying down suppression fire against big groups and can be used to pick off weaker enemies. It's even balanced so that you don't always entirely rely on it. Some enemy projectiles can be broken down by shooting at them with your Pod, which declutters your surroundings. However, some projectiles won't break down easily and you'll have to slice through them. This gets the player to swap between melee and ranged attacks instead of leaning too heavily on one. Another thing to note is that on lower difficulties you have a lock on mode which automatically locks onto the target you want to shoot or attack, but your projectiles are more scattered when activated. Aiming it on your own is more effective, because it's one straightforward stream. This is great, because it eventually gets the player used to readjusting their camera instead of heavily relying on lock on which is what a lot of players would do in third person action games. Similar to how Bloodborne gets the player to stop using lock on due to how enemies always show up in groups. Learning to prioritize targets and who to kill first.

Your starting weapon is a katana named the Virtuous Treaty, but you can buy new weapons from merchants and upgrade them at certain vendors. Maybe you want a weapon with huge sweeping attacks and staggering damage like a great sword. Let’s say that your great sword leaves you heavily exposed due to its long wind-up animation, so you may want to bring a spear or gauntlets to attack in quick succession or focus on a single foe. Nier: Automata is a game where you constantly have to be thinking despite combat being fast paced hack n' slash action. Should you rush into a combat scenario under prepared or spend some time doing side quests and grinding the equipment you need to become stronger? I also like how even though the arsenal of weapons is vast you can still beat the game using starting weapons. Allowing players to get creative, but not be forced to. Medium skill requirement, but a high skill ceiling.

Unlike most action games which offer decent invincibility frames to get back up or dodge easily through attacks, Nier: Automata reminds you can't just spam this hoping for the best. You can dodge through enemy attacks, but you have to do it immediately when they are about to strike rather than dodge around wildly until they strike and then continue attacking afterwards. This makes fights more intense by making the player run around and learn to dodge enemy attacks properly, rather than think they can just hack away or spam the dodge button. Bloodborne is an action role playing game with a lot of invincibility frames, but it still wants the player to dodge at the right time like a rhythm game. Maintaining the flow of the fight and keeping the edge on the opponent.

One feature I really like about Nier: Automata are the chips. By equipping chips, you can increase certain stats, resistances, or give your characters special buffs. Chips can allow you to create special builds and sometimes make certain encounters easier. There is a capacity for how many chips you can equip, but you can make extra storage for them by removing chips that display necessary things. Stuff like your health bar, map, and much more. When you die you drop the chips you have equipped, and you have to backtrack to the area you dropped them in to get them back. You have the choice to either retrieve them or revive your corpse and have some additional support for battle. This is a cool idea, because you can either retain them or sacrifice them for additional support. It's like an advanced version of the retrieval system in Souls games.

While this has nothing to do with the gameplay, I do want to bring up the soundtrack of Nier: Automata and how it adds to boss fights or certain key cinematic moments. This also connects back to the story and how you may run around and kill machines without any thought. The soundtrack of Nier: Automata is not only great, but it has this real sadness to it. A choir sings in the background and when I think of a choir I think of church. The place you go to remember the dead or those who are one day likely to die. The themes make it seem like you’re in an epic fight against a creature that doesn’t deserve to die. It’s evil, yes, but they probably had free human thought just like you. Surviving the world and slowly losing themselves to corruption. It’s nice to know that

Nier: Automata found a way to incorporate systems into what should have been another casual action RPG where you go from mashing one button to two buttons over and over. A good amount of depth, build variety, and incentives to fight aggressively.

Slight Criticisms

Now to balance out this essay of Nier: Automata so it doesn’t sound like I’m calling the game perfect I have to point out what this game does wrong or what are its flaws, but most of them are pretty minor so they don’t drastically affect the core experience.

There is a lot of backtracking in this game especially when it comes to side quests that take you to places located on the opposite side of the map. You do unlock the ability to fast travel until later on, but it’s annoying early in the game when you're walking back and forth between long open-ended areas. Hacking enemies with 9S can easily cheese late game bosses and side quests, especially ones that are ten of fifteen levels higher than you. For example, if you're level thirty five and you are fighting a level sixty enemy you can easily defeat it with probably six to ten successful hacks. For example, this one side quest pits me against a karate master machine who changes his body and strengths every time he dies. However, with a few successful hacks you can beat him easily each time even when he scales in level. You may complain that they balance hacking out by making you play a hard bullet hell minigame, but if you play a bunch of video games in your life and stumbled across a few other bullet hells like Furi or Cuphead then you shouldn't have a problem with the hacking bullet hell minigame. Plus you get so used to bullet hell over the course of the game due to bullet hell mechanics being incorporated heavily into the combat.

The camera can be jittery at times especially when you're standing at certain angles during dialogue. I don’t know if having lock-on equipped or not equipped can make the camera feel wavey during the combat, but all it comes down to is preference and how a player is willing to fight. Some Pod Programs can be extremely powerful or utterly useful. For most of my playthrough I stuck with a powerful laser beam that deals a huge amount of damage especially to normal baddies. It has a long cool down rate, but you can equip items that speed up the cool down rate allowing for more usage of this powerful f*ck off laser. Some of the other pod programs I didn’t use, because the laser ended up being my go-to program. The side quests, while they help humanize the world, mostly nail down to collectathons and if you're willing to hunt down key items or just look up a guide and shorten down the process of hunting these items down.

This may not be a problem to those who like playing the game casually, but some of the trophies for Nier; Automata require a lot of grinding for materials or reach certain character points. I’m pretty sure no one wants to go through the time to upgrade every weapon, because that requires lots of cash and various rare materials. There is however an easy way to unlock all of the achievements which cuts the grind entirely. Once you complete the game you can talk to an NPC to unlock trophies using in-game currency. This does allow players to unlock an easy Platinum, but it allows them to skip some of the side content which you don't want in a game full of secrets. The game does balance this out by saving directly after you pay for a trophy, but this doesn’t affect a second save slot. You can have two save slots next to the merchant where you buy the trophies. Use one to buy whatever you can and when you start running out of money then load over to another save. These secrets are really cool to stumble upon. Some of them connect back to the original Nier, so it's a shame you can skip them.

The last one isn’t really a complaint and is more of how the public reacts to it. I think why so many people turn down this game is because of it looks on the surface o. Gamers will look at this, see a busty android in high heels and a maid outfit the front cover, and deduct this as a cringey anime game made for weebs. It’s not a weeb game. It’s a game about human nature, philosophy, and existence. Then there are actual weebs who take it from what the other side suggests and go on to make it immature as possible. There is no reasonable answer for both mundane sides and that’s how people get a bad image of this game. I was once bringing this game up to a table of friends and immediately when I tried to recommend Nier: Automata my other friends assumed I was a person who watches porn. They know I don’t watch gross stuff like that, but they make the joke because that's what this game is associated with. I think I’m just tired. Tired of hearing bad comments about gamers even though some of us aren’t greasy, creepy, or have weird interests. Those are the minor problems I have with Nier: Automata, but overall, it's an amazing game.

Nier: Automata Today

I think Nier: Automata still stands out to this day. It’s one of my favorite games of 2017 alongside Hollow Knight, Persona 5, Prey, and a huge handful of others. There are a ton of endings to achieve in this game and loads of collectibles to find making the game highly replayable. One recommendation I have that will upset a few people is to get Nier: Automata on the PlayStation 4. The PC version of the game from what I heard runs terribly, it lags a lot, and is barely playable unless you have a god tier gaming PC. There’s also a version of Automata on the Xbox One, but you can only download it digitally at the moment and the last time I checked it was fifty dollars. A game that’s been out for more than a year is fifty dollars on another console? Compare this to the physical version on the PlayStation 4 which is at least twenty to thirty dollars. Plus, a majority of my friends who play on consoles usually buy their games physically because if something were to happen to their internet connection they can reinstall it using the disc. I know PC gamers are getting ready to flood to the comments and complain about how I prefer console. Here's the thing. There's nothing wrong with PC gaming. Half my friends play on PC, but I don't think the cost is worth it.

To assemble the parts, get it running, and hope it pays off at the end. Then there's the complaint from PC gamers that a game is not great unless it runs at 60 fps. A game is good if it is well designed, well written, and several other aspects. Bloodborne is one of my favorite games of all time and many people want it to be ported to the PC so it can have a 60-fps boost and be more accessible to the world. Having it more playable to other people is the idea I like, because it can increase the audience of a game and get them hyped for future FromSoftware work or a sequel. Saying it’s not good is because it’s capped at 30 fps instead of 60 fps is dumb to hear, especially since Bloodborne runs incredibly well on the PS4 without any stuttering or numerous framerate drops now. It’s also huge in scope, one of the first few exclusives to make use of the console’s hardware, and amazing to see how the PS4 ran it all back in 2015 without that many problems. Now this is starting to transform into a Bloodborne essay rather than the focused Nier: Automata essay, so how about we move onto the fanbase.

The fanbase for this game is bigger than I imagined it being. There are artists who make several pieces of work based on the game, cosplayers who make uniforms accurate to the characters, musicians who make covers of the main games soundtrack, those who pick apart the lore of the game and see how it relates back to the original Nier, etc. I actually have a poster in my room of the three main characters drawn by an artist I met at a 2018 Comic-Con in Grand Rapids named Nick Minor. There are some weird pieces of work on Nier: Automata and these are from the people who set a bad image on the game, but these are more likely from people who haven’t played the game and mostly make it for the “adult” industry. The fans are really nice and one of the more loyal communities I’ve seen for a game. Currently Square Enix gave a thumbs up and now a remake of the original Nier is in development being titled as Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139 and if it’s anything I have to say it’s this. You see Automata over there? Take the fast-paced reflexive combat from that, improve the graphical textures, and then you’ll have a solid remake. Also, what’s with the title. What in god’s name is up with the title? It’s like naming your child the password to your computer. Nier: Automata is still great fun and I hope it sets an example for Square Enix. Maybe stop focusing on making $60 cinematic blockbuster films and start making actual games.

Thank You, PlatinumGames

Before we end this essay, I would like to take the time to say thank you. Thank you PlatinumGames for making such an imaginative and emotional experience. We weren’t expecting you guys to do much, but you achieved something absolutely incredible. You showed us that it is still possible to have fun while providing some compelling moments and characters along the way. You’ve come a long way and for the amount of time you poured into each of your projects, and I would say this one is the best one yet. You went from stupidly sexy, rocket boots, ninja cyborgs, more stupid sexy, and finally this. This game. This amazing game. One of the most important games to come out in the last decade and one of the best narratives seen in a video game. If you're developing any future titles, I wish you the best of luck and hope that they can stand out like the masterpiece you released. If I were to rescore Nier: Automata right now I would give it a 10/10 for being downright incredible. It’s not perfect and there are flaws with the game, but it exceeded my expectations by a long shot and what it does is tremendous. You're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders much like anybody else would, so keep marching even when things go wrong. I’ll be cheering you through each step of the way. So once again, thank you PlatinumGames.

10/10, Incredible

This critique was written by the single man at Review on. Stay tune for more content and feel free to check more reviews out over at my site!

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