NieR Automata is a great game. The open-world is a well polished “End of Days,” theme-park filled with interesting combinations of realtime actions, RPG progressions, and a story that grabs your attention.
2B, 9S and A2 are designed to be sympathetic heroes attempting to prove to themselves, and you the player, that they are indeed alive. As they roam the killer robot filled husk of a battered earth, they uncover conspiracies about their nature and the other beings in the universe.
For all of it’s design aesthetic, the deeper questions being prodded at are somewhat obscured by mandatory repetition and cryptic in-game NPC dialogue. The vast and sometimes lonely feeling world, hides ideas about the self and consciousness that can be explored.
The clever folks at Wisecrack did an amazing video on the ideas that are buried in the game’s multiple endings and character experiences. Personally, these ideas would have been otherwise really interesting to me but I wasn’t as captured with the setting and characters enough to grind past three endings.
The game is worth your money, but not at full original asking price. If you don’t want to repeat yourself, you probably won’t make it through to the more compelling story elements.
1 out of 3 stars. While I enjoyed the mashup and mechanics, the repetitions required to un-earth the remaining ideas in the game proved too high a cost for me.
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Wisecrack – Video essay on The Philosophy of NieR: Automata
Illustration – Evan McIntyre
Music & Audio Consulting – Josh Hunt
Background Music – Artist: Belzifer
Track: NieR – Automata OST – Pascal (Instrumental)