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A confusing, mediocre game plagued by bugs and glitches

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    NieR: Automata

    Rating: 3.0 – Fair

    A confusing, mediocre game plagued by bugs and glitches

    Nier:Automata, highly praised by many, but is it really worth it? In short: no. It all depends on what you want most out of a game, I guess. Is it gorgeous graphics? A beautiful soundtrack? Lightning fast gameplay? A large, open world to explore? A deep/surprising/original story? Let´s go over these criteria one by one and see where this game delivers. Or lacks…

    Graphics: 2 out of 5

    Absolutely under par here. The PS4 is capable of so very much more and better these days, Nier:Automate has graphics that look outdated on even my PS2. Agreed, the hacking minigame has its minimalistic charme, but nevertheless, I expect (a lot) more of a game anno 2017. Characters and enemies are bland, identical, unattractive. Textures used in the world are just plain boring. But I guess we have been spoiled by Masterpieces like Horizon Zero Dawn.

    Sound: 3 out of 5

    The music gets boring very quickly and fades into repetitiveness. The sometimes childish vocals somehow don´t quite fit in either. Tastes differ, ofcourse, which is good, but the music in this game is just… annoying. English voice acting is reasonably well done but nowhere spectacular (nor especially bad). The machine voices, well… would evolved, intelligent, sentient machines talk like that in the distant future? I´d say, nah, probably not.

    Gameplay: 3 out of 5

    The game often responds badly, just plain wrong, lagging, or not at all to input of the controller. And this is a game where you definitely need quick and precise control, especially at higher levels. Discerning yourself in the pandemoniously chaotic mayhem of many battles is very hard at times, especially when your view of the battlefield is suddenly and inconveniently switched to top-down, or in close quarters with the shouldercam too close and skitty. In battle, enemy AI functions adequately, albeit of the most yawning form (enemy spotted -> attack). It all feels a bit… stale.

    World: 2 out of 5

    The gameworld is very small and offers little variation. You use it to move through to your next objective marker, not to enjoy the vistas. There is a sandy area, but it´s not a desert. There is an area with trees, but it´s not a forest. The large area with identical, inaccessible buildings is not a city. Because they are all too small, empty, and boring.

    Story: 4 out of 5

    The story is… interesting. In that it is original, surprising, somewhat plot-twisty, and told from different viewpoints. Leaves you pondering at times too, which is good. Although, the first time you play this game, much will be unexplained, and thus ´weird´. Stick with it, play all endings, but above all, have patience. A lot.

    Bugs and Glitches

    This game unfortunately has them. In abundance. Temporary freeze-ups, weapons disappearing (as in: gone from your inventory, for good), unresponsive controls, and at times very noticeable lag. This is not what I expect from a (now, dec 2017) 60+ euro worth a game. But there will be patches, right?

    Verdict: 3 out of 5 (barely)

    It´s clear that I am disappointed by this game. Considering the hype, I expected a more appetizing but above all less unfinished product. 3 Out of 5 stars, and I´m being a tad generous here.

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