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Fun times, but leaves something to be desired

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    NieR: Automata

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    Fun times, but leaves something to be desired

    NieR: Automata’s release has been met with great acclaim from many sources. Being a fan of JRPG’s and hack and slash games, naturally I anticipated the game. Below are my thoughts and opinions on what I think are the most important aspects of the game.

    Gameplay – 7/10
    The majority of combat is enjoyable, fast-paced hack and slash action with some shooter elements thanks to your floating, weaponized bot companions and flight suit sections. However, it lacks depth and complexity as movesets are limited to very few combo’s.

    The novelty of the hacking minigame also wears off quickly and becomes more of chore when trying to move forward in the story.

    Character progression and customization comes in the form of leveling up, upgrading weapons, and equipping chips that either improve quality of life or boost parameters. Weapons come with some very cool designs, but only a few stand out in terms of uniqueness in combat.

    Side quests are often fetch quests and escorts, but offer valuable rewards including bits of story and new music.

    Another shortcoming is that there is not much to do when you finish the main story as most enemies don’t scale to your level.

    Story/Characters – 7/10
    The plot explores the depths of humanity within the android and machine races. The main characters are well designed, stylish (and likeable for the most part,) but their personalities aren’t very original and they aren’t given the time to fully develop. Major antagonists are fascinating, but are given even less time.

    The actual amount of story content is brief — about 20-25 hours, with distinctly less dialogue compared to other RPG’s. Furthermore, many scenes are repeated from the point of view of different characters. Too much context is given through reading documents rather than through the main game experience and so major plot twists have a lessened impact.

    Visuals/Graphics – 8/10
    The textures of some environments were sacrificed to keep the frame rate high. Though some areas are aesthetically pleasing. Even so, the frame rate does dip occasionally.

    The main characters are well modeled. Their movements during combat are fluid and flow well with the pace of combat.

    Sound – 9/10
    One of the strongest facets of NieR: Automata — a memorable OST rarely found in modern games.
    Many tracks are accompanied by female vocals that add an element of surrealism. Though there was a lack of original songs that added to the sense of urgency and direness that the prequel NieR game had.

    The voice acting is solid for the most part. If the voice work ever came off as flat, then I found it to be the fault of the dialogue itself.

    Overall – 8/10
    Nier: Automata is assuredly a well put together game. However, the story and gameplay could have been expanded upon greatly — leaving a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. NieR fans probably don’t need a review to tell them to go get this game, but it is certainly worth a play though if you are an outsider to the series.

    Thanks for reading!

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