NieR: Automata: A Masterclass in Action and Storytelling

NieR: Automata, from developer PlatinumGames, promises an enthralling blend of action-packed combat, evocative storytelling, and an open-world teeming with both beauty and desolation. As a self-proclaimed completionist with a meticulous eye for detail, I dove into this game with great expectations. Did it deliver? Read on to find out.

Fluid and Responsive Combat System

NieR: Automata excels in delivering a fluid and highly responsive combat system. Players take control of androids 2B, 9S, and A2, switching deftly between melee and ranged attacks. It feels intuitive yet rewarding to master, especially with the variety of weapon types at your disposal. The high-speed battle actions, combining light and heavy attacks while evading enemies, create a ballet of destruction that’s both exhilarating and satisfying.

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Pod Support System

The Pod support system adds another layer of depth, offering both offensive and utility capabilities. You can upgrade Pods to enhance their attack methods, customizing your approach to combat. For newcomers, the “Auto Mode” allows for easy attacks and evasions, providing a smoother entry into the game’s mechanics. However, seasoned players will revel in the complexities and myriad strategies available.

Evocative Storytelling

The narrative is where NieR: Automata truly shines. The story of 2B, 9S, and A2 in their fight to reclaim Earth from the machine lifeforms is both poignant and thought-provoking. It delves into existential themes that challenge your perceptions of life, consciousness, and what it means to be human. The story unfolds across multiple playthroughs, each revealing new perspectives and deeper insights into the characters and the world they inhabit.

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Deep Character Development

The characters themselves are masterfully crafted, each with their own arc and development that endears them to the player. The emotional depth and the intertwining fates of 2B, 9S, and A2 add layers of complexity to the storyline, making it one of the most engaging narratives I’ve encountered in a game.

Beautifully Desolate Open-World

The beautifully desolate open-world of NieR: Automata is a sight to behold. The game seamlessly blends hauntingly beautiful vistas and environments, all rendered in a smooth 60fps. The transitions between areas are flawless, with no loading screens to disrupt immersion. The art direction is stellar, with each location offering its own unique aesthetic and mood.

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Rich Sub-Events and Side Quests

While the world is visually stunning, it’s also enriched with a wealth of sub-events and side quests. These sub-events not only provide additional lore and context but also challenge the completionist in me to leave no stone unturned. The quests range from thought-provoking to heart-wrenching, each adding another layer of depth to the overall experience.

Strengths

  • Fluid and responsive combat system
  • Deep and engaging narrative
  • Masterful character development
  • Beautifully crafted open-world
  • Rich sub-events and side quests

Weaknesses

  • Some side quests can feel repetitive
  • Multiple playthroughs required to fully grasp the story

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Conclusion

NieR: Automata is a masterclass in blending gameplay and storytelling. Its combat system is perfectly tuned for both newcomers and veteran action gamers, while the narrative depth and character development elevate it to a work of art. As a completionist, the plethora of quests, collectibles, and achievements kept me thoroughly engaged. While some side quests can feel repetitive, and the multiple playthroughs required to fully grasp the story might not appeal to everyone, the overall experience is nothing short of extraordinary.

If you’re a fan of action RPGs with deep storytelling, NieR: Automata is a must-play. It skillfully combines heart-pounding combat with an emotionally rich narrative, all set against a backdrop of stunningly crafted environments. This is one war between machines and androids that you won’t want to miss.

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Final Verdict

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

While it comes close to perfection, minor repetitive elements and the need for multiple playthroughs prevent it from achieving a perfect score. Nevertheless, it stands as one of the most compelling games of its genre.

Useful Gaming Tip for Beginners

Tip: Focus on upgrading your Pods early on. Enhancing their attack methods can significantly improve your combat efficiency and adaptability.

Want to check it out yourself? Click here to see it on Steam.