Review: NieR Automata (PS4)
NieR Automata it was surprising from the very first announcement. The mere news of the creation of this game shocked the fans because No R. was not the type of game that gets a sequel. Later, however, doubts arose – whether the combination of Taro Yoko’s vision with the enormity and dynamics of production PlatinumGames he will give us a worthy successor NieRa?
NieR Automata is a continuation of the cult game released for the previous generation. In that case, however, it was difficult to talk about the genius of the production as a whole, because only the music and the plot stood out above average. There was a budget shortage, so quite a few items suffered. The game offered graphics that were outdated even for those times, rejecting crude and archaic solutions in the game. That’s why I was so surprised that the sequel is actually being created and still with such momentum. I was worried because of this latest work Taro Yoko will be shallower, because it is known what it is like with well-paid projects. My fears turned out to be misplaced because NieR Automata is a production that is both faithful to the original and other games from the universe, and also surpasses them in terms of performance.
NieR Automata continues the events of the first NieRa and later stories that appeared in the artbook and Drama CD released only in Japan. Interestingly, the plot is an extension of one of the humorous stories. At first suspicions, he was crazy Taro Yoko this is what he will choose as the basis for the new story, I was a bit skeptical. However, it turned out again that it was unnecessarily, because what was happening in the script exceeded my wildest expectations. It is difficult to say anything more here. Each word can spoil the fun for observant players. So let me just mention that the plot is also something that anyone can get into without knowing its predecessors, but fans will understand it better. The whole thing is very cleverly written, it can shock and move, and also give food for thought.
All threads in NieR Automata they combine and complement perfectly, but in fact it is only when you finish the game three times that you can understand it completely. After the first pass, I had more questions than answers, and it was only on the second one that I got to know some of the most important details and saw a preview of the next events that kept me from leaving the console and stopping to think about the game. Yes, you read that right. You need to complete the title at least three times to get to know the entire script. It’s best to repeat the ending in a different way, the more so that later you can choose chapters. Also, do not be afraid that you will have to repeat something you know well – the second pass is significantly different from the first. Not only are new threads appearing, but the gameplay is also significantly changed. However, I will leave this for you to discover, because for me it was a very pleasant surprise. While learning about this wonderful story, I found many flavors and references to previous editions, and many times I had a tear in my eye. As a fan, I felt really satisfied because I love such treatments.
NieR Automata it combines many different genres, doing it so well that it is simply great to play and there is no time for boredom. The gameplay features RPG and action games – here PlatinumGames showed off their incredibly fast and dynamic combat system, which they achieved master level in creating. The controls are very intuitive and the fights are incredibly spectacular. Our heroine moves very quickly, she even teleports her when dodging correctly, and it all falls out with incredible grace. She is accompanied by Pod – a small robot that provides information and helps in clashes. So we can simultaneously fight with the use of melee weapons and support ourselves with shooting it. Initially, these will be ordinary missiles, but we can find better equipment that will allow us, among others. to launch homing missiles. That’s when the real trouble begins – explosions, sparks, rockets, pieces of defeated enemies and particle effects accompanying dodges. The best part about it is that the game doesn’t slow down for a moment, even during the most spectacular action. Thanks to this, the fight is pure poetry. However, it cannot be denied that I had small drops in animation during exploration a few times, but it happened rarely enough that I consider the problem to be marginal and it did not spoil my fun in any way.
An interesting solution is the dying and body recovery system. If our android dies in battle, we can return for the body and recover the lost items. Nothing stands in the way of making a dead android our ally. However, this one will not live for a long time and it is much better to recover the items, especially since there is a risk of fighting with us while reviving the body. If we connect to the game server, the corpses of other players will also be available with messages left by them. Here we have a similar choice with the difference that we can pray for the one who died in battle and thus serve the player who owned the android. It is definitely better to get items from the corpses you encounter than to make allies of them, because you can only have one at a time. During a more difficult fight, such an ally may prove to be very useful.
IN NieR Automata we won’t just swing our sword and shoot missiles. The very beginning of the game shows us that, as in the predecessor, we will be dealing with a genre mishmash. We start our adventure with something that can be called a twin-stick shooter, combined with what we know from Zone of Enders, i.e. air combat at close range with the use of mechs. Similar moments occur throughout the game quite often and I must admit that it is not only a great diversion, but also a lot of fun in itself. If these stages were to serve as a basis for smaller production, I would gladly use it. At this point, I will also touch on the camera which has worked amazingly well. Even if I didn’t like something, I had many options at my disposal to adapt it to my own needs. The camera can be freely zoomed out, zoomed in and generally placed in a convenient place. What’s more, perspectives can be assigned to different situations – if we want to look at the action from above during the fight, nothing prevents us from setting it in this way, and after the fight our point of view returns to the position planned for exploration. So the problem of a malfunctioning camera, so frequent in Japanese productions, disappears.
This is the first time Platinum has delivered an open-world game. An original combination, because so far action games have had corridor locations, especially when it comes to this developer. Here, however, we are dealing with extensive locations, while traveling through which we will not see loading screens. At this point, we also come to what it really defines NieR Automata as an RPG – apart from the storyline, we can turn aside for a moment and take care of side quests. This is another element that makes the production assessed here stand out above the average. Side missions are not only an additional activity to extend the fun, but something that is actually fun to do. In addition, each of them has a significant role in the main plot, because its content enriches our knowledge with further details that help us understand the game world. On their own they are interesting, varied and don’t rely on simply running after icons on the map, giving you significant benefits. Not only do we get a lot of experience and currency, but we also get new weapons that help in combat. There were also great tasks, which are entirely a tribute to the fans. It is worth adding that even if we break one of them or lose important items, we can restore the previous status without any problems, because it is up to the player when he saves the game. I have always been a great opponent of automatic saves and I was very happy about the lack of a similar solution. Thanks to this, I was able to fully control my progress myself, the more so that it can be kept at almost every step.
At this point I will discuss the subject of audiovisual setting NieR Automata. Playable demo available in PlayStation Store could have suggested that we would be dealing with empty and twin-like locations. This is not entirely true, because we will end up in different places. These will be cities overgrown with vegetation, covered in sand or flooded with water. The game world is deserted due to the storyline, so the design must correspond to it. I think the artists did a great job on this matter. The game world is captivating and beautiful, and the whole melancholy that characterizes the spots had a strong influence on me and only strengthened the emotions that came from learning about the script.
All this affects the player even more if we add beautiful music to the created world that plays during exploration and fights. Depending on the situation, we will listen to calm and romantic pieces, up to touching and sublime. I also liked the way the music was put together with the action. Each of the tracks develops depending on the situation. If we travel through the location, we will be accompanied by a calm version of the song. During the fight, it develops into a dynamic version, and at key moments is enriched with vocals. I’m a huge fan of the music from the first part and I didn’t think it was Keichii Okabe together with Emi Evans are on par with what they did in their iconic 2010 masterpiece. The music is different, but just as beautiful and moving. I am already addicted to it now and fortunately, it can be listened to in the game in a designated place. And since we’re at the sound stage, I would like to point out that a great option is to change the language version from English to Japanese. Both look very good, but I liked the English version due to the voice of the heroine, which in the Japanese edition seemed too friendly and innocent to me.
Finally, there is the question of the level of difficulty and the time it takes to complete the production. I was happy with the freedom in choosing the challenge, thanks to which the game may be accessible to someone who has no experience with similar productions, but fans of challenges will also find something for themselves. The highest difficulty level requires the player to have perfect knowledge of the game, because after receiving any damage, it ends. In turn, the easiest one offers the possibility to install special skills that automate combat. I played at an intermediate level myself and happened to die about ten times, a few of which resulted from over-searching the map and hitting too strong opponents. The game is not too difficult, because so few deaths for nearly forty hours of play is practically nothing. Fortunately, you can make it difficult or make it easier at almost any time.
NieR Automata it’s a perfect title. I spent many hours with him and still not much. I also know that I will return to this unique production more than once, because there are really not many of them. It is a beautiful and epic adventure that did not let me tear myself away from the console and completely took over me. The only thing I could fault is very rare and slight animation drops. However, with the fact that the game runs at a stable 60fps almost all the time, it doesn’t really matter. NieR Automata It delights not only with the created world and beautiful music, but also with a perfect combination of several genres, so there is no room for boredom and monotony.