Everyone has been raving about how great Nier:Automata is. I’ve heard it being praised for its story, characters, world building, and gameplay. It’s being hailed as one of the greatest games of all time and… I don’t understand why. This game was a pain to play through at times with some of the dullest characters I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting in video games. Read on to find out what I think of Nier: Automata!
I updated this review to match my current review style. My goal is to update all of my reviews and I’m slowly going through them while making changes while I play them again.
Nier Automata will most likely win best soundtrack of the year. I haven’t played a game that had a soundtrack this good in a long time. I can count the amount of games that I’ve loved every song to on one hand. The voice acting, music, and overall sound quality in this game is excellent. The voice acting is top notch too. Everyone gave really solid performances. It’s a shame that the rest of the game isn’t this good because I can tell that some serious love went into this.
I didn’t expect much from the PC port of this game, but it’s good. It’s not great, but it is playable with mouse & keyboard. It offers a few options to adjust the graphical settings of the game and even lets me adjust how close (or far) I want the camera from my character to be. This game does need a patch or two for performance though. I didn’t experience some of the nightmares that other people did while playing this game, but we do need a patch. The overall port isn’t terrible though. I’ve played better and I’ve played far worse too. This is a decent port job at best and that’s by no means a bad thing.
If you’ve played one game from Platinum Games you’ve played them all. What I mean by that is you can expect over the top action, fast movements, and flashy animations. It’s not bad, but it’s not deep. Bayonetta’s gameplay is superior to Nier Automata’s in my opinion. I still enjoyed beating the living crap out of everything though. Chaining up combos reminds me of Dynasty Warriors. You push X a bunch of times and eventually push the Y button to use your heavy attacks. A perfect timed dodge will open up various opportunities for you to unleash brutal counter attacks that can knock enemies back or take knock them up into the air where you can button mash them to death. It’s a simple system and it works beautifully. There are three playable characters in this game. Two of them are pretty identical to each other while the other (9S) doesn’t fight as well and has to depend on hacking to survive. I’ll get more into that later.
The graphics range from really impressive to average. The character models look fantastic while the world is pretty average looking when compared to other open world games. Some areas are really pretty while others are forgettable. The cutscenes are all top notch and watching 2B drive her sword into a naked dude was awesome. I just wish the entire game looked that good. I’m not a fan of the faded out environments or last generation looking locales. The character models look fantastic, but the rest of the game looks average at best. It’s like a mix between current and last gen looks and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that yet.
2B, 9S, and A2 are all generic characters to me. I never really cared about any of them. I enjoyed some segments of their stories, but I never cared about what happened to any of them or felt compelled to see what happened next in the story because I didn’t care about what was going on. 9S is just a whiny, annoying character that’s supposed to make us care, but that never happened to me. Why does this game get so much praise? Where are the heartfelt moments? Every protagonist in this game is generic and I could care less about what happened to any of them or the world that they populated.
I know some people really love the story in this game. I don’t. I don’t care about the resistance or about what happened to the human race or about 2B, A2, and definitely 9S. If this game was just about 2B I could see myself pushing this up into the good section because she had the best boss fights, and her story was better than both 9S, and A2 combined. After 2B’s story ended what little interest I had in the story went away because it just went downhill from there. Why is the story to this game getting so much praise? I don’t get it. What’s so good about it? It’s painfully average and tries too hard to make you feel anything. If that’s enough for people to call it a masterpiece then good for them. The story here is complete shit and is all over the place at times.
Hacking into enemies, and objects is a big part of this game.. and it completely sucks. I appreciate the creativity that went into this game, but I can live without hacking into shit ever again. It’s by the far the most annoying thing about this game. Wiping out a group of enemies with my weapons isn’t good enough because 9S can’t fight for shit and his most effective tool is hacking into enemies and making them explode. The problem is that in boss fights I would have to spam hack until they die. That means I’ll have to hack them over, and over, and over, and over again until their health reaches zero and play through that stupid mini game again, and again. Does that sound fun to you?
The Open World is Generic…
Why does everything have to be open world these days. The open world in this game does nothing for it. It’s not designed well, exploring it is a huge waste of time, and there’s nothing to do in it besides run from quest marker to quest marker. That’s assuming I even bothered to do all of that shit. The side quest in this game are boring and I eventually stopped doing them. I did whatever was in my way and kept going on towards the main quest. Do you know why Bayonetta is so good? Because it’s linear. Nier’s world is lifeless, boring, and probably would have been much better if the game was more linear like Bayonetta.
I’m a huge fan of customization in any game. The only thing you can really do is get different color ribbons, or mask, to put on your 2B until you finish everyone’s story. After you complete the you unlock two costumes that look worse than what she starts the game off wearing… I bet we’re going to get some nice costume DLC for $5 later this year…
I couldn't stop playing this game fast enough after I completed it. I have no reason to go back to it and that's a shame because I was really looking forward to this game. I wanted it to be good and I even pushed myself forward because I was hoping that it would eventually get better, but it didn't. I don't hate this game though. It does do some things right. The sound quality itself sets the bar for future games to follow, and the only reason why the gameplay didn't make the great section is because of the hacking. There is fun to be had here, but there's also a lot of bad here too. Nier: Automata is okay. It's not good or bad. It's somewhere in between and I don't remember the last time I had such a love/hate relationship with a game.