“She’s like a Barbie, then she wants to be a superhero, or coming out of a spaceship and everything’s pink. She makes a certain move that’s guetto hood mixed with a little robot so it’s like I’m evolving Nicki Minaj and developing her style. She’s fearless, and I love her.” – Laurieann Gibson
Earth has been stolen from humans in this post-apocalyptic setting that surrounds NieR: Automata; everything rests on this weirdly arousing and badass robot called 2B. Unlike Barbie and Nicki Minaj, 2B isn’t part of the human world. Her design is at the time provocative and enticing to the anime/gamer community and inviting to fans of the action-RPG genre. She has been put together by the creative designing skills of Yoko Taro, the director behind NieR. Knowing how Taro-san works, you should expect the unexpected.
Earth, A Wasteland of Oil, Screws and Machine Scraps
Now under the control of robotic war machines, Earth’s last hope rests on the YoRHa, a series of artificial android soldiers built with the sole purpose of saving Earth and eradicating enemy machines. The entire land is but a giant battlefield where oil is being shed like the blood dripping out of the Crazy 88 group during ‘that’ fight in Kill Bill Volume 1. With all the machine ruling over and destroying what is left of the Earth that we know and cherish, humans find themselves hiding on the moon, waiting for the storm to pass and peace to return.
Cleansing the planet from the thread isn’t a task that can be achieved all alone. That said, the game offers an inviting open world design that is far from being intimidating. Side quests and other missions will require you to go back to certain areas you have already visited, so fear not, you will get a chance to return on some of your footsteps. Besides, heading back to another area isn’t difficult, nor is it as time consuming as the distance might appear to make it.
During your exploration and questing, you will come across other ally soldier androids. They are trying to take down machines on their own and a little help is always welcome. Did you really think that you would clean the entire Earth all by yourself? NieR, in its own way, shows you the importance of teamwork, especially during a large, planetary crisis.
As a robot, or android if you prefer, you have tons of advantages over being a human. First and foremost, humans have this thing called fear. Such an emotion isn’t necessary during a war as such, so avoiding as much as possible by sending androids is a good way to go on about it. Also, humans die. Sad, yes, but also problematic. In NieR, when you die, or fail to survive, the body you use becomes lifeless. You will come back as a robot, but if you don’t go back to your older body and recover your data, you will lose experience points previously gained in the last body. Also, you might risk losing certain chips. (Keep in mind that OS chips required to function properly can’t be lost). Saving often is a great way to prevent such important losses, considering the game lack of auto-save feature.
You Are Responsible for Failing
2B is a fighter; she is a cold-blooded machine destroyer that makes half of the X-Men crew relatable to Barbie. Whenever her mind is set on destroying a machine, she will pull out everything from her combat arsenal to get the job done. The Earth is at stake, so there is absolutely no place for errors. As comparable as she is to Bayonetta, Platinum Games’ other luscious female character design, 2B doesn’t share the same mechanics. While in Bayonetta you can button mash for decent results, NieR doesn’t condone for such a gameplay. Every button has an effect and before engaging recklessly in a fight, it is highly recommended that you plan, prepare a strategy, and ensure you have the resources and skill to survive.
The encounters are fluid from attacks to avoiding. That said, if you find yourself in a bind because you got hit, it is useless to blame the controls; you are entirely responsible for your fail. It was either too hard for you, so you need to polish your skills a little, or you simply messed up by wrongfully positioning yourself.
Speaking of blaming yourself, there are a few instances when you can’t really take the blame for failing. For example, there is a moment in the game that if you leave a certain city in a way that wasn’t ‘required’, the world will come to an end. As it turns out, the game itself has a total of 26 endings, five of which are needed to fully unlock and understand the game’s story and its true ending. Such a feature is weird to say the least, but in its own way, offers a unique replayability element that invites you to discover the truth behind NieR.
Taro-san always enjoys to confuse players – he doesn’t fail to do the same in NieR.
NieR: Automata is a good-looking action RPG title that puts you in the choose of an android on a mission to save the entire planet Earth. Everything from combat mechanics to the exploration elements are offered to players in a way so that they don’t feel like chores. The likeable character is nimble and has been designed to make the game feel as though it was a hack-n-slash.
NieR was an incredible experience. From the get go, you are introduced to 2B and quickly fall in love with her. The design, her combat moves…everything about this android makes you want to learn more about her and what ever happened to the planet she is bound to save. What really caught my attention was the fact that the game offers multiple endings, many of which are required in order to learn about the truth that hides within.
At first, I was expecting to play a heavy hack-n-slash game with confusing controls, but as I handled the delicate android for myself, I found out that the gameplay is a lot more complex and efficient than button mashing. It is, I believe, this subtle element that differentiate NieR from other classic hack-n-slash games, and what sets it apart from action titles.