Author Topic: Nier: Automata  (Read 2787 times)

Nier: Automata
« on: March 10, 2017, 05:57:00 PM »
As a US resident who's had a chance to have a go at this a little early, I just finished my first run through this and wanted to share why I adored it.

First one, and a big one for RPGs, It's focused. My first run, taken at a fairly easy pace and finishing up most but not all of the sidequests took around 20 hours. In the length of time it takes most RPGs to get going, it's already bombarded you with all kinds of fantastic oddness. It dials the dialogue and character interactions down to the bare essentials, while making sure every part of those is as memorable as can be. No endless "..." and pointless conversations that go nowhere here. The world map is quite small and tightly-packed but with an interesting variety of locales and characters. Nothing feels like padding.

Just the tone and style in general is unique. It's by turns bleak and bizarre and often genuinely funny, but rarely in an obvious way. It feels singularly designed in that particular kind of way that only good, weird Japanese games can be. I really don't want to get into spoilers as coming into it fresh is really the way to go, but it constantly finds ways to mix things up and add new twists to dull RPG tropes that can make even the most mundane escort mission into something you'll remember. And the soundtrack is phenomenal.

Then there's the combat. Easily the best I've played in a "pure" rpg. The combat system was developed by Platinum and man, it shows. It's more pared-back than their other games, certainly easier to get to grips with than the intimidating intricacy of Bayonetta, but still rich and deep enough to never get tiring, with an array of extra weapons and pods to keep mixing things up. And if that's not enough for you, the New Game+ opens up a new character with an additional skillset to complement what's already there.

And it feels massively replayable. They say you really need to play through something like three times to get the guts of the full story, and it feels properly designed around that. Going into a New Game+ there's basically no "ah fuck, not this again" sections, and from the off it starts throwing new gameplay sections into the mix as you play through it a different character's perspective. The first run feels like a bit of a tutorial in that classic Platinum way, in that you'll finally be properly getting to grips with your arsenal and looking forward to really letting loose this time. Supposedly on the fourth run [Spoiler]the entire game opens up and lets you select chapters and characters at will to dig out the 26 possible endings[/Spoiler]. If you love it as much as I did, there's a lot there to keep you coming back.

So yeah, it's a wonderful, unique thing and please don't let it get lost between the new Zelda and Persona games. It deserves to go down in history as a genuine classic.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 07:25:56 AM »
On my third run and the game is still throwing incredible curveballs at me, I've never played anything like it. If you do get a hold of this and enjoy it, you absolutely owe it to yourselves to at least make it to the third pass. It's not as painful as it sounds as your second run streamlines itself down to a handful of hours and introduces swathes of new stuff in that short space. You'll kick yourself if you don't.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 08:07:06 AM »
This is top of my list for post-Zelda. The front-loading of 2017 has been utterly fucking ridiculous but this was always one of the lead titles for me. Platinum style plus Taro style? I haven't played one of his games before and I am *stoked*.

Then Persona, then... catch-up[nb]i.e. Horizon or Yakuza or Nioh or Gravity Rush 2 or... Yeah. Ridiculous.[/nb].

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 09:57:03 AM »
Thanks for the detailed review, will be picking this up :)

Bhazor

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 11:54:47 PM »
https://i.redd.it/9p0sknc1d6ly.jpg

10/10 it has good graphics.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 10:20:45 PM »
I've now put a couple of hours into this. It's already doing some interesting stuff. I almost wish I could be the hypothetical person who picks this up knowing nothing but that it's got a cute girl on the front and that you shoot some robots for a while, so they can gradually get sucked into the madness that this game is actually supposed to be. The intro is basically the demo, fighting through the factory with its camera shifts and giant boss. Then you learn what happens next and end up back on Earth seeking out the resistance so you can go help them. There are some robots around, but their yellow eyes indicate that they're docile and harmless. You can still kill them if you want and if you attack they'll fight back after their eyes go red.

Slight spoilers for the first hour to 90m: [Spoiler]When you then get to the desert, and first find these enemies that are red-eyed and angry, but have no arms and so can't do anything about it, and there's a pair of tall/short ones with all their body segments ripe for dicing, it really nails the level of funny/sad it was going for and makes you start to wonder about or pity them. Then they start talking...[/Spoiler]

The combat's ace, as you could've seen from the demo. Gets a bit frantic at times, but considering the hardest difficulty setting is apparently a one-shot kill mode, I can only assume I should just be doing better :p PC version has some frame-rate issues in cut-scenes, which is just weird but might get patched out.

EDIT: Oh yeah, somehow forgot to applaud the soundtrack, which is basically worth the price of admission in itself.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 10:42:22 PM »
Was curious to know how the PC port turns out, as you have to filter the "it drops a frame occasionally" hysteria. To work out whether or not it might just be better to get the console version.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 11:48:02 PM »
Worth mentioning the console version does target 60fps and is a very slick and beautiful thing in its own right.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 11:19:29 AM »
This is getting Gooooood... I still suck at combat, I mean, I can do it, but I'm not convinced I'm doing it well. Some of the camera tricks I enjoy but there was one encounter where I felt the fact I couldn't see what I wanted to see was damaging me. But the world's fascinating. I get the feeling this is definitely one to avoid all kinds of spoilers for and also that I'm only scratching the surface, but it's beautiful, atmospheric, wryly humorous and at the same time there's this constant air of tragedy around proceedings. Even when the robots are happy, are you sure they're happy? Are they? Can they even be sure of anything, or even be happy in the first place or is this all just a pale imitation of living? This is all 100% my jam and the fact it's combined with Platinum combat and scale is brilliant. I really hope this game doesn't get buried, even though it likely will overall.

Also, PSA but there are a *ton* of sidequests that unlock and at the start your only option is to manually go from place to place, which involves a lot of running around. I'd suggest leaving them until you progress the Main Story far enough to unlock warp points.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 07:18:47 PM »
I'm hoping for a whole ton of spoilered text in this thread soon enough :p I've seen the credits roll now but am pressing on.

Last time I played it it did probably the most meta thing I've ever seen in a game...

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 07:21:57 PM »
I've heard that it's well worth replaying multiple times and the reason why becomes apparent very quickly into your next playthrough, so I'm fascinated to get to that.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 06:14:27 AM »
Ok, I'm going to dip my feet in here.

To establish a rule-set, this game has multiple endings. Like, a *lot* of multiple endings. [Spoiler]    26    [/Spoiler] endings in total. Many of these are goofs. As an example, the simplest one to get is by removing a 'Do Not Remove' chip from 2B as soon as you get access to the pause menu. This will cause a black screen, a couple of lines of text, the credits whizz past and you're back at the main menu with an extra ending to your name.

Some of the others, obviously, are not goofs. I finished a playthrough and got ending [Spoiler]   A   [/Spoiler]. So it might help to specify which Things we're talking about before details are doled out, just to keep on track, because saying I'm in such-and-such area ain't necessarily gonna cut it.

For anyone who wants to know the format of the game in general, then here goes: [Spoiler]You play through the game as 2B, and get ending A. Then you continue the game[/Spoiler] but the NG+ is essentially [Spoiler]a new campaign, where you play as 9S, can unlock things you couldn't before, retain all your items, xp, quests etc but run through the same scenario again from another perspective, get ending B and presumably there's more to come after that too.[/Spoiler]

So, the following will be talking about that entire playthrough.
Overall, awesome. The [Spoiler]religious cult mass murder/suicide[/Spoiler] nier the end was surprisingly affecting, the setpieces were great, and the bosses were generally pretty epic (though the [Spoiler]singer in the amusement park[/Spoiler] was probably the highlight). Sorry later-in-the-game but [Spoiler]one-eyed crab bots just aren't on the same level.[/Spoiler] There's a lot going on here with different vying factions as well as a lot of mystery. I was a bit annoyed that the cut-off for side-quests was [Spoiler]invisible and there was no warning, but apparently that's not really an issue.[/Spoiler] Some of those side-quests were good, others felt more like busywork but overall I liked them. As I mentioned earlier, waiting for warping probably made them better. Fishing was a bit dull but there were a couple of spots where I could just try it a few times in a row and get different stuff every time. It very much seems like if you're playing at any moderate pace you haven't a hope in hell of getting or levelling all the items and weapons and pods etc, but again there's NG+ etc for that. I also liked that at the end of the credits [Spoiler]Square-Enix literally throw in a screen saying 'um, you're really not done yet. You might wanna... continue this game. Seriously.[/Spoiler]



And about that. Regarding my time with NG+ (avoid unless you're in it)...
[Spoiler]Not sure if I enjoy playing as 9S as much :/ Sorry, but while the hacking minigames are fine and all, it doesn't compare to the combo options and weapon selection fun of 2B. I will say though that even though this is, for a while at least, going to be essentially a repeat run, stuff like the new golden robots (and jesus talk about sponges... Need like 5 hacks to take that dude out!) and finally being able to unlock those chests (which of course I promptly forget the location of 100% of despite bearing in mind that I'd probably want to remember them later earlier) and check out these archives is enough of a carrot. Plus obviously the knowledge that the back half will have to be quite different and all the lingering questions. Why *was* 2B sent on this mission? What was the deal with A2? What was the deal with the Forest King? Likewise Created World (very cool area btw) and so much more. Also I apparently spend a long time in PC settings menus ;) [/Spoiler]

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 01:01:39 PM »
I'm hoping for a whole ton of spoilered text in this thread soon enough :p I've seen the credits roll now but am pressing on.

Good stuff, you'll be glad you did.

We'll be getting a lot of black blocks of paragraphs pretty soon I think, once folks start getting through the endgame. I don't want to go into it too much yet, but the first two routes are very much a warmup for what's coming. My initial assessment was a little off in that it's not a 20-hour RPG designed to be replayable, it's consciously designed as a 50-hour one that opens up the more you play through.

Finished this one shortly after my last post there a while back, getting the main endings A B C D E  as well as some of the random silly ones. If anything I think I need to revise my verdict upwards. I've never enjoyed an RPG more.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 01:17:52 PM »
Cripes. I enjoyed the demo a lot but I'm not paying fifty quid for this in the month I get the Switch and a load of launch titles for that. This is definitely on the horizon, though. Unlike Horizon.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 12:19:29 AM »
Finished it twice now, continuing on. This is my fucking Jam.

The closest comparison I can make would almost be an MGS game, and, like, a really good one. Nothing remotely similar in terms of how it plays or dialogue density but in terms of the scale, gameplay/plot development and meta/overall weirdness it's practically making me giggle.

3rd Playthrough Spoiler (rank: not plot but will spoil a Moment that I really loved and should come naturally): [Spoiler]Fuck me if that isn't my new favourite Cold Open of all time.[/Spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 01:14:48 AM by brat-sampson »

Bhazor

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2017, 01:02:56 AM »
I'm getting this to tide me over till I get my Switch in June. Its just a question of whether I can find a physical copy or Steam pops up a surprise sale. 50euros is my hard limit for amount I will spend on a single game.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 01:27:07 AM by Bhazor »

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2017, 01:06:00 AM »
If you make an account on GreenmanGaming you can still get the VIP rate for it, which is about £32 for a Steam key.

Bhazor

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2017, 01:17:19 AM »
Done and done. Thanks.

Bhazor

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2017, 02:15:43 AM »
Well after 13 hours downloading all 26gb (me and the videogame industry really must have a chat about file compression) I got to play an hour or so. I have to say not a great first impression. Firstly it opened in a tiny window then I discovered it wouldn't detect my controller so I had to play keyboard controls. Then as soon as the 360 section started I realised those mouse controls are beyond fucked. But before even that the first thing you see on starting a game is that "There are no autosaves" and the manual save option is greyed out so once I started I had to play the full hour or fear repeating the whole sequence. I'm sure once I get my controller working I'll love it. I already like the constant switch ups and it has the perfect dodge system from Bayo without the boring bullet time moment.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2017, 02:50:57 AM »
Yeah, it does seem to like to launch in windowed mode, but I've never had a problem with controller detection, using a DS4 and inputmapper. The no autosave thing isn't entirely true[nb] I'm sure I once died between a boss and a save point and came back after the boss, it's not Persona, but then I didn't close the game that time so maybe?[/nb] but after the intro section you're rarely too far from a saving area anyway.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2017, 07:15:09 AM »
Donezo,

This was amazing. Going off to read Spoiler discussions in places and there's a bunch of stuff I missed that makes elements even more emotional. I'll probably replay this (like, actually replay, from the start) down the line and go for fuller completion in terms of Lore and weapons etc. Some of the side-quests were a pain in the ass, a couple seem like a deliberate joke in fact, but the bulk were fine.

SPOILER TIME! Covering the Entire Game. There's a very clear Final/True Ending and I will be talking about it.
Third run opening hours:
[Spoiler]So part C, man, what an incredibly epic experience that was, with an intro section that will be very tough to beat by other games this year. The Bunker, the revelations, the ludicrous EMP combat sequence, the grueling journey to the commercial district while basically running on fumes, followed by, at about 25 hrs in, the actual opening to the game. Wow.[/Spoiler]
Third run rest:
[Spoiler]I loved playing as A2 as well, it was back to the slicey dicey combat which I preferred from the start. Overall I was hoping for a bit more exposition I guess in terms of what this thing leading the machine network actually was and where it came from, but its motivations were clear at least by the end. Endings C and D were both bittersweet and I appreciated that the game lets you go right back to the point you need to. Special mention absolutely needed for the Pascal section, with a fucking *awesome* robot battle followed by emotional gut-punches. I didn't see this but read if you go back to the village afterwards, he's there, talking about what a nice little isolated spot he's found to live in and selling off parts of his old friends/children for money... :'([/Spoiler]
Finale discussion:
[Spoiler]And the final final credits? Going from 'hey it's a minigame, ok' to... 'holy fuck they're not playing around here' through to 'Jesus, Platinum, WTF is this?!?' Then realising after multiple attempts what's actually going on... and then the choir kicks in... Needless to say I went along with the game's Final Request with no regrets. A very emotional and impressively genuine moment of sacrifice to aid others at the end of a stellar experience that I wont be forgetting for a very long time.[/Spoiler]

Special.

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2017, 11:18:27 PM »
I only started playing this today.

Wow... besides taking very long to look up her skirt the mechanics are amazing.
Cheers for the suggestion, wouldn't have purchased it without this thread.

Looks great on the PS4pro too.

The music is ace too.

Its on the PC too folks!

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2017, 10:25:38 AM »
Waspy, I hope you know to self-destruct any time you want a real perineal eyeful.

Beautiful game, so stylish and funny, but also rather sad and contemplative and philosophical. Bear in mind I'm about four or five hours into it so I know nothing yet.

Oh, and how is there a better soundtrack than Persona 5 this year?! Unbelievably beautiful and comforting and slightly eerie. Marvellous game so far.

Bhazor

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2017, 01:04:51 PM »
Nah mate. Fishing is best way to look at her arse. You can even see the divot where her anus would be. Top stuff.

Really enjoyed this game for the most part but chapter 2 is a fucking chore. I ended up dropping the difficulty to easy so I could just plow through it. Difficulty is probably my biggest problem over all. Played on hard and the normal fights were great but then the bosses one shot me with bullshit off screen attacks. Play on normal and the majority of fights are just trivial. I think the problem is the leveling and how its this uncontrolled modifier. Which meant the game designers always assumed  I would be 5 levels higher than I actually was at the time.

My other problem in contrast to BOTW is that though it has like 50 weapons I never felt the need to change it up. Weapons were basically all alike with no real need to think about which weapon to use or any pressure to change my approach.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 02:47:03 PM by Bhazor »

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2017, 10:56:04 PM »
I've given BoTW a rest I dont want to complete it :(

Nier is fitting my needs perfectly.. her bum has been specially designed.. there is something very tactile about it. Thanks for the self destruct tip :P

I've hammered it all day today, loving the music style and everything about this game..

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2017, 10:05:00 PM »
I love the music, the tone and the arse but I'm finding the combat really quite prosaic compared to Bayonetta. It's a very stylish game and I quite enjoyed the evolving open world but it's mechanically - ahem - a bit boring...I'll definitely finish it and get ending C because I hear it's worthwhile and kind of what elevates the game but it is a bit repetitive at this point, eight hours in or so.

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2017, 10:32:01 PM »
Mmm I resumed my playthrough today (having taken a brief 100 hour detour to play Persona 5) and it's just not that much fun moment to moment, even though I'm intrigued to keep going.

Mind you even with the best Platinum games, I just don't quite love them as much as others seem to. It's partly my fault for being a bit boring in the way I play, but I don't like to mess around too much once I've found a strategy that works since their games can be a bit tricky.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 11:24:36 PM by Thursday »

Bhazor

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Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2017, 12:33:18 AM »
I have to say after just having replayed Bayonetta, the combat in here is piss weak in comparison. Looks flashy but not much really going on or at least no need to actually use any of the advanced techniques. As an example I spent 3 hours over the weekend replaying the first Jeanne fight just to get the Pure Platinum award. In contrast I've started just ignoring any fights in Nier and dropping the difficulty down to easy so I can use the auto chips.

The hacking is really getting on my tits now and honestly the whole 9S campaign has been a complete chore.
 
But the setting and the crazy little moments are dragging me through. Similar to MGS2 in that regard.

Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2017, 12:44:33 AM »
Just got Ending E. Was not expecting that whole third act.

Though theres a lot to complain about in terms of writing it does manage to absolutely nail tone and pacing in a way few other RPGs have. Bioware in paticular has a real mastery of totally inapropriately timed jokes or quips at what should be the dark chapter of their game. Its clear clicking through the wiki I've missed a ton of stuff but after 60 hours I'm happy to leave it to digest for a while.

I will say its made me a fan of lead designer Yoko Taro. An eccentric game designer who unlike most self described eccentrics is not a tedious rando cunt but actually talented and very funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhDL3Q86ofY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wScHE28K8

Interesting video on the background reading for Nier Automata including 2 books, a comic and a stage musical featuring a team of J Pop idols. It also mentions the rumour that the game only got made because the Dragon Quest designer threatened to leave Square Enix if they didn't agree to make a Nier sequel

https://youtu.be/j8xx4sT6rEI?t=13m
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 01:23:25 AM by Bhazor »

Re: Nier: Automata
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2017, 01:07:51 AM »
Ending E in *isolation* is liable to be my most memorable gaming experience of the year.