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Imagine the world overrun by machines. So your characters will also be artificial, as well as your enemy. In this techno-dystopia all around you is mechanical, and the unearthly fantasy of its developers leads to some unexpected effects. The NieR: Automata is an action RPG, published by Square Enix (don’t call it Datacenter Raider).
Graphics — 4/5
It seems that the developers did their best to combine fighting styles from all similar games, be it horizontal scrolling shooters of the 1980s or fresh fantasy RPGs. It results in constant view switching from 2D to 3D mode, with the perspective change of controls. 2D scrolling game, a kind of R-Type, switches to Space Invaders-style vertical shooter. After leaving the ship characters operates on land, and the picture is similar to modern 3D fantasy games.
Of course, it’s much more detailed and physical than it was in the 1980s and even 2000s. The details get more superior as you come down closer. The technical world under new mechanical command is drawn very greatly.
This splendor comes at a cost; in addition to what you pay, before you download NieR: Automata, be sure to have at least 50 GB on your hard drive.
Gameplay — 5/5
So, mankind is driven off the Earth by powerful mechanical invaders (who said Transformers?) But there is always hope. The Resistance resides on the Moon and controls some automatic devices by overriding controls. These remotely driven androids are your characters. The mechanical world is significantly different; so will your tasks be.
The intro gets you familiar with your characters and what your fighting styles might be. After that, you’re on the mission, always in touch with your center. Your three androids need to join up and finish the work on regaining control over Earth.
In fact, the story will involve a lot of characters: people, friendly and hostile androids. They are more than more functions; any of them has his or her (“its” is not the word) position and philosophy. Getting to know them makes this game look like a great interactive cartoon.
Controls — 5/5
The training mission will teach you all the controls. While acting in the air, you’ll need your WASD to move the ship and your arrows to select the shooting direction. Some extra buttons will be necessary later (for example, for summoning wild animals).
While sometimes this keyboard control reminds of Golden Era, it may be uneasy with switching to modern 3D controlling mode and back to the old school. Still, the idea is great, and it’s decently realized.
Replay Value — 4/5
While the first impression is always the strongest one, and the things you learn are unlikely to be unlearnt, the game is quite replayable due to a lot of fighting, and there are always variants. You can try them all to see how it ends, and even after saving your game in the middle, you still have options.
The endings are also various, depending on your choices. The one you reach is never final. If you don’t like it or want to see it otherwise, just replay it from the beginning of from your save.
So, Yoko Taro has made another brilliant game. It may be imperfect technically, but anyway it impresses. Like a great movie, or rather cartoon about techno-apocalypse and eternal hope, it involves the spectator, and its interactive features are just a part of the story.
A good Sci-Fi game can be as enthralling as a book or a movie. Download NieR: Automata to see.
Pros : Unusual settings
Different game styles combined
Wide world with different characters with layers
Inner philosophy included
Cons : The graphics may be too dull sometimes
Replay Value 4