Should I buy NieR Automata?

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I'm looking at the game and it is tempting me. I love stories with big plot twists and multiple layers of narrative that demand multiple viewings, love action RPGs and have a love-hate relationship with Japanese devs in general (more love than hate).

I actually own the first NieR game on my dusty old X-box and have very mixed feelings about it, like it was made by someone with something really meaningful to say but maybe not the talent and experience to pull it off. In the end I gave up roughly 5 hours in so maybe not a fair shake.

So back to Automata, it is a very expensive game and while it is on sale currently, it still sits at a somewhat pricey 40 Canadian dollaridoos.

Will I get my money's worth? I have already had one critical story-thing spoiled by a certain asshole (not anyone here, someone in real life).

It's a good game, I think. It has obvious, big flaws, but I had a better time with it than with many other games this gen. It's so gamey, which I like. I don't know if you should buy it.

Nier Automata is absolutely worth playing. It was by far the most thematically interesting and imaginative game of last year.

It has some problems, but it's such a unique game that those problems are completely overshadowed by just how interesting it is. Trying not to spoil anything, yes you should play it.

You should also play Nier 1. If you only gave it 5 hours you really didn't get to "the good part" (which I usually treat as a cop-out answer, but one that's definitely true in this case).

jademunky:
I love stories with big plot twists and multiple layers of narrative that demand multiple viewings

Well, that is basically Nier Automata in a nutshell. :p I can appreciate the vision behind the game, even if I personally didn't really enjoy it. The combat, the exploration; all the stuff you spend the majority of the time doing wasn't that great in my opinion. The graphics in particular also look very drab and like they were upscaled from a PS2. However, the way it introduces various gameplay elements like shmups even if it feels completely unrelated is brilliant as is the story and thematic elements that gets deconstructed through the medium itself(somewhat similar to MGS2).

It's a unique game so yeah definitely worth trying to see if you like it.

Just buy it, its fucken good.

Given your taste in games, it seems like you'll get more out of it then I did. I can't comment though on your experience with the first Nier because I didn't play that.

I played through Automata once, and even then wasn't sure I wanted to go through it all again to see the rest of what the story had to tell. I even made a thread about it:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.1027583-Convince-me-to-replay-Nier-Automata

However, I did get around to playing the other 2 playthroughs, and by the time you get to the 3rd one, it isn't even a 'playthrough' anymore, but an actual continuation of the story. So it's like, you only replay the first half of the game.

It is interesting as other people said, and was a bit of a flip-flop of what I expected from Platinum. Normally I play them for the gameplay, and the story takes second seat. But here it was the opposite. Strange, because I was expecting the combat to be a lot more fun and engaging than it was, but the enemy types were boring and repetitive. They are pretty cute though, and fun to doodle in classes/meetings.

Anyway it was the story that kept me roped in till the end, because I was truly curious by halfway through the second playthrough, that it was already getting tempting to skip sidequests. They are worth checking out though.

TL;DR I'd say get it. It is an expensive game, but if it's on sale it's worth its salt. But it does take commitment, to see the best of what it has to offer, and there are flaws which you can see me critic in the thread mentioned. Much of that depends on how you take to the combat, personally I felt it held nothing compared to Platinums other releases.

I played the 1st Nier and it wasn't worth playing IMO. The gameplay was as average as you can get and the overall story was slightly better than your average anime. The best part of the game was Kaine and Weiss. And that leads into one of the major reasons why I haven't played Automata because there's no characters as entertaining as Kaine or Weiss in Automata. I did play the demo of the game and Platinum did make the combat a lot smoother and more stylish but they didn't put any depth into the combat system, it's a basic but smooth playing hack and slash. Games should only give me the good stuff so why make me trudge through average gameplay to get to a possibly good/great storyline? What's the point of "playing" it when you can get all the good stuff from a Youtube playthrough? Or possibly someone made a Automata movie so you don't even have to watch the gameplay. I recall watching a Mass Effect 1 movie (as that was a PC/Xbox exclusive) before playing the 2nd game where someone cut together all the dialogue and even edited the gameplay from battles to make a movie. Anyway, it seems a few people have said in the thread (who played it) that gameplay-wise, it's not really worth playing and that was my impressions from the demo along with my previous Nier experience. The story may be something great (everyone's mileage varies greatly in that regard) but after playing the 1st Nier, I'm not convinced that Taro Yoko is anymore talented a writer than a slightly above average anime writer. There's several holes in the Nier story if you actually think about it for a little bit, Super Bunnyhop did a great video on the 1st Nier.

Yes. It's excellent. It does have some problems with open world busywork and you don't get fast travel quickly enough for my liking, but it's definitely worth playing. Also, it should be noted that the PC version will require the Fixing Automata Resolution mod in order to run in 1080p, and it does suffer from the occasional second of slowdown.

Dirty Hipsters:

You should also play Nier 1. If you only gave it 5 hours you really didn't get to "the good part" (which I usually treat as a cop-out answer, but one that's definitely true in this case).

Yeah, I also generally treat it as a cop-out when people say: "oh no, keep playing, you'll see, no I can't tell you why, *wink wink*" Yet here I am about to dive into something that is 99% that.

stroopwafel:

jademunky:
I love stories with big plot twists and multiple layers of narrative that demand multiple viewings

Well, that is basically Nier Automata in a nutshell. :p I can appreciate the vision behind the game, even if I personally didn't really enjoy it. The combat, the exploration; all the stuff you spend the majority of the time doing wasn't that great in my opinion. The graphics in particular also look very drab and like they were upscaled from a PS2. However, the way it introduces various gameplay elements like shmups even if it feels completely unrelated is brilliant as is the story and thematic elements that gets deconstructed through the medium itself(somewhat similar to MGS2).

It's a unique game so yeah definitely worth trying to see if you like it.

Good to know. Alright downloading it and it should be installed by the time I get home from work tonight!

I am actually one of the few who actively enjoyed Kojima's naval-gazing wankery in MGS2 so this sounds like a riot.

09philj:
Yes. It's excellent. It does have some problems with open world busywork and you don't get fast travel quickly enough for my liking, but it's definitely worth playing. Also, it should be noted that the PC version will require the Fixing Automata Resolution mod in order to run in 1080p, and it does suffer from the occasional second of slowdown.

Gah, it's Dark Souls all over again with the patching and the modding and the bad ports.

Worgen:
Just buy it, its fucken good.

Yes sir.

But whyyyyyyy do they all have to look like fetish dolls?!?

Wait, I know. Because Japan.

jademunky:

Worgen:
Just buy it, its fucken good.

Yes sir.

But whyyyyyyy do they all have to look like fetish dolls?!?

Wait, I know. Because Japan.

I'm sure there's some perfectly justified story reason for it. I mean, they might breathe through their skin.

Buy it, but not the PC version. I don't know if they fixed it or not, but around the release time it was probably the worst gaming experience i ever had.

jademunky:

Worgen:
Just buy it, its fucken good.

Yes sir.

But whyyyyyyy do they all have to look like fetish dolls?!?

Wait, I know. Because Japan.

Well in-story all the androids dress like butlers and maids to symbolize their subservience to humanity.

But we all know that's bull shit and Yoko Taro just likes up-skirts. Pro-tip, climb the radio tower for primo viewing angles.

Also in regards to the technical issues mentioned above- it's very hit or miss. My game ran at 1440p no problem but I suffered weird slowdowns during cutscenes and cutscenes only. YMMV

I rather liked the original Nier despite the mediocre gameplay, but I loved Automata. Similar approach to storytelling, but the gameplay is so much better. It's basically Devil May Cry or Bayonetta in open world-style areas.
And the PC port worked fine for me after installing a mod that fixed the resolution issue and a few performance bugs.

Do not buy it if you have an Nvidia 780 gpu. It straight up does not work with them, hasn't since launch, and they haven't fixed it yet.

Otherwise go for it, I heard it's a good game.

If only I could play it...

Dalisclock:

jademunky:

Worgen:
Just buy it, its fucken good.

Yes sir.

But whyyyyyyy do they all have to look like fetish dolls?!?

Wait, I know. Because Japan.

I'm sure there's some perfectly justified story reason for it. I mean, they might breathe through their skin.

Funny you mention. The store page has DLC that charges 20 bucks just for skimpier outfits. The commenters are enraged, not by the cash grab, but by the fact that you still have to play to unlock them.

Dalisclock:

jademunky:

Worgen:
Just buy it, its fucken good.

Yes sir.

But whyyyyyyy do they all have to look like fetish dolls?!?

Wait, I know. Because Japan.

I'm sure there's some perfectly justified story reason for it. I mean, they might breathe through their skin.

Suddenly, the fact that you can see 2B's butt under her skirt makes so much more sense. She OBVIOUSLY needs such a large surface area to intake as much O2 as possible!

TheFinish:
Do not buy it if you have an Nvidia 780 gpu. It straight up does not work with them, hasn't since launch, and they haven't fixed it yet.

Otherwise go for it, I heard it's a good game.

If only I could play it...

I played through the whole game with a 780. Had some crashes, but it wasn't too bad. I wrote this last year:

"The game runs generally okay on my GTX 780 and i5-4670k, after lowering the resolution to 1920x1080 and turning off anti-aliasing, blur and ambient occlusion. I find AA overrated anyway, because of how it softens details in many games, and motion blur always looks bad, in my opinion. It makes sense in 30 fps console games, like Shadow of the Colossus, but at 60 fps it becomes distracting. I have Effects set on high, Shadows on low and Texture Filter at 8x. The framerate does drop into the forties and sometimes thirties, but not often enough that it significantly detracted from my experience. Installing the FAR fix has also helped."

I haven't played it yet considering the PC port is ass and I don't have (and refuse to get) an 8th gen console. It gets even more insulting though when you consider that they still want $60 on Steam for it, sales be damned.

jademunky:

Worgen:
Just buy it, its fucken good.

Yes sir.

But whyyyyyyy do they all have to look like fetish dolls?!?

Wait, I know. Because Japan.

Basically, because Yoko Taro likes cute girls.

That was his actual reasoning.

absolutely yes, unless you find the sexualization off putting.

Its one of the best games of last year, but maybe I'm biased, since I like weird stuff, and I'm also weeb trash.

EDIT: and yes, avoid the PC port like the plague, its atrocious.

I'm going to be flamed for saying this, like all PlatinumGames, you should set the difficulty to easy your first time through and enjoy the weird, convoluted story. (In general, I think PlatinumGames easy playthrough should be your tutorial for a normal or difficult run because their games are about replayability and getting better each time.)

I mean, Nier: Automata is kind of too long (to achieve most of the meaningful endings) and I can appreciate the gameplay, but it's like as long as both Bayonetta games, Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising put together if you're going after all the main story endings. So, you'll probably like it better if you check your ego and lower the difficulty.

Cold Shiny:
absolutely yes, unless you find the sexualization off putting.

Its one of the best games of last year, but maybe I'm biased, since I like weird stuff, and I'm also weeb trash.

EDIT: and yes, avoid the PC port like the plague, its atrocious.

I do find it a bit off putting but am willing to overlook.

As for the PC port, too late. I don't own a console newer than an Xbox 360. Looks like patching and modding time for me tonight.

Ravenbom:
I'm going to be flamed for saying this, like all PlatinumGames, you should set the difficulty to easy your first time through and enjoy the weird, convoluted story. (In general, I think PlatinumGames easy playthrough should be your tutorial for a normal or difficult run because their games are about replayability and getting better each time.)

I mean, Nier: Automata is kind of too long (to achieve most of the meaningful endings) and I can appreciate the gameplay, but it's like as long as both Bayonetta games, Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising put together if you're going after all the main story endings. So, you'll probably like it better if you check your ego and lower the difficulty.

If there's anything out there more important than my ego I want it caught and shot right now. No easy mode!

jademunky:

Cold Shiny:
absolutely yes, unless you find the sexualization off putting.

Its one of the best games of last year, but maybe I'm biased, since I like weird stuff, and I'm also weeb trash.

EDIT: and yes, avoid the PC port like the plague, its atrocious.

I do find it a bit off putting but am willing to overlook.

As for the PC port, too late. I don't own a console newer than an Xbox 360. Looks like patching and modding time for me tonight.

FAR fixes a lot. The cutscenes are still janky at times, but I didn't have any real problems with the game, personally.

jademunky:

Ravenbom:
I'm going to be flamed for saying this, like all PlatinumGames, you should set the difficulty to easy your first time through and enjoy the weird, convoluted story. (In general, I think PlatinumGames easy playthrough should be your tutorial for a normal or difficult run because their games are about replayability and getting better each time.)

I mean, Nier: Automata is kind of too long (to achieve most of the meaningful endings) and I can appreciate the gameplay, but it's like as long as both Bayonetta games, Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising put together if you're going after all the main story endings. So, you'll probably like it better if you check your ego and lower the difficulty.

If there's anything out there more important than my ego I want it caught and shot right now. No easy mode!

To be fair, Nier Automata is actually pretty easy in general with the right setup of ability chips. I didn't die once the entire game.

Kotaro:

FAR fixes a lot. The cutscenes are still janky at times, but I didn't have any real problems with the game, personally.

I'll have to remember that.

So far, no problems. Weirdly defaulted to windowed mode on first launch but nothing besides that.

The game itself seems great so far. Just beat the first boss. Noticed that the devs seem to have a fondness for slow-moving-death-orbs.

One thing that worries me is that the chipset skill system is just baffling. Gonna ignore it for now and hope that it gets explained properly later.

jademunky:

One thing that worries me is that the chipset skill system is just baffling. Gonna ignore it for now and hope that it gets explained properly later.

It doesn't. What did you want to know about it? I (or someone else here) might be able to help.

The Eupho Guy:

jademunky:

One thing that worries me is that the chipset skill system is just baffling. Gonna ignore it for now and hope that it gets explained properly later.

It doesn't. What did you want to know about it? I (or someone else here) might be able to help.

Just what works and what doesn't. I'm only an hour and change in, how do I best build my character and what mistakes should I avoid? I noticed that I was burning through health items pretty rapidly against the giant sawblade things.

jademunky:

The Eupho Guy:

jademunky:

One thing that worries me is that the chipset skill system is just baffling. Gonna ignore it for now and hope that it gets explained properly later.

It doesn't. What did you want to know about it? I (or someone else here) might be able to help.

Just what works and what doesn't. I'm only an hour and change in, how do I best build my character and what mistakes should I avoid? I noticed that I was burning through health items pretty rapidly against the giant sawblade things.

You really don't have to stress about it too much. You can literally just get a few chips that heal you when you kill enemies and give you health when you hit enemies you'll be fine. As long as you're playing on Normal the game is a breeze.

The good thing is there's no real mistakes you can make. You can swap around your chipset at anytime so there is some room for experimentation.

Early game, if you can find them, look for shock wave chips and some kind of healing chip (Auto heal or deadly heal are the first ones available, I think) and anti chain damage if you're constantly getting surrounded by enemies. Apart from that, its really up to you. Exp and item drop boosts are ok if you're grinding for levels or items, move speed up and auto collect item chips are nice, but not strictly needed.

Just don't forget to buy a chip for automatic item pickup from Devola and Popola as soon as they move into the camp later on. It's incredibly convenient, and if you advance the plot beyond a certain point, you won't have another chance to get it from them until near the very end of the game.

But yeah, there's no real punishment for experimenting with your ability chips as long as you don't get overly-enthusiastic about fusing them and end up with ones way too big to equip. Remember that the size of the resulting chip does depend on the size of the ones you fuse, and most chips come in various sizes even for the same level of bonus. But you can get some huge boosts from fusing them together, so it's a balancing act. And you can remove any elements of the HUD that you don't need in order to get slightly more room, but removing the OS chip means instant death, so don't touch that one (or do, I'm not your dad). Do buy the capacity upgrades as soon as you can, though, because they help significantly.

Eupho Guy is totally right, though: Auto Heal and Shockwave are available pretty early on, but can be some of the most practical chips in the game if fused enough times to get them to a high level. Combine Auto Heal with Deadly Heal and you're pretty much immortal if you play smart.

Oh yeah, and it's possible to go the entire game without even knowing about him, but (MINOR SPOILERS) there's a second weapon merchant in a secret room in the castle in the forest area who can upgrade your weapons to the maximum level of 4, as opposed to the regular one who can only go up to level 3. Level 4 weapons get extra abilities (like increased attack power when at maximum health, or automatically charging up power when not attacking), so they're worth gunning for.

Last thing (and more MINOR SPOILERS): If you have any sidequests you want to complete in the first chunk of the game, do them BEFORE going to the mission at the coast. Once you finish that bit, it's a point of no return for most of the sidequests.

jademunky:
If there's anything out there more important than my ego I want it caught and shot right now.

I c wut u did thar.

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