Let us know what you think OP. I had a lot of fun with Nier and the unique structure and story really pulled me through despite my disappointment in the combat. It's far too simple for something with the Platinum stamp on it in my opinion. Mixing in the pod and focusing on mobility kept it relatively engaging for me.
Ok, update, for anyone who might have been curious as to what are my final thoughts on the game. It did take me a bit longer than I wanted what with work and life 'n all, but I did get through the C ending finally. **BIG SPOILER WARNING** I'm not going to tag up this post coz I can't be bothered, so you're warned if u got this far.
Basically, 9S playthrough wasn't as bad as I thought. There was quite the heavy reveal at the end of it all, but I kind of liked the feel towards the end of ending B better. It felt more thought provoking, as in the robots protesting why they keep getting killed off. It's a bit more like those games that make you think who is really the villain. Of course, everything is explained, and the game gives good closure. Playthrough 3, as people have said here, is not even a "playthrough", it is literally a continuation of the storyline, you aren't replaying anything at all.
One thing that did get very very annoying are the joke endings, where you wander off the map at a time where you aren't supposed to (due to storyline constraint, which is fine), and it literally just gives you stupid, unfitting line of text and boots you out to title screen, where you better pray you've saved recently. More than an inconvenience than anything, but very very annoying, especially when it comes just from missing a jump (the shortcut around the city ruins to get to the machine village, it's a long jump that can be missed if you aren't paying attention. And if you fail, *boom* back to title screen for you).
I feel I am also able to give a more justified review now that I've gone through at least the base game, so I'm just going to pin it down here:
I really enjoyed the story, the characters, and the settings. I don't know why people say it looks like a PS2 game, it's done superbly. The first time I entered the Amusement Park, with the music, I was quite blown away. Yes, maybe by the 3rd playthrough it had worn through a bit, but it was still very impressive regardless. The way the excellent music changes with certain things happening is fantastically nuanced, I really enjoyed this aspect. Especially how it goes kind of 8-bit-like (seamlessly) when you enter the hacking minigame. The game has a wonderful attention to detail that is just not seen in many other games, and it's nice to see when something is done with this much passion. Games like MGSV and The Witcher 3 come to mind, although on a different scale.
The universe is great, lots of lore but it doesn't feel there to overwhelm you or bog you down. It's just around, and usually presented when relevant, rather than just adding to a gigantic codex of shit which you put off reading until you're through doing what you want to do. Character design is unique, I loved playing as 2 blindfolded androids, always curious about their motives, and how human they actually are, or can be. And boy are they fantastically modeled and animated.
Combat was rewarding after I found my groove, but I must say by that time I think I had grinded and overlevelled the challenge out of it. Which didn't bother me that much because it was slightly boring by that point. Which is also weird because I love spectacle fighters/action games, like DMC series, and Bayonetta. But here, I came down to upgrading my melee attack and shockwave as high as they would go, and obliterating everything before even having to dodge at all. But as I said before, by this point I wasn't interested in fighting anymore, and just wanted to unravel the story, which is easily a stronger point of the game than the combat.
So what took me so long to finish it? Can't pinpoint exactly. Maybe it was the combat? Or just the few things that annoyed the hell out of me? It's definitely not a game for everyone. What annoys me the most is, on paper, this is the kind of game I'd normally enjoy, buy and play through in a heartbeat. Above all the story, characters, setting, and Platinum Games combat with RPG elements mixed in, I'd be all over it like a rash. But it dragged on a bit. What annoys me even more, is that prior to playing this, I'd been playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which I found much more enjoyable, and could just jump in and out no worries. But if you told me 5 years ago that I'd be enjoying an open world shooter more than Nier: Automata, I'd have laughed in your face.
So what gives? Getting older and having too much other stuff in life getting in the way of enjoying games properly? Or was this just a one-off? Those are the real questions I guess....