Game Review - Nier: Automata is a maze that never ends

By  Jaison Lewis | Posted  12-Mar-2017

With brilliant twists and powerful combat, this alien versus man game is a maze that never ends

Nier takes place in a future where humans have moved to the moon after an alien invasion. The aliens are ready for battle, thanks to the deadly machines that they have acquired to wipe us out.

Here, you play as multiple androids that are part of a unit called the YoRHa that was sent to Earth to join forces with the local resistance and to defeat the invaders. You start off as a unit called 2B and then play as other characters through the course of the game. It might seem like there is a lot to absorb, but this ain't nothing yet. Nier will make you go bonkers as it switches between genres.

It starts off as an arcade shooter, then moves on to third-person hack-and-slash RPG and then occasionally, switches to a 2.5D platformer. This all happens in the first segment of the game, before you have even embarked on your actual journey. Once you get into the real game, there is a vast terrain to explore and there are a lot of things that will leave you amused. These twists in the game are part of the charm that makes it so brilliant. You will, however, still keep switching genres though the entire game. Fortunately, the camera angles are brilliant and the switch will never seem forced.

The combat in Nier is a joy both in the hack-and-slash modes and the 2.5 platformer mode. The controls are butter smooth and you can switch configurations to target the type of robot you are fighting by using plug-in chips. Not to mention long attack combos that will decimate your opponents into the rusted trash that they are. You will also thank your stars for these combos because at times, the game throws everything at you, enough to get you to panic and then get distracted at the visual feast of exploding robots parts. The game's easy mode can also take over the tedious parts of the combat, so you can focus purely on the narrative. Though we would recommend playing the game in the normal mode to begin with, as the easy mode is a bit too easy.

The soundtrack is also brilliant; it is grand and creates an ideal atmosphere to this otherwise crazy game. The Japanese voice acting is also awesome — you may want to skip the English one if you are accustomed to reading subtitles. It's not that the English voice acting is bad, it is just that the Japanese one is better.
The game has over 20 alternate endings and you could end up playing the game multiple times to discover different ones. It changes a little each time you play it and gameplay features are unlocked as you move on.

Death is also not the end. Each time your android body dies, its conscienceness is transported to another body and the new body is sent to the location of your death. There you will find an empty shell that you can essentially hack and use as a supporting character. In the multiplayer mode you can find empty shells left behind by other players. You can also scavenge these shells for parts.

This game has too much to explore and it is difficult to sum it all in just one review. It is possibly one of the best things to come out of Square Enix in a long time. Needless to say, you need to buy this game.

Nier: Automata
Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Platinum Games Inc
Platform: PC, PS4
Price: PC (Steam):R1,999;
PS4: Rs 2,999

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