Hi there fellow androids, or machines, or humans, whatever you may be,
I've played Nier for like 10 hours back when it released then dropped it, due to various reasons and not having known what I could have experienced, have I pulled through. In hindsight I might have to kick my ass, but we all have such moments.
Either way Nier: Automata (have finished only Ending A so far) seems to become a story telling favourite of mine. Basically I loved Bayonetta, gameplay, visuals, the cheeky story that just worked well for what it was supposed to be, reasons for gameplay to make sense and kick heavenly ass ='D. In Nier: Automata there is less enemy variety in the sense that their design is pretty "stale", except the bosses. What I mean with that is that it's all machines, save for a few bosses and design aspects. Now that I played it, I don't mind it anymore, because they have a reason for that and they kind of grow on you after a while. It's a game in which story telling feels more Bloodbourne-ish than "here is a spoon, say ah and you'll get a cutscene shoved in your face, rinse and repeat". I'd say that if we take Automata and go from a piece by piece analysis. It would, at first, seem "okay". We got a japanese game (so thats niche as hell today, sadly), a very baren and "empty" open world, and after having seen The Witcher 3 / Horizon Zero Dawn we know how "pretty" and expansive, yet huge those can be. Then there is the character design and you could say 2B is fanservice, 9S is a little fetish boy and I won't go into 2 bosses, you guys know what I mean. Music is excluded though, because that is transecnding art in almost all ways and that is the one thing I would advise anyone, even non gamers, to take a listen to. And gameplay wise, it is a watered down bayonetta, by the bayonetta devs. (I'm putting it that way deliberately, don't hate me yet.) To cut to the chase, the bits and pieces of Nier: Automata aren't all that "goty" or in other words, they are serviceable but there are games that do all of this better in one way or another, excluding music (!).
We don't judge a game purely by their bits and pieces but as a whole and how they impact us as a sum of it all, as the product. And by the gods, this product is awesome. Sure you could go ahead and say the excuse for the "empty" open world is stupid or something like that and I know people who dislike this game will find ways such as this to critisize the game. But leaving that aside it just works super well. It makes sense from a narrative standpoint, from a world building, character development perspective and even from a gameplay perspective (parcouring and what not). It just makes sense and it just works. The gameplay is perfect for a game such as this, that does not want you to feel like a combo god of heavenly destruction, such as Bayonettas; or as the bullet hell god of well, I rarely ever played a bullet hell game, so there is that. It instead is there to serve as one of the other pillars through which the story is told. It flows seamlessly, is customizable as heck and just plain fun. There are more demanding games (dark souls etc.) there are prettier games (Horizon Zero Dawn) and so on, but the sum of it all as a product that I think we gamers of the "new" generation have not truly experienced before. There are Nier gamers, Journey gamers and such, but imo, Nier: Automata is more than just a game, it is a wonderful experience packaged into a digestible and accessible ( if you are 18 😉 ) videogame, the medium of "our" generation.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy days !
Glory to manki… I have a creeping feeling I shouldn't type that ='D