You may or may not have seen the news that the NieR Automata Demo has been launched. You can easily download and play from PSN Here and get playing which we here did right away. So if you are wondering, Is NieR Automata worth playing March 10, 2017? You can read in and see our thoughts plus more information on this Square Enix and Platinum Games action-rpg while the demo downloads.
Since they decided to release this demo just before Christmas it’s safe to say it’s here a busy time. Between wrapping presents and eating too many pigs in blankets (sorry veggies but they are the best part of Christmas time for me) you may have missed this news.
If so, you can read our thoughts on this game below talking about the original NieR with fellow Editor Neal. Plus my first time experience with a NieR title. Following that is some information on the game plus some cool videos.
Please leave us a Disqus or Facebook Comment with your thoughts at the end. This game looks great so far but will you be getting it? Let us know, we’ll read and get back to you on your thoughts.
Rossco Tries NieR Automata As A Newcomer
I didn’t know exactly what to expect with NieR Automata to be honest. The original game was not something I ever played and my “Gamer OCD” really hates going into a game at the sequel.
But on Neal’s recommendation (read his thoughts down the page) I kept my eye out for this one and I got the demo right away.
My first impressions of the game were classic of any Platinum Games title. The action combat is really tight and the game plays incredibly fast for an RPG. Obviously this is action RPG territory, but the combat this feels very action gamey and not in a bad way.
Taking down the robots early on was a nice into. Nothing tough, some Level One bots that look like the remains of an old Jawa Sandcrawler from Star Wars. But soon after the enemy scales up big time as a giant cog arm thing smashes into the room and you take it on.
It was an impressive start and gave a scale like you’d expect in a God of War game as your tiny but hard-as-nails character brings the fight. And 2B, the leading lady here, certainly does.
After this sequence to start, there is some exploring to do, this is where it got interesting for me. Firstly there is the changing perspectives which was very fun to play. The story elements hinted at with another character 9S plus the big boss fight at the end.
Mixing It Up Nicely
While starting out a traditional action RPG in 3rd person I was soon seeing this mix up as I explored the level.
First the game went into a classic 2D action game going around massive containers at this factory. The narrow stairs and wide camera angle made it fit perfectly for some 2D action as I smashed some Bots up on my way around.
Now because of this the level felt very much on rails but it’s early to say how linear the game is at this stage. What I will say is the motion and movement of 2B is already really smooth. The jumping, slow float down ability and speedy combat are excellent. They add some freedom in the full game in these environments and I’ll be very happy.
But what really surprised me is how the game flipped on me once again as I continued my exploration and turned into an isometric action-rpg. Just like that, the game flips and offers some time for some Diablo style action. Something that had me nodding in appreciation of.
It was really cool and interesting little twists like that are what have me thinking this is more than a standard action-rpg and a PS4 game to watch in 2017.
9S And The Black Box
The story was a slightly unusual one as the world is very much controlled by machines and everything feels very mechanical around you. The big mystery around everything was the relationship between your character, 2B the female lead and 9S. While it makes it clear there is some form of emotion between them, it’s all hushed quickly under the idea “feelings are banned”.
Then there is the whole “Black Box” thing. I don’t know what it is or what it does exactly, but it’s pretty cool. It’s what the demo ends on so I won’t spoil anything too much here. I will say the Black Box is also the pre-order of the collectors edition and it looks pretty nice.
I enjoyed the story of the demo, it brought enough to experience the game nicely and be invested in the characters. It also felt disconnected enough to be a sequence further into the game, so the beginning is potentially not spoiled here. Either that or the game will be a number of flashbacks!
The world that the game is set in intrigues me the most as a newcomer. It looks an interesting one and I hope I’ll get the chance to really explore it and it’s past, present and maybe shape it’s future.
A Big, Rusty Boss
What I liked most about the demo was the ending, there was no pulling me away from the fight with the big, lumping boss. You get to fight it and destroy it, and I really enjoyed the fact they didn’t tease us here.
The big, metallic monster was really well animated and had the feeling of a God of War style encounter but certainly more in keeping with this world of robots and machinery. My only concern was the over-reliance on just spamming the shoot button here, but there may well be more elements to the gameplay to come in this regard.
Everything felt great though. The conclusion left me ready to go round again and see what things I missed first time. Plus I’m very ready to get my hands on this one in March as it releases.
My advice would be to get the demo and have a go because this could be a surprise package next year. Neal’s thoughts as a series fan are below along with some facts and videos about the game.
Neal Loves NieR
Nier was as much about the visceral, fluid combat, as it was about the barmy story and massive bosses. It dipped its toes into dark, disturbing tones, with sweeping arias and giant swords. For me it was the under-the-radar hit of the 360/PS3 generation.
When Nier Automata was announced I hit the ceiling, I was so excited, and now the demo has dropped it plays just like Nier, switching between views and controls as it goes, with fluid and visceral combat and a female protagonist, even the demo manages to tell a weird, dark tale.
Whilst the game is a sequel in name only (judging from the demo) it feels like NieR, and that has this fan very excited.
The Facts About NieR Automata
NieR: Automata is a fresh take on the action role-playing game (RPG) genre that gracefully blends mesmerizing action with a captivating story. As the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2010 cult hit NIER.
NieR: Automata is currently being developed in collaboration with PlatinumGames Inc. The game’s all-star team consists of producer Yosuke Saito (DRAGON QUEST X/NIER), director YOKO TARO (Drakengard/NIER), character designer Akihiko Yoshida from CyDesignation, Inc. (FINAL FANTASY XIV/BRAVELY DEFAULT), game designer Takahisa Taura from PlatinumGames Inc. (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance), and composer Keiichi Okabe from MONACA, Inc. (TEKKEN/Drakengard/NIER).
Invaders from another world attack without warning—unleashing the machine lifeforms. In the face of this seemingly insurmountable threat, the human race is driven from the earth and takes refuge on the moon.
Humanity develops an army of android soldiers to fight back against the mechanical horde, but succeed only in slowing its advance. To break the deadlock, a new breed of android infantry is sent into the fray: the YoRHa squad.
In the forsaken wasteland below, the war between the machines and the androids rages on. A war that is soon to unveil the long-forgotten truth of this world…
- Action-Packed Battles – Players will switch between using melee and ranged attacks in battle against hordes of enemies and challenging bosses across a variety of open field maps.
The tight controls and incredibly fluid combat are simple to learn for newcomers while offering plenty of depth for more experienced action gamers. Players can perform high-speed battle actions— combining light and heavy attacks—and switch through an arsenal of weaponry while evading enemies with speed and style.
- Beautifully Desolate Open-World – The game seamlessly joins together hauntingly beautiful vistas and locations with no area loading. The environments are rendered in 60fps and contain a wealth of sub-events in addition to the main storyline.
- Masterfully Crafted Story and Characters – NieR: Automata tells the story of androids 2B, 9S and A2 and their ferocious battle to reclaim a machine-driven dystopia overrun by powerful weapons known as machine lifeforms
- Elements of an RPG – Players will obtain a variety of weapon types, level up in battle, learn new combat skills, and customise a loadout that caters to their playstyle.
- Utilise the Pod Support System to Assist In and Outside of Battle – Pods can attack the enemy in both manual and lock-on modes. They can also assist outside of battle, such as allowing the player to glide through the air. Pods can be enhanced throughout the game, with upgrades including new attack methods and variations.
- “Auto Mode” Available for Beginners – Novice players can elect “Auto Mode” for easy attacks and evasions