So I finally got around to playing NieR: Automata. And then I beat it.
And then I fully completed it.
NieR: Automata was published by Square Enix back in 2017, and developed by Platinum Games led by eccentric director and creative genius Yoko Taro. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has fled to the moon after an invasion by alien machines. The story revolves around combat androids, 2B and 9S, as they fight to reclaim Earth from the machines and uncover the truth behind the conflict.
There’s a pretty heavy theme of existentialism and philosophy (with some of the major bosses and characters being named directly after older philosphers, like Pascal, Engels, Kant, and Confucious) that asks questions on the nature of humanity, consciousness, and free will through the lens of androids and machines.
The soundtrack of the game created by Keiichi Okabe is just phenomenal. It does, more than almost anything else, drive home a feeling of loneliness, melancholy, and loss as you wander through areas falling into ruin that used to belong to a long distant humanity.
And finally the gameplay mechanics. It is, first and foremost, an action RPG, with fast paced hack and slash combat. However, there are places the game seemlessly transfers into other genres, like fighting games, bullet hell, and 2D platforming. Everything about this NieR: Automata feels like a love letter to videogames as a whole. Especially the final ending. If you know, you know.
I understand why this game is so highly recommended. It is truly a uniquely powerful experience that has a lot of layers to it. The soundtrack is gorgeous. The gameplay is fantastic. The story is unique and powerful. It seems like everyone who has played the game is deeply evangelistic about it, and I’m now one of them.
If you have the opportunity to pick it up and play, please do so.