Nier: Automata is an action role-playing game in which players take the role of combat androids from the YoRHa units across an open world environment. In addition to standard navigation on foot, using a special item allows the player to summon a wild animal to ride, and in some scenarios pilot a flying mech to fight enemies. As with the previous game, during navigation in some environments, the camera shifts from its standard third-person perspective to an overhead or side-scrolling view. Some areas also include platforming elements, requiring the player to navigate by jumping between platforms or over obstacles. The player can complete side quests for non-playable characters found throughout the world. Shops available in hub locations allow the player to purchase items, including consumables which recover health.
Combat is action-based, with the player fighting enemies in real-time in a variety of in-game environments. During battle, the player can use light attacks—which are fast but weak—and heavy attacks—slow and more powerful. The player can evade enemy attacks and, with successfully timed button presses, can gain temporary invulnerability and launch a counterattack that deals heavy damage. The player is also assisted by a Pod, a flying robot assistant that can launch customizable ranged attacks varying from simple gunfire to heavy-hitting hammer attacks. Pods can also shield the player from harm in various ways. The player is able to access four different weapon types in battle: short swords, long swords, bracers, and spears. While attacking, the player can alternate between both weapon types and attacks to create combination attacks. Attacks with different weapon types can also be charged and launched for increased damage. Weapon Stories, a recurring element in both Nier and the Drakengard series, where weapons found throughout the world have unique stories attached to them, are also featured.
As the player progresses they gain experience levels which increase health, defense, and attack power. Character progression is handled through 'chips', items installed onto the player characters that modify their attributes; these chips provide benefits ranging from altering the HUD to granting status buffs. The number of chips that can be installed at once are limited by how many slots are available. Chips can either be purchased from shops, or picked up from defeated enemies. If the player dies, they will respawn at their previous save point. The player can then find their original body, and either retrieve its items and experience to gain a bonus or attempt to repair it. Depending on the player's success, the body is either resurrected as a temporary ally or as an enemy, the player can defeat for an extra bonus. With online features enabled, the bodies of other players can also be retrieved or resurrected at the location in which they died.
Why NieR Automata is so good?
It's mainly about the story, the interesting direction it takes, and the way it takes advantage of the medium to present it. None of this is really illustrated in the demo. On the other hand, NieR is an incredibly eccentric game. It makes some truly bizarre game design decisions, and it asks a lot from the player before it starts showing its true colors. And in a world where every other AAA game is made from the ground up to pander to the masses, it was refreshing to see a game that said fuck all to market trends and focus testing. It's a passion project through and through, and I think a lot of people saw its genuineness. The gameplay changes from twin-stick shooter, to side-scroller, to the action game. The music is unbelievable. The fact that the game can allow you to take it as simple as it comes, it plays itself for you basically if you want to experience the story. Or can be absolutely brutal, and so frantic.
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