Review roundup: NieR: Automata

Review roundup: NieR: Automata

NieR: Automata has finally arrived in Europe, and juding by the reviews it's definitely worth picking up.                    

10-03-2017  -  by Iris Wijers

NieR: Automata has been out in Japan for some time and was released earlier this week in America, but only now do we finally get to play it in Europe. While we’ve had to navigate the internet carefully in order to avoid spoilers, this late Europe release comes with a small upside: there’s plenty of reviews by critics and users already. Time for a roundup!

NieR: Automata

NieR: Automata is a sequel to the 2007 cult hit NieR. In the Action RPG produced by Platinumgames you play as a combat android send to earth to retake it following an alien invasion. While the game is a sequel to the previous NieR, knowledge of this game is not required to understand the game’s story. The game combines action-based combat with RPG elements such as different weapons and chips that can improve your capabilities.

Review roundup

Because the game has been out for a while, there’s plenty of reviews to go around for NieR: Automata. Metacritic shows that the reviews are positive overall with a Metascore of 90 (49 critics) and a 9.1 User Score (676 reviews). See the reviews below for a small selection of the critic reviews.

GameSpot -- 9/10
Gamespot praises NieR: Automata’s frenzied combat system and captivating world. While the reviewer describes the side quests as ‘not especially memorable’, this doesn’t seem to have affected the rating for the game much. Gamespot awards the game a 9 out of 10, stating: Thanks to Platinum Games' knack for riveting and gratifying combat, Automata is Yoko Taro's most exciting game to date. The combat mechanics click after hurdling a low learning curve, and the end result is a skillful dance where balletic dodges complement wushu-inspired aggression. Moreover, this multi-ending trip is generously peppered with surprises and revelations, as well as easter eggs that call back to the first game and the Drakengard series from which Nier spun off. It's a meaty, often exhilarating trek that showcases Platinum Games' and Yoko Taro's unique blend of genius. [Full review].

Dualshockers -- 9/10
Dualshockers commends the game for its complex and interesting story, calling it ‘really, really great’. The reviewer also praises the characters and the interaction between them, the art style, the soundtrack, and the voice acting in the game. The combat is described as deep and extremely satisfying. One of the few points of criticism is the framerate of the game, and the fact that the lack of detail in some parts of the city. With these few drawbacks, it’s no surprise that Dualshockers awarded the game a 9/10, concluding: NieR: Automata isn’t a perfect game, but I think no one will be surprised, considering that it’s directed by a developer who has made of imperfection almost a flag, and who often managed to turn it into an endearing side among his fans. Yet, it’s a fantastic and well balanced mix between sleek PlatinumGames action and JRPG gameplay, resulting bigger than the sum of its parts. It brings forth an absolutely fascinating setting, and charming, likable and memorable characters that will both make you smile and tug at your heart strings. [Full review].

Destructoid -- 9/10
Destructoid praises the game’s characters and the interplay between them, the graphics, and the pacing of the game. While the reviewer calls the combat ‘not the studio’s best work’ and finds it lacking some depth, he praises the game’s ability to handle both towering bosses and waves of enemies and keep both challenging and sometimes overwhelming. Destructoid matches GameSpot’s score: a 9 out of ten, stating: NieR: Automata is nearly as good of an RPG as it is an action game, which is a mighty tall order. It's tough to really strike that balance as many action-RPGs tend to favor one element over the other, but Platinum Games, with the help of Square Enix, has tapped into its innate ability to captivate us with combat while keeping the rest of the journey engaging. [Full review].

IGN – 8.9/10
IGN remarks how beautiful the game looks, especially on the PS4 Pro. While the reviewer calls the story ‘quirky’ and at times ‘outlandish’, she states that it works because of voice acting and plot twists. She does mention, however, that the story gets very convoluted at times and that the characters are not very compelling. Like Gamespot, IGN praises the game’s combat system that can, at times, take place in ‘increasingly zany combat scenario’s.’ IGN awards the game an 8.9, stating: Nier: Automata is a crazy, beautiful, and highly entertaining journey full of nutty ideas and awesome gameplay. It may not include the most sensical story or compelling characters, but its frenzied combat -- coupled with beautiful visuals and a stunning soundtrack – make it too much fun to pass up. [Full review].

Game Informer 7.5/10
Game Informer calls NieR: Automata’s ability to pull off poignant and quiet moments it’s ‘strongest feature’. Game Informer praises the game’s melancholic, strange atmosphere, but is critical of the gameplay. The reviewer calls the combat system ‘fun’, but states that a lack of meaningful progression prevents the gameplay from being satisfying in the long haul. The reviewer also criticizes the game as ‘repetitive’, as the game has you backtrack quite a bit to get the full story told. Game Informer awards the game a noticeably lower score than others: a 7.5 out of ten, stating: Some parts of Nier: Automata genuinely thrilled and surprised me, but it is a constant exercise in sacrifice. Combat has improved compared to the original Nier, but it still isn’t fully engaging. The progression system has cool ideas, but doesn’t offer enough depth. The premise is fascinating, but it is dulled by repetition. Ultimately, tapping into the sad and unique story that flows under the surface of Nier: Automata makes these trade-offs worthwhile, but I’m disappointed by how deeply it’s buried. [Full review].

NieR: Automata is out today for PS4. You can get your digital copy of NieR: Automata on the PlayStation store and get playing immediately. Need more PSN credit to get started? We’ve got you covered at Startselect.  

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