Rise of the ma­chines

NieR: Au­tom­ata

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX / REVIEW - by Bryan Chan

A bril­liant ex­pe­ri­ence

There aren’t many games that are able to evoke a sense of anticipation and awe like NieR: Au­tom­ata . A se­quel to 2010’s NieR (which it­self is a spin-off from the Drak­en­gard se­ries), NieR: Au­tom­ata is a tale filled with se­crets and plenty of ac­tion-packed game­play.

If you’ve played any games by Yoko Taro, you’ll likely know that he likes to cre­ate games that have mul­ti­ple endings, and the act of un­lock­ing the ‘ul­ti­mate’ end­ing will re­quire you to go through sev­eral playthroughs. NieR: Au­tom­ata is no dif­fer­ent – you will need to go through the game sev­eral times be­fore all the ques­tions are an­swered, and that’s a good thing, as each playthrough re­veals more se­crets and more con­tent than the one be­fore.

A game of num­bers

The con­densed ver­sion of the plot is that Earth was in­vaded by a race of ex­trater­res­tri­als sim­ply called ‘Aliens’. The Aliens forced mankind out from Earth, who in turn cre­ated ‘An­droids’. These An­droids were then sent down to Earth to com­bat the Aliens, but the Aliens then cre­ated ‘Ma­chines’. Thus be­gan a centuries-long war be­tween An­droids and Ma­chines. You play as 2B, 9S, and A2 – three An­droids who are dis­patched to help the lo­cal re­sis­tance.

Game­play is fluid and dy­namic, with fu­ri­ous com­bat and in­tense boss fights. What’s in­ter­est­ing though, are the cam­era an­gles. In

NieR: Au­tom­ata , the cam­era switches be­tween the stan­dard 360-de­gree view, to that of a sidescroller, and some­times even over­head, sim­i­lar to that of NieR.

In your quest to un­cover the ‘ul­ti­mate’ end­ing, you can equip the char­ac­ters with up­grade­able weapons and Chips that im­bue them with en­hanced skills or at­tributes, such as more health or lifesteal. There are also two cross­over weapons you can get in the game, one be­ing Noc­tis’ En­gine Blade from Fi­nal Fan­tasy XV. In its en­tirety, play­ing

NieR: Au­tom­ata is a su­perb ex­pe­ri­ence. Its pre­sen­ta­tion is ex­cel­lent, the sound­track is mes­mer­iz­ing, game­play is highly ro­bust, and its char­ac­ters are (some­what) re­lat­able. If you’re an ac­tion RPG fan, we’re al­most cer­tain that this game will be able to hold your at­ten­tion, at least un­til Per­sona 5 comes along.

There are por­tions of the game that fea­ture side-scrolling el­e­ments.

Com­bat is fast, fluid and dy­namic.

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