Nier Automata – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One review of Nier Automata
Nier Automata. That was a game that I had toyed with picking up a few times on the PS4. It was a game that always grabbed my eye and attention, but I`d never actually gotten around to playing and picking it up. An award-winning game, when rumours surfaced at the start of the year that Nier Automata was going to be getting an Xbox release, I was quite excited to see whether that rumour was true, or whether it would turn out to be a false alarm. Well, come along E3, because shortly before, it turned out it was indeed true, and that Nier Automata would be releasing at the end of June on Xbox One, and would be enhanced for Xbox One X. I was really-keen to get my hands on this and give it a bash. How would it fare though?
Nier Automata is a game developed by Platinum Games and is published by Square Enix. It is a sequel to Nier, the 2010 title that released on both PS and Xbox. What would appear to have been a timed exclusive, it launched on Xbox One this past week, a year after its PS and PC release. It tells the story of 2B, a combat android who with her companion are part of YoRHa who are tasked with fighting the invaders in a war. You take on the role of 2B, and work with your companion, 9S, to wipe out machines, and to fight the battle against the invaders and to win the war. I won`t go into too much detail about the story, but it does follow on from the first Nier, although I don’t think you need to have played that to understand what`s going on -I hadn’t touched the first title before-hand.
Straight from the off, you`re going to notice something. Straight from being introduced to the character and jumping into the game, you`re going to notice how smooth and fluid the game plays. I know the game has been enhanced for the Xbox One X console, but wow, it is nice and fluid, and I always like a game that plays like a proper game. We`ve seen games released where the game has been awful and disruptive in terms of the gameplay, but whether it is the enhancement, or the actual game across different consoles (I play on the Xbox One X which means I can only talk about how it plays on an X console) it`s a nice smooth game. And that`s accompanied by some awesome and fantastic looking graphics. Some of the environmental settings are stunning and walking through the ruins and looking around is nice – the use of HDR in the game is fantastic, and straight from the off, it sets the stage. I`m already excited to see how the game fares on.
Throughout the course of the game, you`ll rank up 2B`s level and collect items throughout, which can be traded at several outposts and traders for upgrades, on weapons and health etc. The health one is going to be quite vital to keep stocked up on, as some of the characters you`ll come across in terms of bosses and other enemies are going to be quite difficult and are going to take some hammering to defeat them, and you`ll need to make sure you keep yourself stocked up on health mainly. There`s no auto-save in the game either, which means that you need to make sure you save the game manually. This was a bit of a killer for me at first, as I had done the opening part of the game, and then turned off, only to realise that it hadn’t saved, and I hadn’t done a manual save. Damn. At least it was a quicker run through the second time knowing what I needed to do and where to save. There are several save points throughout, and you can either go up to a save point vending machine (That`s what I`m going to call them – I don’t think that`s the correct terminology but we`ll roll with it) or if you are in a save zone, by pausing the game and quick saving. Make sure you remember to do that because otherwise there`s going to be nothing more frustrating than beating a boss, and closing the game, only to realise you haven’t saved, because that will be a right pain.
I started my playthrough on normal difficulty, but there are a few other settings that you can choose, depending on how much you wish to challenge yourself. If you select the easy difficulty then you can buy several power-ups that`ll help you in your battles, but these can only be activated in the easy difficulty. I always tend to start off with normal difficulty when it comes to any games, as it always seems to be the balance, but, I did have a quick go on the hardest difficulty, and I can tell you now, that certainly will not be coming out again. Think of Dark Souls 3 difficult, because that`s going to be brutal, and if you can play through on the hardest difficulty with ease, then I`m going to have some serious respect for you.
Another thing that I really liked throughout the game, was the use of the soundtrack and the score. It worked so well in areas of the game, and I don’t tend to take any notice of the soundtrack in any game, I`m not going to lie, but it really stood out in Nier, and is a nice score to play along to.
Nier Automata: Become as Gods as it is known on the Xbox, is a game that I genuinely thought I`d never see on an Xbox console. When it came out as a PS exclusive last year, I thought that was going to be it, and the fact that we haven’t really seen much in terms of Japanese RPG titles on an Xbox. I hope going forward there`s a change in that, because I`ve really enjoyed what I`ve played on Nier Automata. On an X console it plays incredibly well, and some of the graphics in it are very nice too. It won`t be for everyone as most games aren’t, but it is a very good title that I`m getting some serious enjoyment out of. And any game that I get that serious amount of enjoyment out of, has been a very good investment.
Review key supplied by Indigo Pearl