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NieR: Automata gameplay footage – Can you streamline an oddity?

by Ron Duwell | April 18, 2016April 18, 2016 8:00 pm PST

We’ve seen very little of Square Enix and Platinum Games’ surreal action RPG NieR: Automata since it was first announced at E3 2015. As an obvious passion project of someone’s from within Square Enix, not to forget a pretty big investment on a risky cult-classic that only die-hard fans will love, Square Enix will probably be keeping the footage to a minimum on this one.

You either get it or you don’t. There’s not going to be a lot of middle ground on this unexpected sequel.

So, when Square Enix jumps on stage and starts showing off combat, fans are going to start wondering how such a weird title will show in front of a large crowd. Not that NieR was a horrendous game or showed off poorly in public, but rather, the parts that fans love are in the subtleties of the game’s world and the haunting “New Game+” options.

They are the elements of the game that Square Enix obviously can’t sell, so instead, here’s some combat! Sure, why not? For all of its awkward ticks, NieR had some impressive boss fights and pretty straightforward brawls to get to them. With the aid of Platinum Games, a studio that actually knows a thing or two about making action games, it looks pretty good. Maybe a few frame-rate issues are holding it back, but it still has more time left in development.

There’s no question it looks worlds better than NieR’s horrendous sibling, Drakengard 3. Fun game, horrible glitches and performance.

So now that we know what NieR: Automata looks like, what do you think? I get a sense that while the style remains intact, this is going to be a much more mainstream oriented game, and therefore lack some of the oddities that made NieR such a cult-favorite. Square Enix wouldn’t be making this game if it couldn’t reach an audience outside of those who have already decided to buy it.

We’ll see. Just because it has streamlined gameplay doesn’t mean Director Yoko Taro is going to be denied his twists and giggles. NieR: Automata will be released for the PlayStation 4 in 2016.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...