Words By Jason Sewald
Let me start by saying Nier Automata is not exactly a hidden gem. The Nier series has a history of games spanning almost a decade-plus. However, its popularity was always contained within Japan and the most hardened JRPG fans but never really blew up in the west. And this is what I want to try and spread the gospel today in the new Hidden Games: Nier Automata.
Nier Automata follows the story of our 3 Android Heroes 2B, 9S and A2. They have been sent from the moon by humanity, who now inhabit the moon due to machines taking over the earth. For the sake of spoilers, I will leave it at that because, as it turns out, there is more to the story than meets the eye.
The game was created by Platinum games known for games such as Bayonetta 1 & 2, so you already know what kind of game this is. If not, Nier Automata is a sandbox 3rd person character action RPG game with excellent free-flowing combat mixed. As it is a Platinum game, the combat is absolutely bombastic and full of stylish flair straight out of your favourite anime. Its map isn’t the biggest or densest. Still, everything in there has a purpose and really drives home the idea that planet earth has been abandoned and been taken over by the Machines.
Now on to the most important thing, why do I recommend this. Simply because of its narrative. Yoko Taro, the Nier Series director, added philosophical ideas into his games that do not come across as pretentious and will stay with you well after you finish them. No more is that apparent in Nier Automata, from its side-quests to the mainline story’s characters. Also, as an added bonus, the soundtracks for Nier are some of the best video game soundtracks I have ever heard.
So just to reiterate, Nier Automata isn’t really a hidden gem in the sense as the characters have had a massive impact on cosplay culture (2B especially) and that the games are literally a franchise. What is hidden are the deeper meanings of the game’s story and its themes, which have impacted me and anyone who played this. So if you haven’t played it, do yourself a favour. Get on this as the Game of The Year edition is always on sale on the Playstation or XBOX Store.