So I’m just gonna start this review off now, so It can grow and change as I get further along in the game. SO FAR. The game is incredible with one major glaring flaw. It’s blatantly sexist lead character. I wish it wasn’t true, she could’ve been another strong female lead like Aloy but they went for questionable outfits(A dress? For an ass kicking, robot? Really? High Heeled boots f’real?). REVIEW SCORE IS NOT FINAL AS MY PLAYTHROUGH IS NOT FINISHED
Reactions: The intro to the game is everything a game intro should be… High Octane insanity, a solid hook. I mean, the first hour of the game is some of the most intense action combat I’ve every played, I can’t wait for more crazy epic boss fights. The action feels incredible. The controls aren’t just good for fighting, moving around the massive world of Nier is fast fluid and flexible, the game leaves an incredible first impression, followed up with a lack-luster run get familiar with the home-base follow up, but quickly enough you’re back into the open vistas of the game. I’m on a mission, I probably don’t care about. But the action is what it’s about.
Art Style Atmosphere and Ambiance(includes music score): 1.5/2.5
Other than questionable costuming on 2B the game is a masterpiece to look at. The animations are fluid, the engine holds steady at 60 fps even during the crazy boss fights with tons and tons of on screen effects. The music. Is epic, and always present building tension and relieving tension. The ambiance is overall bright colorful and creepy as hell. The robots tending a cradle what the fetch. Holy hot damn I’m blown away by the awesome touches, the robots talking pulled my wife’s attention away from her cellphone adventures and right to the screen. She couldn’t help but get engaged, because they’re a mix of creepy and engrossing.( would have been a 2.5 if it wasn’t for 2B’s stupid sexist costume…)
Combat, Collectibles, Armor and Weapons: SO FAR 2.4/2.5
Do you like combat that is as challenging as it is cool to look at? Nier delivers. The boss fights are high octane and aren’t just spam this button to win. Although, if you were to spam one button though it’d be that sexy dodge with it’s awesome animations, you can always tell when you get a close call with it, it’s incredible. Normal fights quickly become EXP gaining filler on your way to your next quest, but the bigger pulls are engrossing, with lots to dodge and lots to damage. Currently I’ve found and used one weapon of each type(large and small swords are my favorite), but the spear and fists felt good to use. Having your range attacks be autonomous from 2B is also an inspired choice. You can almost always be dumping out damage. Armor? You’ve got chip-upgrades, which are a solid approach. Dark Souls style corpses? Yeah they got that too, it’s not a wholly borrowed mechanic, as you loot fellow players corpses or revive them(I just loot them. Git gud…) Looting random pieces of iron and stuff isn’t tedious, so you’ll happily collect the mats for your upgrades as you romp around.
Exploration and Mechanics: 2.4/2.5
The controls are tight, the camera is smart, super smart. It even changes perspective style for the sake of different events, it’ll go top down when you’ve got a wide area of enemies to fight in a confined space, eliminating one head-ache. The game itself doesn’t fit into one genre of game-play and it’s hard to compare this game to anything else, because it just does A LOT of different stuff. The first few hours consist of quite a few different types of game-play. It’s a rail-shooter, hack and slash, puzzle game, platformer, top down shooter. As weird as that sounds, the polish and seamless transition to different types of game-play, is phenomenal. Square-Enix would be wise to approach this games dev team when it comes to the next Final Fantasy iteration, because they nailed stuff Final Fantasy XV loses massive quality points for(Quick example, exploring in FF:XV is miserable. It’s tedious and slow, the dungeons are relatively un-fun, because they’re cramped and confined and assume you’re not capable of narrowly walking across a pipe, and must watch the main character creep across it after pressing a button to do it for you. BAD. BAD. BAD.)
I started off the game, uninterested in the world. As it just felt like another dystopian robot future. I was wrong. The world is engrossing, and most of the narrative is approached during fights and as you explore, instead of favoring the long ambling exposition of 2017’s other major titles… (Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh….). The narrative itself is creepy, and the androids have unique and defined attitudes about nature, and the nature of robots, that pull you into the world despite the cliche nature of humans die and robots take over motif that is 2017’s favorite gaming trend…
Conclusion: -1 whole review point for Sexism. Would’ve been near perfect if the developers had thought, “Hmm, maybe high heels and a dress aren’t the right call for an ass kicking android.” That said, if high heels and short dresses and an overall sense of voyeurism don’t bug you add that point back on.
“The Guru”- Carson Hiltbrand