Nier Automata is pretty bad, with bad writing too

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Fsrgon

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#1 Fsrgon
Member since 2019 • 12 Posts

I was just thinking about overrated games and this came to mind. I decided to finally play it last year after all the fanboys I saw constantly praising the supposed "masterpiece" writing and deep philosophical story and boy was I disappointed.

The dialogue is cliché anime nonsense, complete with the typical anime gasps and immature tumblr/reddit-tier writing i.e "my girlfriend dumped me 2b...whaaa" "why did you kill my brother? Now I'll kill you!"

Characters are one dimensional with the cliché anime plot point of having a secret hidden trait i.e the stoic silent strong woman isn't so cold hearted really and shows that suddenly and spontaneously at one point.

Then there's the story, with a narrative requiring multiple repetitive playthroughs to get to the so called "enjoyable" bits, a narrative mired by one dimensional characters and terrible writing and in the end, what is that narrative? The generic concepts of infinite cycles, war being pointless and the question of what is free will and is our enemy any different from us? Philosophical questions explored far better in games like Dark Souls and Metal Gear.

"Whoosh" they said if you don't like the story. Jesus, the story point has been done far better in other series like Souls, Yoko Taro is OK at coming up with concepts but poor at implementing them.

The gameplay is a repetitive easy joke, dodge every enemy automatically just by bashing dodge. No timing required because you'll be sure to perform the evasive dodge required to counter strike afterwards. No tactics required because most enemies are the same. Exploration becomes tedious in its bland world filled with the same enemies who lack variety, side quests are just glorified fetch missions or "go here and kill x enemy."

By later playthroughs, everything is just a chore and tedious slog through the same old crap.

I'm not sure how this game ended up being rated so highly but I think it's mostly from anime fanboys who like anything that is anime or anime-like, then proceed to viciously overhype it in response to any criticism. Funniest part was hearing a few saying it's got better writing and dialogue than both The Witcher 3 and Yakuza 0. After playing through the whole game (and yes doing the subsequent playthroughs) I'm convinced that these people must be on drugs if they think Nier even compares.

Who else thinks it's overrated? I mean this is Platinum Games, I don't know how they went from Metal Gear Rising to this. Perhaps they should have got Hideo Kojima to oversee this game too, it would probably have had better gameplay and writing.

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SoNin360

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#2 SoNin360
Member since 2008 • 7115 Posts

I enjoyed the game overall, but you do make some good points in which I agree with to some extent. Definitely was expecting a bit more from the game given its reception, so ultimately I thought it was a bit overrated despite having a decent time with it. But, like you said, the game gets very repetitive. I don't remember why I had to do multiple playthroughs, I just remember my enjoyment of the game dipping downward at that point. The story was okay, but nothing too impressive. I'm a casual fan of anime shows and games, so I was really expecting to like this game more than I did. It definitely had some great moments, but for the most part I don't remember much of the plot at this point and my memory of repetitive fights overshadows that of some of the fights that were great.

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Epak_

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#3 Epak_
Member since 2004 • 10723 Posts

Couldn't get into it either.

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GTR12

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#4 GTR12
Member since 2006 • 13485 Posts

@fsrgon: Metal Gear: Rising isn't even a Kojima game...so why would he oversee Nier?

I also liked Nier, at least its not another 1-dimensional game.

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Fsrgon

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#5 Fsrgon
Member since 2019 • 12 Posts

@GTR12: Kojima oversaw production on Rising though. I'm just talking hypothetical that Nier would have had better writing and story imo with Kojima if they managed to get him to do it.

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GTR12

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#6 GTR12
Member since 2006 • 13485 Posts

@fsrgon said:

@GTR12: Kojima oversaw production on Rising though. I'm just talking hypothetical that Nier would have had better writing and story imo with Kojima if they managed to get him to do it.

I disagree, Nier is fine, its not for everyone.

I've stumbled upon many great games, which people might deem "too anime, hypocritical, sexist etc etc" all because I've taken a chance on something.

People say the same about Wet (its bland, repetitive, story could be better etc).

Kojima would have fucked it up, probably introduce some male having a baby in his mouth...

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Random_Matt

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#7 Random_Matt
Member since 2013 • 4382 Posts

Was an average game.

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YammiReckorrdSan

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#8 YammiReckorrdSan
Member since 2016 • 615 Posts

Nier Automata is not bad game, but I agree with for the most part. The story is bullcrap, the only fun things about it is the wierd things, like robot sex, or Romeo and Juliet play that the robots commits a suicide. The gameplay is fun, but yeah, it is not very good. It is worst version of Bayonetta. And I agree with you 100% about the bland open world.

I enjoyed Nier Automata, but it took me three time after I stopped to finish it.

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justplayednier

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#9 justplayednier
Member since 2019 • 1 Posts

Kind of crazy how I stumble across this post after I JUST uninstalled Nier. This game is so bad and cliche it hurts. In the first 2 hours of the game I spent more time watching cut scene after cut scene with cringey anime-esque dialoge than I did actually playing the game.

The game play was just as bad and linear. Abosolutely nothing to think about, no decision making, no feeling that you needed differenty strategies to defeat enemies. You end up just doing the same thing for each enemy encounter. It becomes super repetative very fast. During the first boss fight there was like 4 seperate cut scenes with more linear dodge and shoot game play as a filler.

The game is designed so that you are playing in an anime film rather than an actual video game. I don't enjoy watching cut scene after cut scene with brainless gameplay as a filler. Where I'm not even thinking about anything - just auto piloting.

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Chris_53

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#10 Chris_53
Member since 2004 • 5506 Posts

I remember playing the demo and not really having the urge to go out and buy it. I dunno maybe it's just not my type of game. I do enjoy a lot of different types of games though, but Nier never appealed to me

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GettingonwithGamingLife

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#11 GettingonwithGamingLife
Member since 2017 • 258 Posts

Interesting. Wanted to give it a try. I've heard of worst writingamer but my expectations are lowered.

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sakaiXx

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#13 sakaiXx
Member since 2013 • 6246 Posts

I love the game, no.2 game of 2017 but its full of jrpg troupe, not everyone gonna love it.

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CTR360

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#16 CTR360
Member since 2007 • 8730 Posts

fantastic game i love it

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Valgaav_219

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#17 Valgaav_219
Member since 2017 • 2561 Posts

I played the demo and it was pretty cool. That boss fight at the end of it really made me want to get the game. It's on my bucket list and I'll definitely play it with an open mind.

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madsnakehhh

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#18 madsnakehhh
Member since 2007 • 16433 Posts

I was eager to get this game, but after I saw one of the most pretentious reviews I've ever saw in YouTube (something like ... Nier Automata, the masterpiece you will not play, or something like that) my hype kind of died ... I didn't even watched the whole thing (almost an hour) I just find the review so pretentious I think I'll wait a little bit more (some good discount).

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Johnny_Rock

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#19 Johnny_Rock
Member since 2002 • 40231 Posts

Hated every minute of the 3 plus hours I played it. Couldn't give it a longer shot than that. I wanted to blow my brains out in that short a time.

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nepu7supastar7

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#20 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 5253 Posts

@fsrgon:

Yeah well, your opinion is bad. Bad reasoning too! ?FACE!!

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BigCat2K20

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#21 BigCat2K20
Member since 2004 • 366 Posts

@Chris_53 said:

I remember playing the demo and not really having the urge to go out and buy it. I dunno maybe it's just not my type of game. I do enjoy a lot of different types of games though, but Nier never appealed to me

I played the demo, too. It was so boring that I fell asleep twice. Thanks to the demo, I didn't even bother rent it & play other games that interested me.

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PCVirginRace

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#22 PCVirginRace
Member since 2017 • 187 Posts

Good

-plot

-theme

-character

-music

Bad

-repetitive mashing

-replaying game twice to get part 3

-very Japanese

-over philosophical

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phbz

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#23 phbz
Member since 2009 • 4721 Posts

Maybe I'll play it if it comes out in GamePass. Played the demo when it first came out and was disappointed.

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mrbojangles25

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#24  Edited By mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 44633 Posts

I need to give it another go, but I agree, did not like it after playing for a couple hours.

I think it had the good fortune of being a barely-above-average game released during a short game drought.

It also suffered from what I think of as the "self-perpetuating Japanese game stereotype": terrible writing, convoluted plot, annoying characters, and too much flashiness. It basically came off like a J-Pop Soap Opera.

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#25 hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 19368 Posts

Totally disagree... it's one of the best games I've played this gen. But each to their own.

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#26  Edited By Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 1912 Posts

Kojima lost his marbles a long time ago. He would have ruined this game's decent story and all its charm.

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#27  Edited By PS360
Member since 2019 • 25 Posts
@ezekiel43 said:

Kojima lost his marbles a long time ago. He would have ruined this game's decent story and all its charm.

He for sure has. I can't even figure out what Death Stranding is, it's so vague.

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#28  Edited By Yaku
Member since 2019 • 1 Posts

Big post incoming. It is 2 AM so typos incoming as well.

It is really interesting to see some opinions that are not merely positive about Nier 2, as I call it.

Disclaimer: Nier 1 is my 2nd most favourite game of all time. And I am a big fan of the Drakengard franchise overall. So me saying what I say does not come from random hate and I also have played RPGs and consumed plot-heavy books/movies/games a lot by now. So there was something to start with when I got Nier 2.

So first of all, the first Drakengard game I ever played was Nier 1 in 2010. I played through it and I absolutely loved it. It became one of my instant favourites with the whole Gestalt-version father-daughter story and my god, the score is a piece of art by itself. Shadowlord playing in the trailer/opening that I have seen on youtube before that sold me together with the scenes. Of course the true ending of this experience which I refuse to call a game devastated me but at least it had some sort of happy notes that got me.

And not to forget, Nier 1 exists on two consoles. That were sold in millions of units. Still Nier was not that known by many people.

Then Nier Automata,, Nier 2 came. Which already annoyed me as the first point: Suddenly people were jumping on a hype train. people refused to even look at Nier 1 with their asses but no, once Nier 2 became a hyped thing everyone had to try it out. Some buffoon I talked to would ridicule me for saying that since of course it was not the hype train and people just could not buy Nier 1 on their PC. That the PC only is not the problem was something he did not understand but that there were enough people who actually had the change to get it on a console but still refused to get it. And as said, there were many. Sure, PC gamers did not have the change but what does that matter if not even those who could did not play it and yes, of course there are gamers who have both console generations and still only jumped on the Nier 2 train so the counter argument is rendered void because tthat was the whole point I was trying to get across. And I personally, even if it is better from a commercial perspective, do not want people to consume such a franchise because their initial drive is peer pressure as those franchises deserve something better.

But whatever. Nevertheless I played Nier 2. And I wats so excited. But it fell short very fast. I played it for almost a whole day and then I reached Ending A. I thought that was kinda stupid and even hoped for that not to be the actual point for the endings. I knew Drakengard but it was still unsure to me and I dare to say Nier 1 made it better by really only the endings being at tht end and then starting 50% in the game which Route C and D/E also did in Nier 2 just that they actually called the halfway-point Ending A and B. They should not have done that. It splinters the story unnecessarily and more confusing than in other Drakengards. Drakengard 3 also had "halfpoint-endings" but at least they explained it with timelines and that it was an attempt from Accord so that had more purpose.

Now then ...

First the actual negatives about Nier 2, then the positives:

Difficulty: The game's normal mode is too difficult for somebody that just wants to play casually. I say it always and stand by it, games should also take a normal player into account. Do not take mee wrong, I played Kingdom Hearts games on Proud and Critical, The Last of Us on Grounded, Horizon Zero Dawn on Ultra Hard and all that stuff. But I think there should always be a casual setting anjd that should start with Normal. Nier 2 has Easy and that is good but I find it frustrating that a game in its normal mode already features difficulty curves that can reduce your joy about the game. And I do not want to be depressed by a Nier game difficulty-wise. I have Drakengard 3's ending battle for that. Don't get me wrong, the Normal difficulty is not impossible - obviously - but I do not want to invest that much effort in the gameplay when playing something like a story game for the first time and I think being forced to play on Kindergarten Easy mode to get that is kind of a bummer. I also had to change to the Auto-Dodging stuff because I suck at bullet hell-stuff and the part where you have to destroy a lo of cores with 9S in one of the towers eventually got me stuck. Drakengard always has that genre-mix moments. Butthis is 9S main gimmick and I do not think it should be that elemental in this Bayonetta-like game, especially not whenthere were some big difficulty leaps in his bullet hell sections. Otherwise it was a neat idea.

The world: I think I am in the minority here but I hate it when a game is made and its "open-world" aspect is advertised. Were I live it is very common to write that on the back side of the box. And Nier 2 is praised for its big, destroyed, "open world". I hate the open world thing by now. A game does not need an open world if there is no substance behind it, if it is not engaging or anything. I have played only one game and that was Horizon Zero Dawn which satisfied me in that aspect.

Nier 2 has the Shadow of the Colossus syndrome. It is an empty world which is loved because it is atmospheric. I am sorry but I cannot play an empty game. I cannot enjoy the "hidden effective" storytelling that its visuals give me because contrary to popular belief the "show, not tell" motto is not applicable all the time or else we have a dialogueless, no-character interaction game whoich has a story that can be reduced to that of Pokémon Red and Blue: "Oh, what a great world. And our character goes and strengthens the bond with his best friends and that is the reason why they overcome all obstacles." That is the basic outline. That does not mean we need less script, scenes or the likes of them. And so the visuals. what they say and their atmosphere should not be that disjointed from the existing storyline. Nier 2 tries to incorporate and interweave them somehow occassionally but falls short when it comes to doing that "right" by throwing away everything that basically screams for potential lore/story expansion. What do I want with a giant desert that gives hints to Facade from Nier 2 and is used for a story scene with A2 and the secret battle with Emil (excluding other sidestuff that 90% will not play) when the whole area does not feel like an organic, important part of the story? Why was there nothing when 2B and 9S run through? Why is the other ruined building complex behind the desert void of anythng but "oh, there are dead androids, oh, there are robots that imitate sex, oh there is a giant robot fusion into Adam who births Eve". Sure, it shows what happens to the androids and that the robots are trying to mimic the humans - just like the androids become more human - but there is just a giant, empty space beyond a giant empty space of a desert just for nothing but android corposes for the shock factor, robots pseudo-fucking for the shock factor and the birth of the first-hal-of-the-story-villains. There was nothing really moving the story forward in an organic way while - you guessed it incorporating that giant space of a city that they created only to be there. If there were actual cutscenes with the robots in the city and 2B and 9S talking about what this place is while getting the signal of the robots gathering in that one building hole and were hinting at how they would later fuse together to create Adam that would have been a lot more organic while incorporating the elements you have in the game. You could argue stuff like the city are just considered another dungeonand a lot of RPGs have barely anything happening in such dungeons but it is hard to swallow that when that "dungeon" is something like a city, especially as a lot of games like Final Fantasy even have story-heavy scenes in dungeons that do no just happen at the end of those dungeons. Same criticism goes to areas like mthe mothership pace of the aliens by the way and oh my god, the fucking Copied City. This damn city was one of the greatest parts and ideas both creatively and aestetically (opinion but probably understandable) in the game and they wasted it. The music alone is incredible. Go a few metres. Boss Encounter: "The machines made this carbon city". Boss Battle. The end. It was a tease for the final dungeon. But a wasted opportunity.

Anyway , let's go on to the heavy-hitter: The story. My god, what a clusterfuck. Beware, if you like that, more power to you but to me Nier 2's story will always be associated mainly with 20-year old internet kids that read stuff on the internet or watched a youtube video, think they understood how philosophical, tragic and beautiful is and then think they are super-intellectual.

Nier 2 is no philosophical. Nier 2 is what I call pseudo-philosophical. It covers existential stuff that was so often covered in other media, which is one of the main problems because it is nothing new, it has no interesting spin to it and the worst thing of all: Those themes actually have answers if people think on an axiomatic level and do not all the time try to make a philosophy out of something because those things can actually be answered with basic psychology, other fields of science and an logical exclusion process. Very funny about all of this is that the androids Nier 2 basically are and have what truly answers if they are actually the androids who lived before with a yes, but still asks for an answer and when showing an answer through guys like 9S it goes exactly the wrong route. But anyways, that is not the main gripe I have with the story. I could forgive that because "even with them saying it wrong they mean the right thing."

No, the main problem was that the story drove nowhere. Another point where fans thing this game is a philosophical genius. I call it a waste of time. And not "that's the point. the game talks about pointlessness and that is why is is such a genius story, blabla", no, I mean a waste of time as in a waste of my limited life time. Not "a person talked to somebody without meaning while that somebody wanted to talk with him because he thought there would be a discussion with actually driving goals home and then later lectures that person about how the whole point was that it was a waste of time to even dicuss and that he should be thankful for this glorious and super-intellectual lecture. And people like me, who are actual scientists do not need the obligatory "lulz you did not get it" from the stranger who thinks he/she understood something of incredible depth and solved a puzzle that those who disliked it "did not solve" according to the other one's conclusion. Because it is not like there could be people who are actually intelligent beyond watching a youtube explanation video or wherever those other guys get their solutions from.

The plot went nowhere. That's it. Sure, the androids/machines were supposed to hopefully live free of their destiny that they were made for, yada yada yada while discovering what we already knew about the humans anyway. Halfway though the story we discover that the humans are dead and also partly the 2E plottwist and all just for the final dungeon to reveal it again adnd make 9S act shocked. Idiotic. Absolutely idiotic.

N2 was basically the main villain because I cannot consider 9S or A2 the main villain. The problem is, N2 was even less incorporated in the game from a character standpoint than the single machine entities Adam and Eve were. Instead they showed how the machine network collective consciousness became so strong that it split apart through paradoxical thughts and killed itself. All that would not be that bad if there was not just bits and pieces of "something".

The 2Bx 9S plot. Good Lord. Plothole town. Okay, first of all, the line "You're thinking about how much you want to **** 2B, are you?" is not brilliant red hering, just because people read on the internet that because of 9S' insanity it did not make sense for it to mean "****" but "kill" and that we were only lead to believe that and that it also fits the Japanese text and all. Yes. It also is supposed to stand for kill. But it is also meant for the other. Please, internet, do not think just because you have discovered this on youtube or wherever that you can disregard the other thing. 9S still has strong positive feelings for 2B. It was a love-hate insanity that he himself could not cope with. Because, well, he was insane. That does not mean the line meant just "kill". As a matter of fact, the line as "kill" does not even make sense. Yes, Adam talks about anger. But he also talks about desire. Now, 9S at thjat point was not insane. There was no reason for him to have those thoughts. He would have reacted a lot differently than he did but this way it just makes no sense. It also makes no sense that he knew it beforehand because his memories got deleted and I do not buy fan theories of "oh, he knew more than we think, oh, he possibly used a USB stick to store the memories (yes, that was an actual argument), because a) they are consumers and no writers of the gameor otherwise I could answer it myself which I cannot because my words cannot decide what is true so I have to rely on the given facts from the written story which are contradictory and b) the story even in the second half showed 9S having doubts and trying to talk to 2B but only really becoming insane in the one of the towers when he saw the machine core with his memories. Before that, outside of the tower he even spoke, thought and behaved still a lot more normal and really snapped in the tower when he found out about his memories. So no, he did not know that stuff and it makes sense since the memories were not there. hich makes the "kill"-line and the twist of "oh, he was all the time such a tragic and insane character" very out of the blue through plotholes and it was malready out of the blue enough while not thinking about them. Overall the whole rest of the story revolves around Popola mand Devola atoning for what they did not do, the pseudo-villain killing himself, the player finding out what they already knew and wrapping up the whole 9S fiasco which seemed to be more important than the story succeeded to organically make it look like while completely using that to fill in the story gaps of a story which felt very disjointed and lacking any actual outline that resembles anj RPGs story. Sure, they did stuff which they always did which lead to the 2B, 9S and A2 drama, they find out the bunker-machine fiasco, the story tries to make characters main villains when they fail as it does not truly want that to be significant enough and then and insanity plot suddenly comes which is wrapped up together with the "the bunker lied about humans and all androids and machines are somewhat trying to break free and live like normal people beyond that" storyline while forgetting that even humans follow a programming. What about actually referencing the original story more than just through Emil, Weapon Stories, some documents, Popola, Devola and the library? Make it significant. Even the alien thing from after Nier 1 was just "well, it just happened, we machines killed them" with at least Emil's condition somewhat covering the stuff. The original game should have played a bigger role in here than "well, that is the outcome of the first game long after it happened since humanity died through the Shadowlord dying".

Well ...

The good stuff:

The score is fantastic. And while criticising the whole atmosphere thing, it is still very touching, even if there should have been more to it. I also like the characters and the gameplay from a basic standpoint is also very ncie as I am a Bayonetta fan and also played Drakengard.

But when it fails to do justice to its successor by now even making a solid story (and it did not even need to be about Nier or the others getting big references even if that would have been great) then that is a big minus. Overall for an RPG to have a clusterfuck of a story. The Kingdom Hearts franchise is very tangled plotwise and has many plotholes but even that has more meaning and that makes me very sad.