PlayStation 48.50
Overall 8.50
This is the first game from Yoko Taro that I play, my first impression is that this is the most Kojima non kojima game I have ever played. It's quirky in all the right ways, it subverts expectations and constantly tries new unexpected things. In a sea of AAA copy cat games this stands out so much as a true original. But it's also a platinum game, so under all this weirdness is the very familiar platinum games action system. Normally that is a great thing, but not so much when the game you are making isn't exactly a hardcore action game.

The core gameplay is every platinum action game rolled into one. The player basically gets to customize your combat abilities and these include all the famous gameplay systems from witch time, to MGR parry, dodge cancels, its all there. It is quite impressive that you can customize all this, it's where the RPG building comes in but that also means this game isn't designed with any one specific playstyle in mind. It creates an uneven action game where the core is good but the enemies and bosses aren't up to the standards we are used to in platinum games. The difficulty is also a mess, I found hard to be brutal because damage is ratcheted up so much, many times you can have a one hit death. Go down to medium difficulty and damage is dropped to a quarter of hard, now the game is way too easy. There is no inbetween, also skill level doesn't help, enemies don't learn new moves it's all just stat changes. Look it's still fun to play it's just clearly not as well balanced, I feel to styles of games at odds with each other.

Nier is full of quirky stuff so hack and slash combat isn't the only thing you do, half the game is also a shump. You will fly mechs as if you were in a twin stick shooter, these segments are fun from a visual standpoint but don't really require much skill. There is also a hacking mini game where it plays like a geometry wars clone, again simple but a nice mini game.

The reason the game is so special is how all elements come together, it feels special cause it's so different. The story is bold and filled with allegories; no subject is too taboo as you will see orgies, cults, cannibalism, children being murdered... it's dark. But it's all done with robots so the shock value is not as high but the metaphor is clear, this is a game about what it means to be human and all the imperfections we as a society have. The story is told in chunks as you beat the game, you beat the game once then play through it again as a different character, then beat it a few more times for a true ending. This is more a stylistic choice than a gimmick, like a kojima game everything is done for a reason, including the incredible ending credits.

The game world isn't too large but it has some memorable locations and a very memorable cast of characters. The problem with the game structure is that it leads to repetition to the environments, you will see all major locations early on and revisit them many times. The game is also filled with side quests, some are just shit fetch quests, and the game knows they are shit fetch quests. But there are some with some well developed side stories that flesh out the game world. To play most of everything you are looking at a bug 30-40 hour game, you can imagine how repetitive combat can become in hat time. The second game playthrough was unneccessary to me, it is almost the same exactly route with character that's not as fun to play as, no need to waste so much time on that. With some editing this could have been a better game.

Graphically it's not a real looker, it has some cool locations but that's about it. The music though, ohhhh it's so good. Soundtrack of the year. I love everything they do with it, how the music fits the game so perfectly, how it goes 8-bit in hacking mini games. The voice acting is melodramatic Japanese anime style actikng and it works fine for this kind of game.

I don't really want to spoil why this game is so good so it's hard to really explain it. It's got a great base for the gameplay, it's not the best in the genre obviously but it's still platinum games. But it's the artistic vision and bold gameplay choices that really make this game standout. It will surprise you, it will excite you, it will make you feel in ways most games do not anymore. It's a game that feels it was made by a true director and visionary and not some corporate think tank.
Posted by Dvader Sun, 07 Jan 2018 04:37:05
Sun, 07 Jan 2018 22:07:15
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