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NieR: Automata Preview

Scheduled release date:
TBA 2016
Square Enix
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
TBA 2016

It came out of the blue to surprise many: Nier was an action/RPG that just seemed to click with old-school and new-school alike, as the game presented the player with both a traditional role-playing structure and some intense real-time combat. Those loyal fans have been pining for a sequel ever since, and despite the fact that original developer Cavia is gone, we should be excited about the new team. After all, Platinum Games is a premier studio in this industry, as they’ve produced some seriously fantastic titles over the years. The only lingering question is whether or not they’re capable of retaining the role-playing focus of the original; I mean, these guys do Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising . RPGs just aren’t their bag.

But despite those concerns, which will remain until we see more gameplay, we know Platinum will deliver a tight, vastly improved fighting mechanic. The original had a decent fighting system but it’s definitely outdated by today’s standards and Platinum will spruce that up big time. No worries there. But let’s talk about the intriguing story and setting for a minute: If you remember the first game, the Black Scrawl virus was spreading rapidly and it was up to the intrepid adventurer to stop it. There was a personal, emotional element as well, as the protagonist’s daughter suffered with the virus in question. In the sequel, called NieR: Automata , the original main character will be replaced by a new protagonist called simply “2B.”

She’s an android and that’s her serial number, so don’t expect much of a personality. In fact, in this post-apocalyptic-like world, androids aren’t allowed to have emotions, even if each particular model “has its own quirks and characteristics.” As you might expect, 2B is pretty flat and cold early on, but we’re hoping something more shines through as we progress. There’s a lot you can do with this character premise but again, the guys at Platinum aren’t exactly proven narrative experts. Even so, they could be fashioning an absolutely spectacular world, very different from the one in the original Nier but a good deal bigger, and perhaps even more involving. Aliens have invaded Earth and strange mechanical beings with huge amounts of power have forced mankind to flee to the moon.