Demo Impressions – NieR: Automata

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One thing comes to mind when you think Square Enix; Final Fantasy. But the studio helped published a strange little game called NieR back in the PS3/360 Generation, which many love to this day. In a strange turn of events, it got a sequel greenlight but that isn’t the odd part. That, comes with the fact Platinum Games co-developed the title alongside the team that helped produce the original NeiR. The game is out now currently, but I recently had the time to play it’s demo on PSN. Consider this my first PS4-focused article.

So does Platinum’s take on the action-RPG offer fun?

NeiR Automata is an action RPG that blends open world exploration with Platinum Games trademark action gameplay. But the demo up on the PSN store is a linear experience that lasts up to an half hour or so. It has four different difficulty options but for the purpose of this article, I played it on ‘Normal’. Basic controls are responsive enough but what makes the game work so well, is that despite being an action/RPG it tries to blend other genres into the mix.
One of your main abilities is shooting white pellets with the R1 button, which can destroy in-coming bullets from enemies. You can get rid of them through basic sword slashes but it’s more useful to use your robot helper due to the ability of moving while shooting. Lock on is responsive, so if you have issue aiming, pressing L2 can easily fix that.
Combat itself is a lot of fun, mixing Square and Triangle button presses/holds to preform combos. It felt responsive and timing your dodge (pressing R2) can trigger one of two powerful abilities (launching your foe into the air or shooting a powerful blast). Deciding which to use is part of the battle, making dodging important, not unlike the studio’s prior games like Transformers Devestation or Bayonetta. 
Taking about the shifting gameplay though, the game changes perspectives depending on where you are. It can turn into a side-scroller or even go top-down. One could see this as annoying, but it’s helpful, considering it allows you to better aim your bullet shots via right analog stick. A final aspect of the demo I really enjoyed as the presentation.
The game runs at a very solid 60FPS (even when running on remote play) and the music is fantastic. NeiR’s battle theme alone had me grinning while in combat, with it sounding both epic and mystic at the same time. The texture work is a bit spotty with bland colors but the futuristic setting and solid animations help out the rough edges regarding the games minor presentation woes.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the demo and I highly encourage any fan of action games to give it a shot. If you enjoy the demo, the full game will likely appeal to you greatly. Not sure if I will be writing a review for the game in the future, but expect more content regarding Square Enix and Platinum Games productions on 3WIREL in the future.

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