Voldenuit wrote:About 50 hrs into NieR: Automata, and I'm blown away.
This game is a magnum opus, and while mechanistically it's fantastic (fluid controls, stylish combat, deep and accessible combat systems), I was truly astounded by how philosophical and existentialist the game is.
The game obscures its story from casual view, relying on not just multiple playthroughs to uncover the story behind its world, but also uses non plot elements like weapon stories, enemy back stories, and plain old player imagination to challenge the player with (unanswerable?) existential questions. What is the nature of self? Of sentience? Of humanity? How much of a semblance to the thing does a copy or abstraction of the ideal have to have before it becomes indistinguishable to the thing itself?
At first glance, it is mere coincidence that the names of various robot enemies and allies were taken from French and German existentialist philosophers (Pascal, Sartre, Beauvoir, Engels, Kierkegaard), but as I kept playing, the game engendered many moments of self reflection that challenged my preconceptions.
As a long time Planescape: Torment fan, I had been expecting Tides of Numenera to scratch my existentialist itch, but when that latter game fell flat with its trite pseudo intellectualism, it was from the completely unexpected corner of NieR: Automata that I was entranced and engaged.
Best game of the year? Too early to call. Best game I've played this year? It's got my vote.
The guy behind Nier has been doing stuff like this for years. Drakengard 1(Which is the quasi-direct prequel to NieR, despite having not much to do with it. The 100% ending for Drakengard 1 is the basic cause for the world of NieR) did the weapon story thing, and just about every one of his games is insanely dark.
Also, this is not the first Nier game. First one was on PS3/X360. If you got one of those, NieR(As it's officially known) won't be much. It will play very differently, though. The main development of this game was not handled by the people he usually works with, and that was probably the best idea he's ever had.