Nier Automata (Now on sale!)
Real talk - Nier Automata is awesome, and you should play it. As far as I'm aware, this is the first time the game has been on sale since launch. Trust me, it's worth every penny, and you should buy it now: http://store.steampowered.com/app/524220/NieRAutomata/
Now, to explain what this game is all about.
If you're familiar with Yoko Toro's work (Drakenguard, Nier), then you know what you're getting yourself into. If not - Yoko's games are known to push the limits of video game storytelling. They are dark, they are deep, and they are truly mindf*ks. What's important to know is that while there are 4 prequels before Nier Automata (Drakenguard 1-3 and Nier), you don't need to know their stories to really understand the story of Nier Automata. But if you want all caught up in 1 minute, check out this video voiced by the voice actress of 2B (don't worry, no real Nier Automata spoilers):
So this is a really unique game. Gameplay wise, it's a mix of 3rd person hack and slash action combined with "bullet hell" SHMUP. You'll have top-down shooter style bullet hell, then you'll have 3rd person action combined with bullet hell, then you'll have straight up combo-driven 3rd person grinding action with RPG elements. It's SUPER Japanese and one of the wackiest gameplay type blends I've seen in a long while. The actual 3rd person fighting mechanics are pretty simplified (you can button mash attack and dodge and basically combo and live forever), but the combination of the two completely disparate styles works well, and creates a super compelling experience.
As far as the story is concerned, this game is a masterpiece. You have to play the game 3 or 4 times before you get the full story, and trust me, once you get to the end and the story all comes together, it'll blow your mind. It left me shook after I finished the "true" ending last night. I can't say much more without spoiling things, so I'll leave it at this - from a storytelling perspective, Nier Automata achieves a level of accomplishment that very few games have managed to aspire to. It's incredibly well written and executed, and if you're along for the ride, it'll change the way you think. It's SO good.
Now, if you're playing this on PC, there are some important things to take note. First and foremost, the game has been out for a year, and it has not received a single patch on the PC platform. It's safe to assume at this point that the game will never be patched. It has some pretty serious PC specific issues, primarily with performance on certain hardware, and straight up crashes and compatibility issues with certain hardware configs. Ask @Ilriyas about his hardware setup - he hasn't been able to play the game due to crashing and other issues. That being said, most PC players have had minimal issues playing the game.
There are some really dumb limitations to the PC version, especially with display resolution. The game is locked at a max of 1080p display resolution. So if you're running 1440p or higher, you'll have gross blurry up-scaling when you place the game. Fortunately, there's a user-made mod that fixes this, known as FAR: Fix Automata Resolution. I played most of the game using FAR, and it is damn near a necessity if you're using a display larger than 1080p. Download FAR here: https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SpecialK_Mods/discussions/3/1334600128973500691/
Even if you're gaming on 1080p, FAR may be worth installing. It includes lots of little tweaks and performance enhancements that'll make your experience way better.
Also, you should probably play this game with a controller. I'm told it can be done with a mouse and keyboard. You'll probably hate your life if you do this. Just use a controller. For yer health.
Anyways, here are some screenshots. Play this game. It rules.
I love the idea of this game and what little I got to play of it I loved, the music especially is something to experience. I could listen to the OST all day and never feel like changing it.
That said, @UPSLynx mentioned my hardware issues. This game does not work on AMD GPUs, even with FAR it needs some kind of patch but this game has been out 10 months or something and there's been zip. I haven't tried the latest version of FAR that said, maybe the community fixed it.
EDIT: My last attempt at playing this game was in May of 2017. According to this AMD fixed the issue themselves with no help from the developer, literally a week after I gave up. Maybe I'll give it another shot.
Speaking of the music, this is an article from the making of the music for the original Nier. The singer talks about the process by which she creates languages for the songs to be sung in. She used the same techniques for Automata. No spoilers.
It is a god damn masterpiece. My only complaint is that I can't experience it for the first time again.
So here is the dumb reason I love this game and you might too. It has a setting where all the combat can be computer vs computer. So if you are a fan of great story AND can't play a combat game with bullet hell to save your soul, then just set it to Auto-Chip mode and enjoy. This is a master stroke idea that I want in all games with a deep story line. I finished the first ending of NA yesterday (on my birthday) by setting Auto-Chip and I couldn't be happier.
Yea, I'd highly recommend that anyone playing the game use at least some of the chips. I didn't know about them on my first playthrough, and it took me literally forever to get through the bullet-hell-- if you check my time in game, I'm at like 80 hours or something, because I had to leave the computer on with the game up so I wouldn't have to repeat sections of the bullet-hell. It was no problem with the chips in! The game actually feels a little bit too easy now-- luckily, the chips are all individual, so you can equip some and not equip others if you want.
I may or may not have ordered the soundtrack for this game from japan. My favorite game I've played in years.
NieR Automata is $29.99 right now: 50% off.
It's a game that will punch you in the feels
Just don't quit after the first ending mkay
Best advice. Play it multiple times. The experience will be way different and you learn so much more.
It's not just "New Game +", then? I'm never able to get into that...
It's not. Different perspectives and more of the story is revealed each time. It's also not really playing all the missions over again after each restart. While you'll "play through" 4-5 times, each "new game" tends to be shorter than the last. Really, my recommendation is not to consider it a "new" game but part of a single playthrough.