NIER: AUTOMATA - BECOME AS GODS EDITION
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on July 5, 2018
Last year, PC and PlayStation gamers around the world were able enjoy NieR: Automata. Now, 17 months later, it's time for Xbox One owners to get a chance to play this awesome game. Plus, NieR: Automata now comes as a full package with the release of the Become as Gods edition! This edition contains both the original game, plus all its DLC. Reason enough to check it out, don't you think? Swords at the ready? Let's go then!
The game starts off in a truly spectacular manner! First, I'm flying in formation together with my companions when, all of a sudden, my companions are being destroyed one by one. After a short time, I'm the only one left and I have to fly through a tunnel with several objects that block my way, which I need to evade in order to sustain as little damage as possible. I manage to do so and land on a platform at the end of the tunnel, but there isn't time to take a breath; I have some enemy slaying to do! After a couple of "easy-to-defeat" minions, I'm immediately thrown into the deep end, because a machine with a big and menacing-looking circular saw is heading towards me.
During this awesome intro, we get to meet the protagonist of the NieR: Automata, a sexy, blindfold-wearing female android that goes by the name 2B. Her fighting techniques reminds me a bit of games like OneChanbara and the Bayonetta series (PlatinumGames also developed Bayonetta, so this makes sense), which makes me very happy, because I'm a big fan of those games. I didn't play NieR: Automata before, because somehow I got the idea that it wasn't my cup of tea. But after watching the Become a God edition announcement trailer during this year's E3 broadcast, I finally found out that it is a hack and slash game, which happens to be one of my favorite game genres ever! And, after only playing the intro, I already had the feeling that I wouldn't be disappointed.
The main story of NieR: Automata takes us on a mission to save mankind. Earth has been attacked by aliens who have only one goal: to totally and utterly annihilate humankind. A handful of humans fled to the moon and tried launching a counter attack. This, however, didn't quite go as well as they hoped, so now they have created a army of androids called YoRHa. This is where you come in; as 2B, who happens to be one of the YoRHa, it is your task to eradicate the alien scourge, restore order to the planet and save mankind.
2B has a light and heavy combat attack which she can use to defeat the aliens that cross her path. She also has a flying pod to accompany, help and guide her on her mission. This pod can also be used as a firearm. And let's not forget 9S; a maintenance android with explicit orders to take care of you in times of need. And trust me when I say that you'll need all the help you can get, because there is one feature that makes things very difficult if you are not careful. When you die, your memory will be transferred to a new android body. Your memories remain, but your items will not. You can, however, collect these items from your previous body, but if you die again before recovering your them, every item you collected so far will be lost forever. And, if this wasn't stressful enough, you'll need to recover everything from your previous body pretty fast because, if you keep playing for an extended period of time without retrieving your body, it will eventually disappear.
After the intro, the world and the story will expand bit by bit. Gradually, you'll get more information on who you are. The world you are protecting and the people that are giving you orders, sure have a few mysteries of their own. That's my impression at least; there's something fishy about the whole thing! Oh well, back to the game! Spread across the world, there are several camps, which act like a kind of safe zone. The game doesn't have an autosave feature, so the only way to save your progress is by doing so manually when you are in a safe zone. You are also able to make a quick saves at vending machines, which will update your map. In the safe zones, there are usually multiple characters around, so you can socialize a bit and pick up side missions.
The game's soundtrack is different in every area and really sets the right mood for every given situation, as far as I'm concerned. The level design is awesome, not only because of the strangely beautiful destroyed and post-apocalyptic world, but because of the way the developers used the camera. It's totally brilliant! Most of the time you'll have a third person view, but at some point it will show the game in top down view or platform/side-scrolling view when climbing some stairs or jumping from platform to platform. You can also control the camera yourself, so it will never be in your way.
For one of the story missions, I end up in an amusement park. I don't know what it is about post-apocalyptic world and amusement parks, but there is always something amazing going to happen. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. And sometimes, just sometimes, it's both, which is usually totally awesome. This is another thing I like about NieR: Automata; it doesn't take the easy way out by doing what other games did, but tries to set itself apart. Something which it does this very successfully, I might add!
After a couple of missions, it becomes clear that there is more to the story than meets the eye. How can androids arise from "killed" androids? Why does it seem like some androids have feelings? And on top of that, just when you just get used to hostile androids, sometimes they won't want to fight you. What happened to them? I can't help but suspect that there are evil forces at work here!
The Become as Gods Edition offers you every bit of the excellent DLC released for NieR: Automata, like additional quests, outfits and accessories. It's truly the full package, all rolled into one cool set, so you can enjoy this awesome game even more. I can only sum up my experience by saying that developers at PlatinumGames created an excellent hack and slash game in a beautiful post-apocalyptic setting. They even managed to wrap an amazing story about androids and humans around the game in the best way possible!