Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The good Platinum

I think it may have been a mistake for Nier: Automata to have such an outstanding beginning sequence that was also released as a demo prior to its launch. Following three hours of play that opening sequence was easily the best the game had to offer but I had already played it. The hook was used up and instead of being excited I was a little bored.

That being said, there is still a lot to like about Automata. The good Platinum showed up this time so the combat is smooth and responsive. Enemy variety is low, but again, I have not played for that long. Skill customization is a deep, dark hole that I have already fallen into, weighing the benefits of being able to see my own hit points versus doing slightly more damage. It is brilliant and insidious.

The game is also not shy regarding where it pulls some of its mechanics: there is some Souls in here. From the moment you press start the game warns you that there is no auto-save. There is an in game FAQ that explains that dying means losing all of your physical items, that they need to be retrieved on your next life, and that dying on the way to your old corpse equals fuck you, thank you for playing.

I did not drop it like it was hot because, while dying is a very bad thing, I have not felt in danger of doing so yet. Recovery items are cheap enough and the combat itself is forgiving enough that the bullshit Souls death penalty the cost of failure is more of a threat than a real consequence.

Nier was bizarre and obtuse, at least least on the first play through when you could not understand what enemies were saying. Automata plays its hand early, with robots that scream in fear as you approach and beg you to stop killing them. 2B is slightly disturbed but not enough so to stop carving a swath of oily destruction though hundreds of them. That will come back to bite her, I assume.

It's good. It's really good. Now if only Tekken 7 didn't come out on Friday. I care more about that game than Injustice 2, a title that I have already forgotten about.

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