My Favorite Element: Nier Automata

Uncle Geekly finished one of 2017’s best role-playing games Nier: Automata. Come to think of it 2017 was a great year for Japanese Role-Playing Games with Persona 5 also becoming available worldwide six months after its initial release. But we’re going to discuss Nier: Automata in this writeup and how it takes a novel approach to storytelling that I haven’t seen too many video games attempt.

To say Nier: Automata is off kilter would be an understatement. I enjoy that every weapon has its own unique backstory that players can dip their toes into. Weapon Stories are a recurring element in the Nier and Drakengard series as are multiple plays of the game revealing new potential endings. Nier: Automata takes the latter element and makes it work—alternate endings don’t always pan out that well in Nier and the Drakengard series—by showing the game through the eyes of its two protagonists.

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Nier: Automata is broken into two parts and two main characters: 2B and 9S. There are moments through the first playthrough where 9S disappears for long periods of time. He explains most of his absences but showing what 9S goes through offers a lot to the overall experience. As soon as I saw that I’d play as 9S during a second playthrough I shuddered. There are moments that I’d rather not experience first-hand, but at the same time, I played on because I wanted to see them out of morbid curiosity.

Not every story can be enhanced by a second telling by another character, but Nier: Automata makes a great choice in showing 2B’s and 9S’s story. It’s obvious that they’re co-protagonists and it would’ve been a falsehood to not show 9S’s journey.

What are your favorite elements of Nier: Automata? Are there any other video games that do a great job of showing two protagonists’ stories. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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