Nier: Automata – Early Impressions

So I picked up Nier: Automata on release day without any prior experience with the Drakengard series or Nier. I had paid it mild attention when I started seeing early footage and then it went largely forgotten, lost behind my growing backlog of games yet to be played. When I started seeing footage of pre-release reviews and very early first impressions I began seeing what was so intriguing again. Then I learned that this game was being made by Platinum Games - I had all but decided this was going to be next on my list.

I bought it and started the long trudge of a download on my slow rural DSL connection and very early in the morning morning around 1:30am I snapped awake and decided I should record a first impression video. I had to wait though because it still wasn't done, so I set up Audacity to record my mic and about 20 minutes later I was hitting the play button with anticipation.

Nier starts in a pretty strange fashion. All the footage I'd seen was third person, open world exploration and combat. But here I was in an arcade bullet hell shoot-em-up and already loving it. Admittedly those sections are better to play with a controller because aiming weapons would be much better with an analog stick. Regardless though, it was great and I was having a blast.

Once the isometric and side scroller arcade portions were finished I saw familiar territory in the 3rd person hack-n-slash mode that I was waiting for. In a typical Platinum Games way I was thrown to the wolves and started button mashing and learning little by little how to do so with some level of skill. I had a hard time with dodging though, the timing of evading attacks and getting your android ass kicked is a pretty fine line but I'm sure with some more practice I'll be able to hold my own. Anyway, soon after that first battle was the first mini-boss battle. Even if in this case "mini-boss" refers to a enormous, sentient robot bucket wheel excavator that blasted its way through the wall and started smashing me relentlessly. I also started noticing the incredible sound track here.

Once it was down I met the first of my allies, a little guy called 9S. He helps a lot in this first mission and becomes a companion later on. A little further down the road I lost control of the camera again with the game becoming a side scroller for a little bit. I admit I'm not a big fan of the camera changes. They fit the switching of the game mode at the time but I'm not sure why they change modes in the first place. It's not the worst thing by any means but it sort of breaks the flow when you're getting used to one style of play and it just moves to a whole different kind of game.

Still further up the road once I was all learn-ed in the many play styles available and had downed another mini-boss, the first actual boss fight began. By the way there are lot of cut-scenes in this game and for me at least, they tanked my frame rate while they played. Nier runs beautifully and the system requirements are relatively low spec so it confused me a bit when the cuts ran poorly. The major boss was an epic feeling fight with a few different phases but it also never felt very challenging. More like "do this one thing for a while and then something new will happen until you're done". Which I'm pretty sure is just part of the tutorial as a whole, a sort of look at what to expect. But not nearly on the same level as the first boss fight in another fantastic Platinum title called Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Play that if you never have, I guarantee you'll have a smile on your face. Anyway the boss went down in a pretty amazing fashion and I decided to end my first session there and go back to bed because it was nearing 4am after I had some editing done on the video.

Not Nature
Really Not Nature

Anyway I'm very happy that I picked this one up. After a little more time in the game I've noticed, through menus and talking to NPC's that Nier: Automata has a lot more depth to it than just bashing baddies. There are collectables and secrets to find, there's a huge world to explore, lots of questing to be had and I'm sure many more epic boss battles to come. There's even an option for fishing when you happen across water. Hopefully I'll make a few more videos as I play more so keep an eye on the TwinstiqLP YouTube channel if that kind of thing interests you. I'll try and be more awake during the commentary there as well. So far I can recommend playing Nier: Automata whole-heartedly, even at full price.

System Requirements for Nier: Automata are as follows


    • OS: Windows 7 /8.1 /10 64bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 2100 or AMD A8-6500
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 VRAM 2GB or AMD Radeon R9 270X VRAM 2GB
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 50 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 11 supported
    • Additional Notes: Mouse, keyboard and game pad (XInput only). Screen resolution: 1280x720.


    • OS: Windows 8.1 /10 64bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 4670 or AMD A10-7850K
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 VRAM 4GB or AMD Radeon R9 380X VRAM 4GB
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 50 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 11 supported
    • Additional Notes: Mouse, keyboard and game pad (XInput only). Screen resolution: 1920x1080. Depending on the monitor and PC graphics card environment and setup used, this title can expand its display resolution to 4K. However, please be aware that 4K resolutions are not officially supported.



  1. Avatar
    Tim Chesson says:

    I’m really interested in playing this also. I skipped the previous game, but everything I’ve read about this one makes it sound like something special. Right now I’m knee deep in Mass Effect, and I have Witcher 3 waiting for me on my desktop, but Neir and Horizon: Zero Dawn are both on my list of things to play later this year.

    • Scrooloose
      Scrooloose says:

      Oh man yeah I’m completely enthralled by NieR. It makes me want to look back on the rest of Drakengard to see what came previously. Horizon, I’m hearing is amazing as well. A surprising amount of depth in a big world. If you haven’t played Witcher 3 though I’d save that for after Horizon because it’ll ruin you for other open world games. Nothing I’ve played since can compare.

      How are you liking Mass Effect? I’ve heard mostly negative things, but that it’s still enjoyable regardless. Which seems like a pretty mixed bag.

      • Avatar
        Tim Chesson says:

        I had mixed feelings at first, but last night I finally got my graphics settings dialed in and helped me feel much better about the game. The combat is fun and feels like an improvement over the original trilogy. The quest tracking and inventory/crafting systems feel a bit convoluted, like the original Mass Effect did. Yes, the facial animations leave much to be desired, if only because newer games are so much better at it. I think the voice acting is fine, even if some of the dialogue is odd at times. All things considered I’m going to be spending considerable time playing through this.

        That’s good advice about Horizon and Witcher 3. Since I recently completed Witcher 2, it wouldn’t hurt to play a few other things before diving back into that universe.

Leave a Reply