Originally posted 6/18/2017. Re-blogging in celebration of one of my all-time favorite games–Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139 which will be released 4/23/2021.
I highly recommend playing the game before reading this post. I will not elaborate on the storyline in detail. My intention is to share my summary of the game which may differ from yours.
Those who followed this blog from the beginning probably knew that I was anticipating Nier Automata (2017) ever since its announcement. In fact, I was very hungry to play another game like Nier (2010) and was hoping Drakengard III (2013) would be just as good. To my disappointment, I didn’t enjoy it as much mainly because of the frustrating gaming mechanics (I didn’t enjoy flying the dragon). And yet I stuck with it because of the storyline and its humorous dialogue. I have not reached the ultimate, final boss yet which I heard was difficult.
I had to stop the game because I couldn’t understand Zero’s (the protagonist) cruel intention to kill all her sisters. The character was hard for me to relate. I was definitely playing a killer. But after I watched Yoko Taro’s interview Philosophy of Violence, I learned to appreciate his approach to storytelling and the concept behind it. I realized Zero’s behavior is natural, but primitive. Instinctively we want to remove whatever is in our path. Defeating our obstacles gives us a sense of control and removes all of our competition. However, if we killed everyone in our way, we would end up dying alone and the aftermath would be Nier Automata.
I came to conclusion because I had to grasp my head around this killing frenzy around Yoko Taro’s games, so I categorize the three games that I played into the following:
- Drakengard III- killing to be the only one
- Nier Gestalt- killing is justified as long as you think it is right
- Nier Automata- killing loneliness
*One important thing to note, this is just my notes for the time being. I really would like to complete the Drakengard series *
Onward to the main topic,so when I started Nier Automata, I already knew it was about killing. The game started off strong, which reminded me of Xenoblade Chronicles’ introduction where the characters are thrown into battle against the machines. Once I arrived at a safe place (a city reclaimed by Mother Nature), I sensed that I was entering a world where a great civilization (mankind in general) once stood, but mysteriously drove itself to extinction.
All we have left are machines and androids fighting one another. In some ways, the game has a particular viewpoint about existence, which is hard not to notice if you do the side quests. It clearly pointed out that all lifeforms don’t want to fight all the time– they just want to co-exist. What meaning is there to killing? Why?
The real motive behind all the killing is more than just impaired thinking–it’s loneliness. In the end, no one stands. But the tragedy is not the cycle of destruction, it’s actually the inability to view the world harmoniously, which is probably why 2B and 9S wear blindfolds. They exist to take orders without comprehending their actions.
I won’t go any further into details about the game’s concept because I am beginning to develop my own theory, which is probably not what the game intended. I do just want to mention my overall experience with the game is good, but it is not one of my favorites. I like the first installment more partly due to nostalgia. Even though I did not enjoy the game as much, the game made me want to play Ikaruga, which has been sitting in my backlog of games to play.
Lastly, my final thought in regards to Nier Automata, I’m starting to understand that it’s difficult to introduce big ideas and incorporate gameplay due to unforeseen limitations (e.g, technical, budget, translation, etc.). So I really do appreciate it when game developers attempt to give meaning to their creations.
Well, that is it for now. Thanks for reading guys. Until next time, take care!
Think I will play Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon next to clear my backlog before I jump into a new game. My backlog began to grow back in 2010-2011 when I started playing co-op/multiplayer games. It is time to seriously tackle the single-player games list!