8 Fatal Flaws That Stop Nier Automata Being A Masterpiece

2017's game of the year? Not quite...

Nier Automata

Nier Automata is a good game. In fact, if you found me in the right mood I'd probably say that Nier Automata is a great game. But despite the almost universal praise that's being heaped on the title's storytelling and the way it toys with player expectations, the latest release from legendary cult developer Yoko Taro is far from perfect.

Which is a shame, because Nier is undoubtedly a title unlike anything else out there at the moment. Between its unapologetically wacky narrative to its everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to game design, the game doesn't comfortably fit into any particular genre, as it lovingly plucks elements from every major release throughout the medium's storied history.

In a sea of increasingly redundant games, Automata stands out as a shining example of a title unafraid to go against the grain. But by attempting to piece together every part of video game history into one rich tapestry, Nier can feel like a patchwork of ideas rather than a complete whole.

Just because it does something different doesn't mean that Automata is without criticism, and there's a few crucial mistakes the game makes that constantly drag it down from being the modern masterpiece it could have been.

8. The Structure Of Side Missions Is Garbage

Nier Automata
Platinum Games

The quality of RPG side missions has dropped off a cliff in recent years. While they used to provide players with expansive and creative additional stories, recently this secondary content has become more and more limited in its scope, ditching intricate game design in favour of a series of mundane checklist tasks - an uninspired approach that Automata unfortunately takes to another level.

Often boiling down to fetch quests or escort missions (didn't we kill those off back in 2008?), there's little variety to any of the additional content the game has to offer.

And the worst part is that there's loads of it.

When it comes to crafting side quests, Nier definitely takes a quantity over quality approach, and many of the missions themselves are just copied and pasted to the point of exhausting the player.

Sure, you'll get the occasional stand out moment like when you meet a budding robotic martial artist - but even quests like this lose their lustre when you're forced to repeat them over and over again.

The stories that complement these side missions themselves are usually excellent vignettes that provide valuable insight into a fascinating world, but more often than not their repetitive and mundane nature quickly turns each one into just yet another box-ticking exercise.


Writer. Mumbler. Only person on the internet who liked Spider-Man 3