7 hours ago
What begins merely as exploring a supposedly good game (and all the better the PC port is on sale) ends up being one of the most brilliantly conceived , beautifully presented, poignant and thought-provoking experiences in any medium of art I have the fortune to come across. Nier Automata. .🤖
I guess I should have known when the very first lines of narration of the game reads: "Everything that lives is designed to end. We are perpetually trapped, in a cycle of life and death."--followed then by a masterfully designed sequence of a prologue, which throws the player right into the action as well as the setting of the story, two terrifying mini-boss fights setting up for the epic first boss fight that defies any expectations I had before. And no saving amidst all this--your first chance to save is after finishing the prologue. .🤖
Enough have been said about the profound philosophy built into the game's exploration of meaning of life, consciousness and free will, difference between humans and machines, but what makes all these work is the unique mechanics of multi-layered story-telling that really plays into the one thing video-games can do best while other formats can only mimic: the effortless change of first-person perspectives. To complete the full story and get to the final (true) ending of Nier, you have to at least play the games three times: first as 2B(the female Android protagonist), then play as the "sidekick" 9S, witnessing the same sequence of events with a completely different set of eyes. And in the final act, which is about as long as the first two in length, you are alternating between a third character's view and 9S's. The game designer's bold and ingenious design of forcing the player to "repeat" to get the full experience turns out to be the very way of making the story larger than the sums of these narrative pieces.
Last but not least, the phenomenal music composed by the Japanese composer Keiichi Okabe not only serves the function of setting the mood for the scenes and play, it IS the indispensable part of the experience without which the game would not have ever reached the height of an artistic masterpiece it has attained now.