Week #7: Nier: Automata

The lazyhandheldman’s weekly handheld game recommendation is inspired by subreddit SBCGaming’s “Game of the Month”. Today, my recommendation is Nier Automata.


Release: 2017

Original console: PlayStation 4, Windows (Steam)

Developer(s): PlatinumGames

Publisher(s): Square Enix

Genre(s): RPG

Series: Nier

Recommended handhelds to play: Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck

Best for

  • People who love classic anime-style games

Do you want a new waifu? There is a dedicated subreddit for fan pictures of 2B and A2 – two female protagonists of the game. Actually, I’m deep into anime in my teenage, and I still collect mangas in my 30s, so I understand the reason. Perhaps that’s why PlatinumGames made a function to let us see 2B with no skirt (damn).

  • People who want a great storytelling game

It is quite hard to describe a story-driven game without spoilers, so I just emphasize that story is the core strength of Nier: Automata. You will feel both the sadness and joy, and bitter loneliness sometimes for playing this game. I see a lot of recommendations for Nier: Automata when asking of a story-driven game, and I’m sure you will enjoy this game.

Additionally, the music is great. This is the Game of the Year for the best music, so don’t expect less for both the OST and narrative.

  • People who prefer action RPGs to classic JRPGs

Nier: Automata is an action RPG game, which is a lot different than classic JRPGs. You can think of this game more similar to The Witcher 3 or Dragon Age: Inquisition than Dragon Quest, so if you love western RPGs, Nier: Automata is suitable for you.

The open-world gameplay makes Nier: Automata more related to The Witcher 3 than other classic JRPGs

Combat and boss fights in Nier: Automata is a bit simple to follow, but the gameplay is actually creative and different for all characters.

Worst for

  • People who can’t pass the unsavable prologue

The prologue of the game is unable to auto-save, and there is no manual save option. As a result, it is reasonable if you rage quit the game for not being able to overcome the prologue. I highly recommend to put your effort in learning and passing the prologue, but if you feel anything other than joyful, you should stop the game.

  • People who’re new to the series and want to know everything

If you enjoy the concept of Nier series, you should start with Nier Replicant, which is the prequel of Nier: Automata, despite of being released after. The reference in Nier Replicant will make the story in Nier: Automata much more sense. So, do you dedicate to finish both of these games wholly? Then start with Nier: Replicant first.

Recommended handhelds to play

Nier: Automata is released for PlayStation 4 and Windows first, to utilize the powerful hardware for graphics rendering. However, the Nintendo Switch version is a great port, and it is the reason I can try the series for the first time. I also get it for my Steam Deck, but only after the latest patches that fix a lot of unplayable bugs for the game. Still, both handhelds will help you enjoy Nier: Automata.