NieR New Project

Yoko Taro's eccentric action RPG gets a follow-up that's every bit as surprising as its predecessor with a little help from Platinum Games.


Nier: Automata was almost a Farmville-style mobile game

How Square Enix committed to its most eccentric game in years.

Nier's sequel will have all the weirdness of the original, plus a little more polish

Why Square Enix revived a cult classic, and what to expect from the sequel.

Key events

Eccentric mask-wearing Nier director Yoko Taro may have put the final nail in the coffin for developer Cavia as Nier sales were too poor to keep the company at bay, but that didn't stop Taro from somehow getting a bigger budget sequel greenlit through Square Enix with PlatinumGames (Bayonetta, Vanquish) on developing duties. Amazingly, this offbeat sequel to a game few played was so successful that it saved the acclaimed action game studio.

PlatinumGames is still working on a Nier: Automata PC patch

PlatinumGames is still working on a Nier: Automata PC patch

After fan outcry for it not receiving one since launch four months ago.

Nier: Automata is an absolutely splendid game full of mystery, suspense, wonder and whimsy. It's also got a host of bizarre technical problems on PC.

Many assumed these fixes would be ironed out in the weeks following the game's 17th March launch on Steam. Yet nearly four months later, there hasn't been a single official fix to the game.

Fans on Reddit have been understandably frustrated by the lack of updates, despite the game selling over half a million copies on Steam.

Read more

Nier: Automata sells 1m copies in a month

Nier: Automata has breached the one million mark in sales, publisher Square Enix has announced.

This combines both physical and digital sales worldwide on PS4 and PC.

These figures are almost definitely an improvement over the original Nier, though sales figures for that remain iffy. It reportedly sold about 134k copies in Japan in its first seven months, whereas Nier: Automata managed 198,542 on PS4 alone during its launch week in Japan.

Read more

Nier: Automata receives unofficial PC patch

Nier: Automata receives unofficial PC patch

Fan fixes framerate and resolution.

Nier: Automata's PC port was panned for its performance, among other issues, by our tech experts at Digital Foundry, yet a resilient fan has come through and released their own mod that smooths out many of this version's most central problems.

The mod, created by Steam user Kaldaien, fixes an issue in which the game would display the wrong resolution. In the official release a glitch would cause the 1080p resolution to display at 900p then stretch it to 1080p. This mod fixes that, so you can enjoy Platinum Games' latest opus in all its visual splendor.

Another flaw in the official release was the framerate, which would frequently drop to under 60fps even on very powerful rigs. Kaldaien's mod optimises this too.

Read more

Digital FoundryWhat's up with Nier: Automata on PC?

Amateurish issues mar what could have been one of Platinum's best PC games.

Widely acclaimed when it launched - receiving a Eurogamer Recommended no less - it's the PC version of Platinum Games' latest title that we'd been waiting for. Even running with the raw power of PS4 Pro, resolution is limited to 1080p, but more worryingly are the frequent glitches and stutters - especially prevalent during the game's more open areas. Our hope was that the PC version could power past these limitations - but alas, it's not to be. And on top of that, some wobbly conversion work introduces new issues, some of which we can't believe we're seeing.

People are doing impressive things in Nier: Automata

No damage. No guns. No partner. No problem.

It's no secret that I love Nier: Automata. Yoko Taro and Platinum Games' peculiar action-RPG surprised and delighted me in ways few games have, though it's not without its faults. One of my biggest gripes with the game was its difficulty level, frequently punishing Hard mode players with one-hit kills, lest they do a lot of grinding or passively pummeling enemies with bullets from afar (yawn). The game's Very Hard mode is even more insane, resulting in an instant death from a single blow, even if it's a slap on the wrist from a low-level minion. And yet, people have found ways of besting its biggest baddies on Very Hard mode. Some even instill further challenges on themselves just to make the game harder.

Why you should play Nier: Automata after the first playthrough

If you thought Return of the King had a lot of endings...

[Note: This piece contains many spoilers for Nier: Automata's structure and mechanics, though plot spoilers are kept to a minimum. There are still some though, so if you're already a Nier convert and know you're going to play Automata beyond the credits, you may want to avert your eyes.]

Nier: Automata review

RecommendedNier: Automata review

Machine with a dream.

If there was ever a game that didn't need a sequel it's Nier. The cult classic sci-fi fantasy fever dream by masked madman Yoko Taro did a lot to endear its niche but dedicated audience. Its peculiar blend of open-world adventure, hack-and-slash combat, and bullet hell shmups supplanted into a strange and harrowing world that refused to conform to usual sci-fi fantasy tropes was among the most audacious and surprising retail releases in ages. Yet as much as I adored Nier, it felt like a complete story. It had a beginning, middle and end. Then another end. And another.

It wasn't the most technically accomplished game, but its hodgepodge of influences blended together to make something wholly original. There's never been anything like it since. Until now.

The question, of course, is whether Taro would be able to make lighting strike twice. His follow-up to Nier, Drakengard 3, was a fascinating failure; a game with tremendous ideas and abysmal execution. With Bayonetta and Vanquish studio Platinum Games certainly there's promise of a more polished product (or at least a more refined combat system), but the concern remained that it might come at a cost. Would this big(ish) budget sequel to an aggressively off-kilter curio be too dumbed down? Too safe?

Read more

Nier: Automata's Japanese launch tomorrow has English subtitles

Nier: Automata's Japanese launch tomorrow has English subtitles

UPDATE: And voice-acting... by default.

UPDATE 22/02/2017 4pm: Nier: Automata is out on the Japanese PlayStation Network and not only does it have English subtitles, its voice-acting is in English as well.

Even stranger, this is the default setting, so you don't even need to navigate any Japanese menus to alter its language options.

ORIGINAL STORY 21/02/2017 8.47pm: Nier: Automata won't reach European shores until 10th March, but its Japanese version is out tomorrow on PS4 and it will have English subtitles.

Read more

Nier: Automata's PC release date same as PS4 in Europe

Nier: Automata's PC release date same as PS4 in Europe

But three days later in North America.

Nier: Automata's Steam release has been confirmed for 10th March in the following trailer (via Gematsu):

That's the same day it's coming out on PS4 in the UK and Europe, though three days later than its 7th March North American launch.

Bear in mind that the Steam version is digital-only, so pre-orders won't include the Nier: Automata T-shirt director Yoko Taro is nonsensically blathering on about in a very strange ad.

Read more

29 minutes of new Nier: Automata gameplay reveals moose-riding, exploration and more

29 minutes of new Nier: Automata gameplay reveals moose-riding, exploration and more

Director says more than “half of the story” is unlocked after the ending.

29 minutes of new Nier: Automata gameplay have been revealed ahead of its 7th March release date.

As shown by PlayStation Underground, we can get a better sense of the scope of Nier: Automata's overworld, not immediately obvious from the linear dungeon demo on PSN. There are towns, shops, platforming, exploration and fishing, just as one would expect from playing the original Nier.

One new mechanic in Nier: Automata takes a page from Dark Souls in which players can retrieve the gear of their past self, should they make it to the spot where they last fell. Since you play as an android, dying merely transfers your memory and data into another body. Find your previously fallen vessel and you can retrieve it for a bonus. Or you can try to repair it. Successfully doing so means it can help you in battle, but an unsuccessful repair will corrupt it, making your previous body turn hostile towards you. Defeat your former self and gain a bonus.

Read more

Watch: 23 minutes of Nier Automata gameplay

A pretty weighty demo for Nier: Automata is available to download now on the PlayStation store. It's quite a generous chunk of the game to be honest, taking around half an hour to complete - or maybe a bit less if you're super-skilled.

I'll take this opportunity to stress that I am not super-skilled; truth be told I am neither very experienced nor especially competent with action RPGs. When we were given the chance to play the demo in advance, however, I was the only one who could make it, so you've got my gameplay. Sorry about that.

All in all though, I found Nier: Automata quite fun to play. It's fairly easy to keep track of everything that's happening on-screen, while the customisation options seem comprehensive enough to suit most players. You can watch 23 minutes of gameplay in the video below - I've snipped off the final minute or so in order to avoid spoiling the ending.

Read more

NieR: Automata's PS4 demo draws nier

169.99 Black Box Edition includes figurine.

NieR: Automata, Platinum Games' sequel to Square Enix's delightfully bonkers action-adventure Nier, is getting a PS4 demo on 22nd December.

NieR: Automata now has a western release date

NieR: Automata is coming to PS4 on 7th March, Sony announced at its PlayStation Experience keynote today.

The game is also coming to PC, though it's unclear if it will have the same release date there.

As seen on the PlayStation Twitter, the game's Day One Edition comes with six exclusive cosmetic skins.

Read more

Watch new gameplay footage of Nier: Automata

Platinum Games' Nier spin-off Nier: Automata received some new gameplay videos via a TGS stream over the weekend.

As you can see below, the developer shows off how this sequel will retain the original Nier's penchant for camera gymnastics transforming the typical third-person hack-and-slash combat into side-on or top-down arcade affairs.

It also looks about a dozen times faster than the original Nier with your character constantly blasting a string of bullets into wayward robots while otherwise dashing and slicing the mechanical monstrosities.

Read more

NieR: Automata is coming to PC too

Formerly a PS4-exclusive.

NieR: Automata, Platinum Games' sequel to Cavia's cult classic action-RPG Nier, will be coming to Steam along with PS4 upon its release early next year, Square Enix has announced.

NieR: Automata gets an all new gameplay trailer for E3

NieR: Automata gets an all new gameplay trailer for E3

UPDATE: 15 minutes of new gameplay reveals robots with their head on their crotch.

UPDATE 23/06/2015 2.30am: We have unearthed an additional 15 minutes of gameplay footage from NieR: Automata.

Captured on a stream by YouTuber Arnots HD Gaming, series director Taro Yoko walks us through a little of how the combat and game design works. It's confirmed that players can only control one character at a time, though there will be certain sections of the game where you take control of other characters. It depends on what's going on with the story.

Furthermore, we're told that nearly every enemy will have the same spherical head resembling Emil's iconic grinning skull. However, their head won't always be above their shoulders. In one case demonstrated toward the end of this video, an enemy robot has a head tucked away in their crotch. (Look around the 10:06 mark.)

Read more

Nier's sequel will have all the weirdness of the original, plus a little more polish

Nier's sequel will have all the weirdness of the original, plus a little more polish

Why Square Enix revived a cult classic, and what to expect from the sequel.

It was, in its own way, the biggest surprise of this year's E3. In a year when we got the announcements of Shenmue 3, the remake of Final Fantasy 7 and the return of The Last Guardian, that's not bad going. No-one outside of Square Enix could have predicted that, five years after the original's middling reception played a part in the closure of developer Cavia, Nier was to get a sequel.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Nier was always great at wrong footing people.

"The first game, it wasn't necessarily a massive success," admits Square Enix producer Yosuke Saito, a member of the original team who's returning for the sequel. "But we really did want to make a sequel right from the start, we'd always have liked to have done that. Unless we could get together a team and it makes sense business wise anyway then we really couldn't do it anyway."

Read more

Nier is the rare game that gets better with age

Poor sales and tepid reviews couldn't keep this underdog down.

A lot of classics follow the same story: a brilliant artist creates a piece of work, critics don't think much of it, it's a commercial failure, then, many years later, it takes on a cult following. This was the case with Moby Dick. It was the case with Blade Runner. It was the case with Abbey Road. But we don't see this so often in games. If something comes out and gets mediocre reviews then sells poorly, it all but disappears and is relegated to clearance bins, destined to quickly fade from memory. Nier is an exception.