This may be a re-release, but Nier: Automata is just that good. The world of Nier may be confusing, and a little odd – you play as a robot, named 2B, who is fighting to save humanity from robots. You have a friend, 9S – who ends up being called Nines – as you travel to earth from your space station to rid the world of the robot menace – yes, you are still a robot… However, even with this confusion, there is a deeply emotional story which twists and turns with each playthrough. Yes, you can complete Nier: Automata once and get a great experience, or you can complete it 4 more times and gain another completely new experience, as each playthrough changes how you play or what you experience – luckily, you keep your gear and abilities. This is amazing, but isn’t the only genius move of Nier: Automata.
Being developed by Platinum Games tells you a little something about the combat, and boy did they nail it. The combat is so fast and so fluid, it’s so satisfying, and at the same time can be bloody difficult. You don’t block either, as it’s all dodge biased – you just end up creating a ballet of death.
But… that’s not all. The game isn’t just a hack ‘n’ slash. It’s also a top-down shooter, a bullet hell shoot-em-up, side-scrolling beat ‘me up, and a platformer. It combines all these different gameplay styles so effortlessly and seamlessly that you almost forget it’s changed – as the controls you use don’t change.
Even Nier: Automata did originally release in February 2017, it’s release on Xbox One means that it can, and deserves to be, 8th on the ETNL GotY list.