NieR: Automata Game of The YoRHa Edition Review
New editions of old games can serve two purposes. Either it’s a chance for the developers to fix things, or a fresh campaign to entice more players. NieR: Automata Game of The YoRHa Edition has little new content, to be fair. Instead, this is a complete package that’s perfect for people like me. If nothing else, this is a testament to my hubris. Why on Earth did I wait so long to play this game?
My time with this game is colored by slowly deepening shock. Every new system that’s revealed has a left-field flavor that nonetheless makes perfect sense within the established framework. Hacking mini-games that bring the action to a screaming halt should feel like a major flaw, but they don’t. Instead, I look forward to them every time. The switch between top-down bullet hell shooter and 3rd-person action RPG is absolutely seamless. Controlling the pod system gave me headaches at first, but now it’s as natural as breathing. All of NieR: Automata’s disparate components fit like puzzle pieces. The rough, collage-style edges simply vanish.
Every Step A Symphony
This is to say nothing of the aesthetic at work, which will haunt me for years. Never before have I heard the screams of my enemies transformed into music, but here we are. Every song is infectious, a pulsing earworm with deep hooks and delicate fangs. The music works to elevate your every action, leaving an impact felt even in its absence. Moments that would otherwise feel ridiculous or campy are transformed into powerful artwork by the score. Like the combat systems, all of Nier: Automata’s music and graphics are disparate elements that just… work, somehow.
On the subject of aesthetic, I was consistently stunned by the character designs. There were many times I was nonplussed by the environments, only to realize it was just 2B drawing my eye. She commands your attention with her every appearance. It’s no wonder her look is a favorite among cosplayers. In fact, all of the androids are downright remarkable. The lush, reclaimed cityscapes and rusted ruins are fatally drab in comparison.
My time with the game wasn’t flawless, of course. I found myself getting lost rather easily. There were several moments that stretched ever further thanks to some map marker buried under a mountain or behind a labyrinth of textures. The difficulty level starts crazy high, but it takes quite a while to get back to that point. This was less frustrating than it was simply confusing.
I’ve spoken several times about the lack of new content, but it’s a red herring of sorts. If you’ve not played NieR: Automata before, there’s a massive amount of game in store for you. There are (spoiler alert?) 26 different endings to unlock. To date, I’ve seen two of them. I’m positively giddy about the prospect of unlocking more. All of this leads to the obvious yet critical question: Is the Game of The YoRHa Edition right for you? Well, that depends on a few things.
Old Package With A New Shine
The base game is sublime, a careful deconstruction of multiple genres, a car crash of control systems sliding perfectly into place. But what about this version? What sparkling new treasures are yet to be uncovered? I have no response to that inquiry, at least nothing that truly satisfies. The YoRHa Edition is a dormant snare, a chrome and lace construction meant to scoop up late arrivals like myself. Anyone who’s already sucked the marrow from these lovely bones will find little new to chew on.
I’m being facetious, of course. There’s plenty of content to be had, it simply appeals more to new players. Beyond the base game, you’ve got PS4 avatars, pod skins, a handful of accessories, and the 3C3C1D119440927 DLC. Sadly, only the last item is actual content, and even that was released some time ago. If you’ve been invested in this gorgeous madness from the beginning, you’ve got no motivation to double dip. The YoRHa Edition is exclusively for people like me, then. Late bloomers who waffled on this game until the last possible moment. This review is more or less for those people. If you haven’t pulled the trigger on NieR: Automata yet, this is the time! As a brand new player, I feel ridiculous for waiting this long to dive in. Dearth of new content or not, the Game of The YoRHa edition is a terrific good time.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Incredible music and sound
- Terrific character models
- Tons of interlocking combat systems
- Nothing really new this time
- Real easy to get lost
- For new players only