Considering the fact that I have had neither an up-to-date console nor PC (not one with high enough specs, anyway) during the past 6-7 years or so, I have undoubtedly missed out on a lot of games–good ones. If my memory does not deceive me, I put a pause on my vidya grinding sometime around 2015. Roughly 4 years later, I fell back into a bit of gaming. Unless you unironically agree with the Doc’s thesis that mobile gaming isn’t actual “gaming.”
I do not intend to go through my gaming history, making note of the various events that have taken place in my life during those times. Maybe I can save that for a different time. At any rate, I want to make note of the fact that I have recently acquired a PS4. This is a huge change of pace for me, and I have been doing my best to make up for lost time.
When I first got the console, just over a month ago, I was on the prowl for some games to play. I began searching for some critically acclaimed work. It can be a tad overwhelming when one is on the lookout for something–especially considering the fact that they don’t really have any idea what they are looking for. That’s when, all of a sudden, it hit me.
I had an epiphany. My near decade of browsing reddit had not failed me after all. Perhaps lewd artists do server a higher purpose in this world. I won’t attempt to justify it one way or another, but the overwhelming amount of fanart I had been witness to of a little lass cloaked in leather penetrated the cruxes of my mind’s eye. Yes, I remember thee, 2B.
NieR:Automata. How had I not considered it earlier on than this? I had heard talk of the game ever since its release back in 2017, mostly on the interwebs. When I say “talk of the game”, cultured individuals such as myself (/s) know what I am referring to. The most notable traits of NieR:Automata, which made an undeniable impression on myself, is the artwork and character design. The YorHa android, No.2 Type B, is a straight baddie. She was a key factor in my decision to pick up the game.
Apart from the aforementioned details, I had no idea really what to expect out of the game–particularly in terms of the plot or in the mechanics/gameplay. Going into it somewhat blind was the way to go. I am grateful that I had not watched any gameplay or read up on the game too much, prior to my playthroughs of the game. The novelty of my experience with this game, a work of art, was sublime. Not really sure how else for me to put it.
Nier:Automata is set thousands of years in the future in a post-apocalyptic setting:
“The events of the 14th Machine War unfold through three main characters perspectives, 2B, 9S and A2, all of whom fight as the last remnants of human civilization against otherworldly invaders. The battle is not so black-and-white, however, as the androids begin to question their own motives and the world in which they inhabit whilst being thrown into difficult situations and moral dilemmas.”NieR:Automata Fandom Wiki
I may have already established this, but prior to my picking up of the game, I had no actual knowledge of the NieR universe. For the most part, it was all cloaked in mystery for me. I had no idea what to expect. My first impression of the story, considering the events that were unfolding before my very eyes as I played through the game, I could not help but be reminded of Houseki no Kuni.
The similarities between NieR: Automata and Land of the Lustrous are uncanny. Though the exploration of artificial intelligence in a futuristic/post-apocalyptic Earth may not exactly be uncommon these days, this cross-over with the game and manga really stood out to me. The parallels (nature of the androids, status of the human race, moral dilemmas that the protagonists face, etc) will be blatantly obvious to anyone who is up-to-date with these forms of media. If you are not, I highly recommend checking both of them out whenever the opportunity arises.
I do not know how other people operate when it comes to their daily lives; I constantly feel the need to reiterate this for some odd reason. I say this right now in order that I might illustrate how bizarre my own approach to menial tasks and hobbies of mine may be. Sometimes I find it rather difficult to do something for the sake of just doing it. For whatever reason, my mind is inclined to perform tasks as a means to an end. Though I cannot say for certain, this parasitic impulse might be something that hops upon our souls and feeds on us as we age.
What I mean to say with this is that finding things I can do for the sake of enjoying it in the present moment is not always an easy task for me. One might argue that it derives from my time as a dopamine fiend/serotonin ronin a few years back. The answer to this question does not concern me. I merely bring it up just to make it clear that I was able to enjoy NieR:Automata in the present moment. It was, and is, a journey.
Despite the immediate lack for human beings, this game is an incredibly human game. It illustrates the longing for meaning that is found deep within the hearts and souls of us all. Though it is not without hiccups and frustrating moments, this game is brilliant. It is incredibly compelling. I fail to remember a time whenever a video game made such an impression on me.
There is much more that could be said, but I am not sure that I am in a position to say it. All I will say is that, if you haven’t, give this masterpiece a whirl.
Thanks for reading.