For the Glory of Mankind: NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition

The Switch version of NieR:Automata manages to bring us a wonderful experience with minimal battles. The Switch version of NieR:Automata manages to bring us a wonderful experience with minimal battles, and this means that there are no longer many excuses for people who have not yet experienced this amazing game to skip it.

NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa is the last version of the game released for the Switch, which also contains the only expansion pack released for the game, 3C3C1D119440927. There were quite a few concerns on my side before the release of this version, mainly because the Switch is a weaker console than the rest and this game is huge and full, at the same time since the release of several other role-playing games that came for it and came in excellent form, I was much less worried. Turns out I shouldn’t have worried at all.

The Masterful Use of NieR:Automata Storytelling

The story of NieR:Automata has an amazing way of merging gameplay and storytelling, a masterfully delivered experience of living the narrative, rather than just observing it.

Warning – minor spoilers for the story and game mechanics

Thousands of years into the future and humanity has lost. Aliens attacked with an army of machines, and we got exiled to the moon. The remaining humans built an army of androids and fought against the machines in 14 wars, in which no clear winner emerged. 2B and 9S, two of our battle androids, are sent to Earth to defeat a large machine, which is when our adventure begins. This introduction and the events immediately following it, leave you feeling excited and curious, wanting to know more about what might happen next.

It’s difficult for me to fully communicate how engaging this story is without giving away key moments that will be spoilers. All I can do is tell you that you will be deeply moved while experiencing a wide variety of emotions, such as hope, sadness, and acceptance. This story is so masterfully told that it’s impossible to express the sheer artistry in words, but I promise you will be able to see it for yourself once you play this masterpiece.

For those who have not experienced or heard about NieR, this game, a project by Square Enix in collaboration with Platinum Games and game director Yoko Taro, was released six years ago. Yoko Taro is best known among fans for his very unique vision of what video games should be, as well as the experiences that he wants to convey using them. His characters have a special quality to them as well, which has made his name synonymous with truly special gameplay experiences.

Unique Approach to RPGs and Its Battle System

NieR: Automata introduces a unique approach to role-playing games. Players control character 2B, a high-ranking battle android tasked with eliminating any machines that stand in her way or that she has been instructed to destroy. She starts with a balanced sword and can collect more weapons as the game progress, such as powerful but slow axes, weak but long-ranged spears, and more.

It’s unfortunate that the Switch version of NieR: Automata has to reduce from 60 frame rate to 30, and use less powerful textures than the PC version in order for it to run well on the Nintendo hardware. Despite this, the game still looks impressive and manages to run smoothly on the console. There are some small issues, like pop-ins and less detailed, less complex vegetation, and you can see some low-resolution textures on the ground and buildings.

The battle system is quite basic and does not require much strategy or skill. The character has one button for light attacks and one button for strong attacks. The pod can provide you with ranged shots with a switchable secondary ability (such as a powerful laser or a gravity bomb that knocks enemies into the air) and your weapon combos can change depending on whether they’re set to a strong attack or a weak attack. I really enjoyed the battle system, even though it was quite simple and straightforward. Battles were never boring and never became repetitive.

The combat system combines a character action game with a bullet hell game, in which a large variety of different colored shots and weapons are thrown at the player, some of which you can destroy and some that you can’t. In the first half of the game, the performance remains very good, but in the second half, there are some areas where the frame rate can drop.

Art Style

The art style is quite similar to the original Nier game, and it fits the atmosphere of the game really well. The clean and sterile design of the androids’ surroundings gives a sense of an apocalypse that’s different from what we’re used to seeing. The colors are limited because the machines don’t see any use for them beyond their functional purpose, and everything in their world feels faded, old, tired, and worn down.

As androids, our heroes have no need to wonder why they’re fighting or how long it will go on for. They’re simply made new in a never-ending war, and each time they arrive on a battlefield they have an unwavering sense of that mission. Do the androids wonder, do they have thoughts, do they dream of a different future? These are interesting questions that are raised in subtle and more direct ways throughout the game, which are definitely worth all the action and emotion that comes with this journey.

NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition Verdict: 9/10

Despite some minor frame rate issues and occasional drops during intense moments, the game feels relatively stable. In fact, the Switch version feels smoother than the Xbox One version. At no point do the controls lag or lose their responsiveness, and the game does an excellent job of displaying the action on the Nintendo screen. The text, enemy shots, and enemies are all well displayed on the handheld screen, making this a truly splendid port of one of my favorite games from the last generation.

NieR: Automata The End of YoRHa is an experience that you must play if you haven’t already. It contains a story that will be talked about for generations, with a wonderful soundtrack and battle system, and deep and rounded characters who experience amazing journeys and changes. It’s not a perfect game, and there are minor flaws, but overall, it is one of the best games you will ever play. It’s a must-play for any gamer who wants a truly memorable and emotional experience.

A musician and film buff. I'm a Film graduate of The Sam Spiegel Film and T.V. School program. Creative writing by nature, a very curious girl, exploring all geek fandom.