Is the story good enough to keep playing? (early game spoilers, NO LATE GAME SPOILERS PLEASE)

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#1 Posted by maartendc (9 posts) -

Hello everyone,

So I've played through the game once now, and got 1 ending. Now I am playing the game through for the second time, from the perspective of 9S.

However, the story is exactly the same, with a few new cutscenes. I am finding it incredibly dull to do all the same stuff over and over, as I feel the story so far is not that great. It is all fairly bland: ooh the robots have feelings too, kind of stuff. The combat is OK, don't love it.

I have heard the game gets way different in the 3rd playthrough. Is it worth it to keep playing just for the story? Does the story get more interesting, or is there a big plot twist or something? (They hint there is something fishy going on with the whole Yorha organisation) . (NO MAJOR SPOILERS PLEASE)

I have a full time job, not much free time. Asking a player to play another 10 hours of EXACTLY the same gameplay and story just to progress the story is just a waste of time IMHO. Is it really worth it?

Thanks for any advice!

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#2 Posted by Sombre (117 posts) -

No

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#3 Posted by dpedal1 (227 posts) -

Man....that is a loaded question. I say yes. I loved the game, it was my GOTY last year. Yes playthrough 2 is quite the same, but playthrough 3 is when things start to go insane. There is one absolutely amazing boss fight, in the tower, (you will know when you get there) that is worth it alone.

For reference, i am married and have three kids. I hear you on time, for me, this game was worth it.

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#4 Edited by Raios (57 posts) -

I think it is - I felt pretty similar about the plot at the point you're at, but absolutely loved it by the end. Things start to get different near the end of the second play-through and everything past that is totally new stuff in terms of story. If you're light on time but want to see the story just flip it to easy mode and slap on some of the auto chips.

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#5 Edited by ToySoldier83 (300 posts) -

The 9S run is the route I felt needed the most editing or be compressed as most of the stuff you do is the same and feels like filler in an anime. You’re waiting until the good stuff happens.

But I would still say continue with the playthrough of 9S as the end of this run you’ll see things/themes/plot be brought up that may or may not intrigue you in continuing with the true second act. If you’re still not feeling it by the end of that route then you can stop playing, no one will judge you for it. This game is not for everyone.

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#6 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (1556 posts) -

Yeeees. Yeeees. And yeees.

The story goes bananas from the ending of playthrough B. What you've experienced up until this point is the set up for the actual meat of the game, which is playthrough C.

Playthrough B cuts out a considerable chunk of the latter part of playthrough. Ontop of that, it starts to differ considerably more towards the end of it. What I'd recommend, is simply main-lining the story, which you ought to be able to do in 2-3 hours.

Everything that is of emotional note or value is in playthrough C. I cannot recommend it enough that you stick with it. Mind you, I am ever so slightly biased, what with Nier: Automata having been my favourite game in the last few years.

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#7 Posted by Quantris (1140 posts) -

IMHO yes it's worth getting to the end. Also IIRC the 2nd playthrough should be a bit faster to complete. It helps a bit that all the side stuff progress is retained, but also you know exactly where to go / what to do. Not to mention it's not EXACTLY the same gameplay (at all) or the same story (only minor differences for most of it).

I fully agree that if the combat was more engaging this would be a non-issue.

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#8 Posted by odinsmana (946 posts) -

My answer is no. For me the 3rd act really fell flat. Especially compared to the way other people talk about it.

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#9 Posted by Sniipe (160 posts) -

No. Super super super no. I know it's subjective, but if you're not that into it now, and ESPECIALLY if you're not into the combat... No. Don't waste your time. And there's still a LOT of time left to waste.

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#10 Posted by JunkerWoland (53 posts) -

I absolutely adored NieR: Automata, but going by your initial post (and I mean no disrespect), I wouldn't expect to be blown away by the narrative progression, beginning after the initial play-through with 9s. The story does get more involved, the game mechanics are not going to change. If you're not deriving much enjoyment from the gameplay, I'd suggest cutting your loses and not sticking around in the hopes of finding fulfillment from the rest of the tale.

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#11 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6891 posts) -

The story doesn't make up for the gameplay in my opinion. There's some cool moments here and there, but they're separated by needlessly long sequences and some of the most forgettable boss fights in this genre in recent memory.

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#12 Posted by Scottjay01 (178 posts) -

Yes I really believe it this worth it. Also maybe youtube some of the advanced combat and upgrades you can snag.

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#13 Edited by fatalbanana (922 posts) -

Yes, especially if you fully explore all of its themes. I'm not someone who focuses too much on gameplay and I accepted early on that that wasn't why I was playing that game, however, I think Nier's pacing problems are undeniable. With that said if your able and willing to put aside those things and just let the promise of a good story keep you going than it is well worth it.

Edit: Actually if your understanding of the story so far is just "ooh the robots have feelings too, kind of stuff." then the rest of what Nier is most likely won't click with you.

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#14 Edited by dgtlty (989 posts) -

@maartendc said:

It is all fairly bland: ooh the robots have feelings too, kind of stuff. The combat is OK, don't love it.

This game ain't for you.

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#15 Posted by Teddie (2049 posts) -

It's a bit of a crapshoot really, the third act is a fairly different beast than what comes before it, so you see a lot of people get into the game post-B, and just as many who still don't care for it. The only thing I'd feel confident saying is that if you don't enjoy anything about it now, you most likely won't enjoy the rest of it either.

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#16 Posted by Wandrecanada (947 posts) -

Nope. If you don't like the combat you won't like the story enough for the rest. The only real interesting thing this game does is the mechanic of new game plus (Which isn't really a new game plus just more of a Shyamalan twist).

I suggest if you really want to know what's going on watch a youtube clip or two of the openings of the first couple of new game plus and the "true" ending if you want to see what all the bother is about.

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#17 Posted by Zeik (4996 posts) -

The 3rd act is where it went from good to one of my favorite games of all time.

If you don't like it now you probably won't feel that way about it, but if there's still anything about the game that interests you enough to keep playing it's still worth trying to see. Route B should only take you half as long as route A if you skip sidequests and cutscenes. Just be careful about rushing it TOO much. The opening of act 3 has a major difficulty spike.

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#18 Edited by poobumbutt (861 posts) -

@teddie: I definitely agree with this, as well.

I would love to say "no, keep playing. Route C will totally change your mind!" especially as someone who had this as their 2017 GOTY. But I just don't think that's the case. As reductive as I think the summary of "oooh, robots have feelings" is, it says volumes about how indifferent you'd - probably - be to the rest of the game. I mean, no one can say for sure, but yeah...

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#19 Posted by maartendc (9 posts) -

Thanks for all the advice so far!

Alright, so fairly mixed reviews then. I guess I will take the advice of bumping it to easy, and playing through 2nd act as fast as possible to get to playthrough 3. I AM really curious about act 3, if I wasn't I wouldn't even be asking this question and move on.

@teddie: I definitely agree with this, as well.

I would love to say "no, keep playing. Route C will totally change your mind!" especially as someone who had this as their 2017 GOTY. But I just don't think that's the case. As reductive as I think the summary of "oooh, robots have feelings" is, it says volumes about how indifferent you'd - probably - be to the rest of the game. I mean, no one can say for sure, but yeah...

Well, maybe that was expressed a bit harsh. I DO like the story this far actually, and the characters. I do want to find out what the intrigue is, and how the robots relate to the androids, what is the role of Yorha, etc. It is just that playing through the first act all over again is kind of ruining it for me.

They hammer it home really hard, I'm like: I GET IT! I understand what this part of the story is saying. I just want the story to progress at this point I guess.

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#20 Posted by kblosnack (290 posts) -

Yes.

And 9S is a good boy, don't @ me.

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#21 Posted by Y2Ken (2828 posts) -

Okay, I just read your initial post and based on that I would say yes, it's worth it to keep going. If you're looking for something substantial to happen, you'll get it.

Initially when you shrugged off the "robots have feelings" aspect I wasn't certain about recommending it, but actually I think that on the surface is very much a minor part of why I ended up caring about the story as a whole. That said, I probably enjoyed the combat a little more than it sounds like you are doing. But even so I'd probably say you should continue.

I felt a little unfulfilled after the first ending - it was nice, but nothing too special. I enjoyed the second playthrough, but far moreso for the side stories that come up than for the 9S angle on things, which I actually thought felt a little weak at times (especially compared to the way they handle a similar character switch in the previous game).

But once you get through that second route, the stuff afterwards is worth everything you've put in to get there - and I wouldn't consider it a spoiler to say that it's all completely new content from then on out, you won't be repeating anything you've seen in the first two playthroughs. I'll block it anyway, though, just in case. But it's just a structural observation.

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#22 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1473 posts) -

Sounds like your mind is already made up, so I wouldn't force it if you're not already feeling it. That said, for a lot of people the 3rd route is where it all comes together.

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#23 Edited by Sil3n7 (1467 posts) -

Absolutely not.

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#24 Posted by DanishingAct (343 posts) -

Yes.

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#25 Posted by cheesedgrate (3 posts) -

Depends on how interested you are in unconventional narrative and topics in video games. The game has a really violent disregard for the player's time, I'll say that much. I saw it to the end and I was happy that I did, but man was I angry at parts.

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#26 Posted by Ktargo (158 posts) -

The third playthrough is the best part and does feature many cool story bits. That being said however, I'm on team 'no' since the best part of your game shouldn't be locked behind so many hours of filler. The best part of the game did not "make up for" the previous dozen hours of fluff for me.

If you aren't on board with the game up to that point, I would say it simply is not for you and it may be best to move on. Like you, I was also pretty lukewarm on the combat and other gameplay elements so if you're expecting some payoff for slogging through more of it, you may end up unsatisfied with what you're given. Just my two cents, from someone who respects many parts of Nier's narrative and style, but did not enjoy the game proper; take my opinion with a grain of salt.

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#27 Edited by Ravelle (3077 posts) -

Yes, 9's perspective is a lot shorter, it's not another 10 hours and it gets better as well. I loved every part of it so I would recommend you stick to it for a while, there's a lot of interesting things going to happen that make it worth the wait. You can also just turn it to easy and breeze through it for the story.

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#28 Posted by viking_funeral (2880 posts) -

The 9S section is a lot quicker that the first playthrough. The game also goes a little off the rails, and yeah, there are some plot twists. However, not everyone is going to react to this game the same way, just like some people don't get Catcher in the Rye. So if you're not really excited to see what happens, don't force it.

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#29 Posted by mattchops (250 posts) -

I played through the 3 main story lines. I didn't think they're that much different from each other to warrant the time sink. I was really disappointed with playing 9S, but did enjoy the 3rd play through, since it actually finishes the story.

I think the story as a whole is not as remarkable as some people make it out to be.

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#30 Edited by flameboy84 (856 posts) -

Hmm as someone who is literally an hour in having started the game today...I'm going to say no if the plot isn't keeping you interested enough then don't bother, I feel like I'm still at the point where it feels unique and am intrigued once that's gone I won't be playing anymore (granted I'm going to finish it at least once)

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#31 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (959 posts) -

It's definitely not the plot that kept me going. It was the philosophical themes and commentary that made me want to experience it all.

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#32 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (956 posts) -

I would say it’s not. I was in the same position as you were and I ended up resenting the game because I forced myself through the game to see what people were talking about.

The second playthrough is the worst but the beginning of the third one is awful gameplay-wise (there’s long walking sections that are miserable). The story does have its moments towards the end that are good, especially if you go for all the endings. I just don’t thing they’re that amazing that you would have to suffer through the rest of the game to see them.

I’m not berating anyone who liked the whole game, but if you’re not enjoying the gameplay it’s not really worth pushing through.

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#33 Posted by nutter (650 posts) -

@maartendc: Playthrough 2 is a slog. When they do change up things based on your character’s perspective, it’s nice. But it’s done too rarely.

Playthrough 3 and the end-game content is great and well-worth dealing with playthrough 2 to experience.

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#34 Posted by Ungodly (369 posts) -

I put in about four hours, told a friend that hated 9s, he told me you playthrough the game a second time as him, and I never went back to the game. I read up on what happens though, and wasn’t curious enough to give it another try.

I think that if you’re frustrated by it, then you’re more than likely going to just be annoyed with how it wraps up. I am not a fan of anime and it’s use of melodramatics, so it’s not a game that’s up my ally. Gave it a shot because I’m a fan of Platinum, but from word go I wasn’t into the narrative.

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#35 Posted by floydeo (434 posts) -

Wow, now I want to play the game just to see why people's opinions are so different.

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#36 Posted by Humanity (17609 posts) -

@floydeo: I think this is exactly the sort of trap that a lot of folk fall into and end up not really liking or enjoying the game.

If the atmosphere and story doesn’t interest you enough to keep going on your own, and you need people online to push you forward, then you shouldn’t force yourself to keep looking for the thing others resonated with.

You kind of need to want to play this game to enjoy it, instead of just wanting to know what the big deal is.

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#37 Posted by GnosisLord (154 posts) -

Yes. 100%.

If you're expecting some big Usual Suspects style twist that turns the story on its head, you're not really going to get it. Instead the stakes and nature of the conflict change dramatically as a natural result of the course of the story. There are some important revelations in the 3rd act, but they are less important on their own than the effect they have on the characters.

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#38 Posted by FrostyRyan (2650 posts) -

It's an incredible game so yes

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#39 Posted by MVHVTMV (428 posts) -

Take this with a grain of salt, because I hated the story so much that I was actually angry when it finished, but...

I feel like quality the second half of the game was wildly overblown. There are some mildly interesting Kojima style ("Actually the name meant this all along!") twists, but it's largely your standard fair anime melancholy with nonsense motivations for a grand conspiracy, and some very light philosophy-of-self thrown in to top it off.

If you're into anime bullshit, there's definitely more of it in the second half, but it's still anime bullshit. I'd say at this point it's still worth finishing to see what everyone was talking about, but 100% you should turn it down to easy and power through it as fast as you can, because it's a horrible slog otherwise.

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#40 Posted by darklingscribe (47 posts) -

It’s a game that left me underwhelmed when I got to the final ending, but strangely also a game that is one I still think about nearly a year after completing. I think it will turn out to be one of my favorites from the last few years and it’s hard to explain why, since most of the story beats that seemed to hit the giantbomb’s staff the hardest were ones that made me roll my eyes when I played through them. For me the most interesting thing is that it made me ask myself if it is possible to have a story about very flawed world and not have the story and everything else associated with it flawed as well? Would a perfect game have the effect of candy coating the game’s precedings and therefore lessen what the story is trying to say? After all a big theme in the game is about striving to escape from constantly repeating cycles, so how can a game emphasize that without making a player repeat what they just did?

This game, while enjoyable for me, is something I recognize as being a far from perfect experience and interestingly enough the game seems to be aware of its failings, it makes fun of them even and yet still manages to work those flaws into the story and use them to ask some very interesting questions.

I’d say you should stop playing through it if the game isn’t fun for you and then maybe check out some full playthroughs on YouTube to see where it goes. You can always stop the YouTube video if you see something that changes your mind and then play through the rest of the game yourself.

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#41 Posted by TreeTrunk (543 posts) -

I had to put it on Easy right at the beginning fight with the saw-arm, game became fun from there.

It does get better but I don't know if it'll change your mind. I really loved the game pretty much from the beginning.

Well, maybe that was expressed a bit harsh. I DO like the story this far actually, and the characters. I do want to find out what the intrigue is, and how the robots relate to the androids, what is the role of Yorha, etc. It is just that playing through the first act all over again is kind of ruining it for me.

They hammer it home really hard, I'm like: I GET IT! I understand what this part of the story is saying. I just want the story to progress at this point I guess.

If that's the case you should absolutely keep playing. From memory I'm pretty sure you don't have to play everything again, as 9S you do skip some stuff.

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#43 Posted by PuertoGreekan (4 posts) -

Yes

Avatar image for coio
#44 Edited by Coio (1 posts) -

You don't need to go trough another 10 hours on your second run. I went for over a month without playing it because I felt the same way, and today I returned and just rushed it trough, no sidequests, skipping whatever cutscene I've seen and I finished it surprisingly fast.
Now I've started route C, lost track of time and it's 3AM already. Totally worth it in my opinion.

And I love how I had to check a box for "I'm not a robot"

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#45 Posted by kid_gloves (473 posts) -

Nier: Automata is not about "do the robots have feelings too?".

This may become more clear as you progress through route B and into C.

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#46 Edited by CyrusRaven (36 posts) -

Yes

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#47 Posted by CheapPoison (1083 posts) -

For me it wasn't. I am sure the games does some cool things, but I think I just missed the boat on a bit that made me lose steam. Seems getting through the second playthrough is the hump to make it pick up pace.

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#48 Posted by mems1224 (2181 posts) -

I got to the third playthrough and just started hating the game and being bored with the gameplay so I just dropped it. It's a shame they hide the story behind boring ass gameplay

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#49 Posted by nutter (650 posts) -

@treetrunk: I recall being kinda bummed out once I was replaying content as 9S, but a few things helped:

- The gameplay went from melee to ranged

- Hacking and seamless transition to/from chiptunes were added

- It’s reallyjust the main beats that you play

- Places where 2B and 9S split-up tend to be completely different content anyhow

Also, the game has you meleeing, shooting, hacking, fighting via aircraft in two distinct styles, etc. The gameplay is varied, helping avoid fatigue.

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#50 Posted by StarvingGamer (11503 posts) -

@nutter: I'd probably have been far less fatigued by the end of the game if there was 99% less hacking/shooting tbh. Those were the times when it stopped being even a good podcast game for me because it was so monotonous and repetitive.

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