You good with that?
I can't say I was excited to play Automata originally. Hearing that you need to beat a game 5 times to see the "true ending" is a bit of a tall order. Especially for someone who has an ever decreasing amount of free time to play games. And hearing "it's okay at first but it gets really good about 15 hours in" is a bit of a turn off as well. I was always of the mind that it shouldn't take that long for a game to get good. Automata definitely challenged a lot of my hang ups around these ideas.
I'll say I found myself disappointed at first, hearing that the game was so amazing over and over again from seemingly every person on the internet I felt a bit let down. The story didn't seem particularly original. Sad androids, questioning the nature of existence. I get it, I've seen Blade Runner, Westworld, Star Trek and Ex Machina, and you know, every other sci-fi thing with androids in it. It was the characters though, that pulled me through. With each "ending" I became more attached to them and wanted to see how their stories would play out. Also, "endings" is a bit of a misnomer, you don't have to replay the entire game each time to see them all. Some sections are repeated on the second run, but are seen from another character's perspective, so it's not so bad.
The whole thing, endings A through E took me about 35 hours and I was enthralled by the end. I never thought an old school dual joystick shooter sequence where you control a ship and shoot lasers at the names in the end credits of a game would give me such a profound emotional experience. I cared more about 2B, 9S, A2, Pascal, and Pod 042 than I would've thought possible at the beginning. The gameplay isn't terribly exciting, the side quests can be a grind and the world is mostly empty apart from all of the invisible walls. My time spent was made worthwhile by the characters though, and their journey, and the music, oh, the music. It's a bit hard to recommend Nier: Automata to someone without spoiling the story while trying to explain why it's great. But hey, put it on easy and it's only like 35 hours, what's the big deal?