Since release, this game has been the number one game on my Steam wishlist for years. It came out around when I lost my job, so I couldn't quite afford to spend full price on a game with a lowered income, especially when I already have a bunch of unplayed games and PC performance issues were problematic.
I expected, as fan hyperbole suggested, a game perfect for me. A best game of all time. The game to combine many of the mechanics, genres, and themes I love most. A weirdish, un-mainstream game to appeal to the nerdy, not-normal kind of gamer I am.
And then it doesn't.
Or rather, it kind of does. It's an anime-style Spectacle Fighter open world action game that crosses genres with Shmups, platformers, and even choose your own adventure. Notes of some of my all time favorite games can be found here: Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Rising, DoDonPachi, Fallout 3, Symphony of the Night and probably more if I dug deep enough. It sounds like the perfect recipe for the "OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS MADE JUST FOR ME!".
Combat is pretty solid, though, running around killing robots around the wasteland doing the same combos got repetitive after a while. At least the boss fights are great. Shmups segments are like this too, great at first, boss fights are awesome, but gets a bit old and long in the tooth after the 7th time or so. The Choose your own adventure segment had some good lore building, but I'm not sure it's style of gameplay was necessary for the game - it kind of felt like the director just wanted to put as many genres in the game as he could.
Those are all things I can deal with, but what made Automata quite not work for me is that there is supposed to be a deep and grand story about humanity and how alien robots want to be like humans but doesn't quite explain how rusty, mechanical robots can learn how to be disconnect from their master's network AND interpret human literature and adopt it to their own culture AND somewhow birth two advanced, human-like machines that look nothing like the rest of the machines. For all the neat things this game does, the story is a strange, convoluted, hard to believe mess. Add that to the fact that you have to go through FIVE ENDINGS of the game (which at this point, I don't consider them endings anymore) to get the "true ending"/Full story of the game and I was a bit fatigued by the end. I watched the final ending in videos because the credit shmup sequence drove me nuts and i closed if before realizing I had to make myself go through it, fail, and request help of other players by deleting my save because it somehow allows me to help other players.....you see what I'm talking about? None of what I'm saying makes any sense.