Not often enough does a sto­ry in a video game leave you as speech­less as Nier: Automa­ta left me when I played it this past year. Start­ing off as a fair­ly com­mon “how human are robots” type of tale, it esca­lates with each end­ing. Even­tu­al­ly, the places it goes will leave you a quiv­er­ing pile of per­son­i­fied exis­ten­tial dread that few nar­ra­tive media forms have been able to match up to this point. Nier: Automa­ta also sports some of the best char­ac­ters of the year and man­ages to make good on their arcs more often than not. In a play of classi­ness, not often seen in huge games like this one, it will even let you buy any of the game’s tro­phies after you com­plete the game so you can enjoy it with­out wor­ry­ing about com­plet­ing every last thing. Many of the mechan­ics in the game can be used in sur­pris­ing­ly cre­ative ways and there are a few side-quests that are just as good as the main sto­ry. Nier: Automa­ta def­i­nite­ly deserves the spot as the 6th best game of 2017.


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