Did you play the original Nier? It’s a rather polarizing game, and like a great many of those, it’s got serious strengths and crippling weaknesses. What it does well, it knocks out of the park; where it fails, it fails right through the floor. So you’ve got people that list Nier as one of their favorite games of the last generation (hello!) and plenty of others who see it as the foulest trash. As with any opinion, there is no right or wrong. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The most popular complaints about Nier were its sloppy, occasionally sluggish or inconsistent controls and wacky, fickle camera. I didn’t find them game breaking myself, but a lot of people did, and even as a Nier lover, I have to admit I totally see where they’re coming from.
Enter Platinum Games, the developer behind Bayonetta, Vanquish, The Wonderful 101, and Metal Gear Rising. This studio’s strengths were Nier‘s biggest weaknesses: tight controls, smooth action, overall kickass gameplay. That makes them an ideal developer for the upcoming sequel, Nier Automata.
But Platinum Games, despite taking on a very big role, isn’t adding in its expertise at the expense of Nier‘s other strengths. Its soundtrack will be once again composed by Keiichi Okabe, whose work on the original Nier is the stuff of legends. With Yoko Taro back in the director’s seat, I’m completely comfortable with new Nier‘s crew.
We can never be certain until a game is actually on shelves, but so far, it seems the jump from Nier to Nier 2 (I gotta get used to saying “Automata“) might be a particularly big step up in overall quality. The addition of a developer dedicated to fast, satisfying action gameplay while keeping key figures who made the original so memorable is, at least on paper, the recipe for something special.