Although you don’t have to be acquainted with the original NieR before you jump into Automata, the recently released title comes with its own lore that may have newcomers (or even those who’ve played the first game) looking for more context. If you’re one of them, then look no further. Sony has published an article over on PlayStation blog, which gives us an overview of the events that took place before Automata‘s story began, and it’ll put things into perspective for you. We’re briefly touching upon the background here, however, do note that the article may contain spoilers for the original game as well as Drakengard so proceed at your own risk.
NieR comes from one of the endings of PlayStation 2’s Drakengard where Queen Beast was teleported to modern-day Tokyo. The antagonist ended up unleashing a killer virus on mankind called “White Chlorination Syndrome.” By 2009, the place became a war zone that saw uninfected humans and Legions fight each other, and as a result, Androids were built to produce new human bodies for those infected. Thousands of years later, the events of NieR occur, and the world is now populated by engineered dopplegangers, which brings problems of its own.
One of NieR‘s ending (D) is what Automata follows on from. Earth has since been invaded by machine life forms, with the remaining humans now plotting to fight against the invaders. You’re among the Androids dispatched to fight them.
We’ll spare you further details and spoilers but if you’re that curious, follow the source link below.