Nier, the cult-classic action RPG from back in 2010, is about as far from the mainstream as big-budget games get. With its intricate story, enigmatic characters, haunting soundtrack, and uniquely grim, fantastical vision of the post-apocalypse, Nier left an indelible mark on players who took a chance on the obscure title. The only thing that seemed to be holding back Nier’s singularly weird presentation was the somewhat clunky gameplay – which is exactly what the longshot sequel Nier: Automata aims to fix. This collaboration between Square Enix and PlatinumGames blends all the bizarre, heady concepts from the original Nier with silky smooth combat to deliver something that feels wholly new in a pre-existing universe that felt – and still feels – wholly different from every other game out there.

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