Hey people, it’s that time of week again and yes, I have finished playing NieR: Automata. I thought I’d try something a bit different in this update but before I do, just going to share my progress on the creature model which I did do some work on.
As you may remember from last week’s update I mentioned that I discovered I’d lost the work I had done on the rigging a few weeks ago when I got the malfunction with my old portable hard drive. I spent some time this week redoing some of the rigging and decided to get a screenshot to show you how it’s going so far.
It’s still pretty heavy WIP (some issues can only be seen from other angles) but it’s a pretty good start. I’ll definitely be polishing up the materials and textures once the rigging is done since they’re still mainly the flat colours.
Now that’s done, I wanted to give some of my thoughts on NieR: Automata since I’ve essentially been taking a break from my projects to spend the last three weeks playing it. I’ll be aiming to keep it as spoiler-free as possible. Fair warning that this section might get lengthy haha.
Starting off with what I liked about the game; the customisation. Basically your upgrade system allows you to have three sets of buffs that you can customise to suit your play style and switch out depending on the situation (e.g. you could have one set to make you a glass cannon in combat, one set to boost your movement speed to help you get to locations faster, another set to increase experience points gained and recover health automatically, etc.). Even if I rarely switched from one set, giving players options such as these as well as the weapon sets can lead to diverse combinations and gives them that extra sense of “hey, this is my character”.
Another aspect I liked a lot was how often the gameplay would change. The game has platforming sections, shoot-em-up sections, and hack-and-slash combat sections (just to name a few off the top of my head). It also rewards exploration as well as mastery of the mechanics featured in some of these sections with chests containing G (the in-game currency), resources to upgrade, buffs, and even weapons.
The story is also very interesting, I love a good mystery and NieR: Automata does not disappoint on this aspect. Some of the plot twists really got me good, I was not expecting some of them. I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling anything and I’m not sure I’d explain it well in any case haha.
Now that I’m done gushing, let’s get into the things that I thought could be improved upon since every game does have its flaws. One nitpick I have is in the dodge mechanic, which is extremely powerful and negates some of the challenge in more difficult sections. It can cancel every animation including strong attacks so there’s not as much commitment, however given that the game is single player this aspect can be forgiven to an extent. One way this could be fixed is having it only come out before or after an attack, but not in the middle of one, especially if it were to allow player vs player sections.
Another thing is one of the item shops, where its location and the items it sells upon being loaded (and whether it appears at all) is random. Given that items from one of the possible selections is required in obtaining a side quest and getting one of the many endings in the game, it isn’t a good idea from a game design perspective to have an item shop’s selection be determined randomly. I and some others got particularly unlucky with it, personally it took me over two hours to finally get it once I knew about it. In my opinion, item selection in an item shop is something that should either be the same all the time or tied to progression (i.e. the item selection can start off small and more items become available as you get further into the game).
Aside from those, the game is brilliant and I’ve ordered the original NieR on PS3 since Automata was the sequel to that game and I’ve heard some good things about it. It might not arrive for a few weeks yet and I probably won’t get into it straight away but regardless I’ll be definitely getting back into working on my projects before then.
For next week I’ll try to do some more work on the creature model and maybe some work on the Pom Pom over Bowser Jr. mod for Super Smash Bros.
Well that’s all I have to say for this week, see you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows (I’ll do some more work on it soon, I swear, haha).