Nier: Automata tells the tragic tale of two elite YorHa androids, designated 2B and 9S, battling to reclaim post-apocalyptic earth from the hordes of robots that now inhabit it in place of humans.
From a base on the moon, the shadowy upper echelons of humanity’s surviving council guide their YorHa forces in their war against their ancient foes… who increasingly show sign of civility and even humanity.
The story of 2B and 9S’s journey is one of self-discovery, and through the struggles and difficulty’s they face, a powerful bond begins to form between the two.
2B, especially, is a stoic battler-type android devoid of emotion at the beginning of the game, and it is really rewarding to see her interactions with the much easier going 9S develop over time. She eventually comes to care for him, and even to question the orders that she has followed blindly for so long.
With Neir: Automata, the game’s director, Yoko Taro, explores what it means to be human. Are we born this way, or is it through the actions that we have earned our humanity?
The game goes to some incredibly dark places but is balanced by the off-kilter humor that is often found in Taro’s games. It’s a harrowing tale, but one well worth undertaking, and here’s hoping we get a follow up to the series, although a direct sequel is unlikely.
Check out this Neir: Automata feature, which takes a closer look at how the game avoided falling into the usual pitfalls stories of this genre often fall into.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human is a cinematic gaming experience from industry veteran David Cage and his team at Quantic Dream. In Detroit, Androids are commodities that are beginning to replace the human workforce, with wealthy families incorporating them into their households as servants.
The game follows a series of androids, and through them, the plight of these very much second class citizens is explored.
There are three androids from whose eyes we explore the world of Detroit’s near-future. First is Kara, a domestic model that becomes sentient, and endeavors to protect the young girl that is her charge.
Next is Markus, an android revolutionary who dreams of freeing his people.
Lastly is Connor, whose job it is to hunt down sentients, and has to struggle with working against his own kind. Their stories come together at various points, giving the player a better understanding of their motivations.
Detroit explores some heavy and emotionally charged themes that parallel issues in our own world, like racism and the class divide.
There also some pretty confronting scenes involving domestic violence, but thankfully it is handled quite well. The game offers a staggering amount of choice in each of the games myriad scenarios, and no two playthroughs will be the same.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an action and hack-and-slash android power fantasy from the mind of Hideo Kojima, with assistance from the team over at Platinum Games.
In typical Kojima fashion, the plot is a convoluted and twisting tale of geopolitics and over the top characters. The gameplay is very much focused on sword combat, which sets it apart from the usual tactical espionage action Kojima’s games are best known for.
In Revengeance, you play as Raiden, wielding a high tech and ultra sharp katana. The main selling point of the game is the impressive cutting technology it implements, which allows you to slice enemies and the environment apart with pixel-perfect precision.
While there are lesser foes to cleave through, a highlight of the game is its excellent boss fights, which play out as a series of duels with incredibly powerful foes.
Revengeance explores the militaristic application of androids, and in its world, they are used as expendable tools of war. The plot revolves around the privatization of the army’s of the future, and of the powerful private military’s that influence the political climate.
The fast-paced story will appeal to fans of Metal Gear, and the even faster combat will challenge even the most seasoned action game veterans.
The Deus Ex series has been around for decades now, and series protagonist Adam Jensen (and his signature trenchcoat) is now synonymous with transhumanism and a future where augmentations to the human body are an everyday occurrence.
The world in which Deus Ex takes place lets us see a world where corporations, and in particular, consumer culture is everywhere and all-consuming.
Originally released in the ’90s, the rebooted series from Square Enix is similar in structure to a Tom Clancy espionage novel. Adam often finds himself in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy, complete with dangerous and mysterious opponents and unexpected allies.
Things rapidly begin to unravel as corporations seek to control the latest augment technology, and will do anything to stay one step ahead in a technological arms race.
The thing that sets the Deus Ex series apart from similar titles is the choice allowed in gameplay. Whether you take the loud or the silent approach, whether you talk your way out of trouble or hack computer systems to turn the tide, there are always options. the narrative takes a look at a grim future where the gap between the haves and the have nots has never been wider, with the ruling class having almost achieved immortality through science.