is an upcoming action role-playing game developed by PlatinumGames and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4. read more
is an upcoming action role-playing game developed by PlatinumGames and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4.
The game is set in the same universe as Nier, a spin-off of the Drakengard series. Set in the midst of a proxy war between machines created by otherworldly invaders and the remnants of humanity, the story follows the battles of combat android 2B, her companion 9S, and the obsolete prototype A2.
Production began in 2014, with series creator Taro Yoko, producer Yosuke Saito, and composer Keiichi Okabe returning to their respective roles. Atsushi Inaba is acting as co-producer for PlatinumGames, while regular Square Enix artist Akihiko Yoshida designed the main characters. The goal was to make a new Nier game true to the spirit of the original, while creating better action gameplay.
Nier: Automata shares the post-apocalyptic setting of the original Nier, taking place after the game's fourth ending. Certain characters from Nier, such as Emil, are confirmed to appear, while other characters from both Nier andDrakengard 3 are mentioned. Aside from this, the two games share no direct story connection. The dark atmosphere and branching story paths common to the Drakengard series as a whole will continue with this title. Set an unknown time after the events of Nier, the story revolves around a war between the remnants of humanity and the machine army of invaders from another world. The initial invasion forced humanity to flee to the Moon.
The main protagonists are combat androids dubbed "YoRHa" sent by humanity to fight the invaders in a proxy war. While denied emotions and lacking true names, they have particular attitudes that distinguish them from their fellows. The main protagonist is YoRHa No. 2 Model B, or "2B" for short, a female-model YoRHa android whose main traits are being calm and composed. Other main characters are "9S" (YoRHa No. 9 Model S), a reconnaissance android who displays more emotion than other YoRHa units; and "A2" (YoRHa Model A No. 2), an obsolete prototype android of 2B's line with a taciturn personality who often chooses to act alone.
After the release of Nier, both director Taro Yoko and producer Yosuke Saito wanted to create a sequel. When Saito spoke to assistant producer Yuki Yokoyama, Yokoyama was unwilling due to the original game's low sales.Production for the game began in 2014, including six months of pre-production. It included many staff from the original Nier, including Yoko, Saito, and composer Keiichi Okabe. Yoko also wrote the game's scenario.After the positive fan reception of the original Nier, both Square Enix and the lead staff who worked on the original game were willing to continue the Nier IP, but also wanted to create a better, more action-oriented gameplay experience. As a result, they contacted PlatinumGames, which had developed a reputation for high-quality action games such as Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The collaboration was agreed upon on two conditions: that Yoko become director, and that he be present to help with production, necessitating a move by Yoko from Tokyo to Osaka where PlatinumGames was located. Although Yoko was initially uneasy about the collaboration, the staff at PlatinumGames had been wanting to work on a Nier game since its release, and their enthusiasm and wish to remain faithful to the original assuaged his doubts. Taura also wished to create a sequel to Nier prior to Square Enix approaching the company. The original plan was to make the game for mobile platforms or PlayStation Vita, but it was soon decided to make the game for PlayStation 4.
Using feedback about the original characters, Akihiko Yoshida was brought on as character designer. While the team thought he would refuse due to his busy schedule, Yoshida was willing to come on board the project as multiple staff members at his company CyDesignation were fans of Nier. Yoshida joined a little later than usual in the process, so Yoko gave him a general guideline of sleek designs with black as the dominant color. As opposed to the original Nier, which was released in two versions with a different version of the main protagonist for western tastes, the team decided to have the game feature the same protagonist in all versions, focusing on creating a high-quality Japanese role-playing game rather than making adjustments for its western release. The team defined the game's central theme as "agaku", a Japanese word meaning to struggle out of a bad situation.
During production, the team took both fan and critic feedback of Nier and their later opinions on the game into account. The points they felt needed addressing ranged from character designs to gameplay to graphics. While improving on these points, they also carried over the aspects that were well-received, such as the story and music. The majority of development was handled by PlatinumGames at their bases in Osaka and Tokyo, while outside staff were also brought in, such as Yoko and Yoshida. For the battle system, the team are taking the systems used in Nier and infusing elements from other titles by PlatinumGames. Taura's main concept was that the battle system improve on the original and weave into the story. As it was a role-playing action game as opposed to Taura's previous pure action games, the development presented some new challenges for him.
In January 2014, after the release of Drakengard 3, Yoko expressed an interest in making a second spin-off from the Drakengard series, but did not specify whether it would be related to Nier. Yoko later confirmed in December of that year that he was working on a new game, but did not reveal any more details. Nier: Automata was first announced at Square Enix's press conference at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo under the provisional title Nier New Project. Its official title was kept secret at the time as it would have spoiled aspects of the game's plot. At the time it was announced, the game was apparently 10% complete. Its official title, along with a gameplay trailer and year of release, were revealed at the 2015 Paris Games Week trade show.