Hack! Slash! Mooseride! Nier: Automata released on PC

Once I finish this post, I’m done for the day and can go play Nier: Automata [official site]. And as luck would have it, this post is about the release of Automata. The new hack ‘n’ slash bullet hell open-world action-RPG… thing from Square Enix and PlatinumGames launched on PC today, following its PlayStation 4 debut earlier this month. Adam is currently bashing away to tell us all Wot He Thinks next week but, for now, here’s word that it’s out – and news of some unpleasant technical problems.

It’s the future, right, and alien robots have driven mankind from Earth to the Moon so childlike androids have come down to duff up the robots and save the day. That’s you and your robopals. Don’t worry if you missed the PlayStation-exclusive first Nier; their stories barely touch.

Automata is a hack ‘n’ slash in that recognisable Platinum way (though less complex than Bayonetta and such, I’m told), though it also follows the first Nier’s lead in mashing in bits of bullet hell and other genre shifts to make it quite changeable. You can upgrade your bots, you can find and upgrade weapons, it’s crammed full of quests, and you can ride moose and other creatures. No, really – check that recent long gameplay video for battlemoose action.

Square Enix have marked the launch with a wee post about technical issues. Radeon users with a particular driver version may find the screen going white or blank black; Squeenix say this is fixed by upgrading. They also warn that while Automata can run at 4K resolutions, they “are not officially supported” so, er, I guess might get wonked or something?

Be aware that players are reporting other technical problems. For some it’s blanking even on updated AMD drivers and on Nvidia cards too. Fullscreen mode also sounds bugged, running in lower resolutions than it’s meant to.

Annoyingly, the demo that’s been on PS4 for ages hasn’t come to PC at all. This is always an irksome decision but especially so when some players are reporting bugs and unexpectedly poor performance. I suppose Steam does offer refunds now but downloading 26GB is still a bit of a bother to see how a game runs; on PS4, the demo was less than 5GB.

Nier: Automata is £39.99/59,99€/$59.99 on Steam. Right now it comes as a ‘Day One Edition’ throwing in cosmetic doodads including a nifty Valve eye. I hear it’s a good game beneath the technical problems? Adam will tell us more next week.

Okay, I’m off to play Nier. Wish me luck. Bye!


  1. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    They also warn that while Automata can run at 4K resolutions, they “are not officially supported” so, er, I guess might get wonked or something?

    For me, it meant the main menu running at 4fps. Especially annoying, since UI animations are fps-dependent.

    • DanMan says:

      > animations are fps-dependent

      Oh boy…. will they ever learn?

  2. Ignorant Texan says:

    Other than jittery cutscenes, it has been running well for me.

    Alice, please go play it.

    It does open windowed, and you can’t save settings, or get into advance options, until you create a save file. Settings are attached to each individual save slot.

  3. GameCat says:

    It’s actually spelled Near A Tomato, not Nier: Automata.
    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      You like ah-tom-eh-tah, and I like ah-tom-ah-tah. Oh, let’s call the whole thing off. ?

    • April March says:

      The actual proper spelling is ??

  4. Banks says:

    This game is so boring even the main characters are wearing sleeping masks.


  5. LearningToSmile says:

    I watched some gameplay footage of this game when it was first released on consoles. Consider me sold. It’s weird in all the right places.

    Shame that there’s no physical PC release, though. I could maybe justify spending full price on it as a collector’s item, but as it is, I’m probably going to wait for a sale, budget’s a bit thin lately.

  6. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Right now Steam is doing that awesome thing where it gets to 99% and then decides to stop downloading. I really don’t feel like downloading 26GB again.

  7. Joga says:

    Fullscreen is a bit buggy at the moment, but it’s fixed by using widowed mode with something like Borderless Gaming to force borderless window mode. Running fine for me at 1440p on a GTX 1070.

  8. RedViv says:

    The game has really weird issues with any ReLive-enabled AMD driver. If you got a Radeon card, switch to the 16.11.5 release if you find yourself stuck on a white screen with the game rolling and do want to play before they fix that – that one works without issues. Do NOT use the most current driver, as the official news post on the Steam hub says.

  9. brucethemoose says:

    Moose riding, you say?

  10. Easy says:

    3 hours in and I’m hopelessly smitten by 2B. Game is gud.

  11. ChatterLumps says:

    Something important to remember with Nier: To see all of the story, you have to play through it multiple times. It’s not a bad thing because new playthroughs shake things up enough to make replays refreshing.

    • DarkFenix says:

      How do they shake things up?

      • GameCat says:

        For example first Nier NG+ starts from like second half of the game and its story is retold from point of view of another character.

        • LTK says:

          Second half? No way. It starts from all the way in the beginning, and you have to play it all the way to the end. Plus, you do the exact same quests in NG+, and the main difference in the story is that NG+ explores the relationship between two other characters than the protagonist.

          There’s also some gameplay differences which are actually interesting but overall they really don’t seem distinct enough to warrant having to play the chapter twice.

          Once you’ve got to the end of that, the story moves forward in what’s technically NG+2, and it gets much more interesting and impactful. Getting there is pretty tedious though.

          • lordcooper says:

            No, NG+ definitely starts you off a significant way through the game. Quests are also altered in many ways, one example is in the junkyard area you’ll be almost immediately given items you’d otherwise have to spend quite a while gathering and there’s a nice little 4th wall breach when a character points out that you already had the weapon you’ve just been given but these things are to be expected the second time around.

          • LTK says:

            The following may constitute minor spoilers.

            Are we thinking of the same NG+? I might be misremembering, but 9S’s playthrough repeats the entire prologue, the Resistance starting quests, the amusement park, the Goliath attack, Adam… I’m quite sure I’ve seen everything twice.

          • lordcooper says:

            GameCat and I were referring to Nier, not Nier Automata.

  12. Procrastination Giant says:

    I’m a couple of hours into the game and I’m happy to say that I haven’t had a single issue with the port so far. No crashes, rock solid framerate, etc, but I’m playing on a slightly-above-recommended-spec system and only at 1080p. I really hope that they sort out the resolution and amd related problems that some seem to be having swiftly.

    Enjoying the game rather a lot so far. Satisfying gameplay, deeply peculiar atmosphere and story, and it has to be said: 2b has got to be one of the most lovingly animated characters I’ve seen in quite some time – She’s simply a joy to behold.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Feels like a beta with several months of development left, to be honest. Worst keyboard&mouse controls I have ever experienced, serious performance issues, tons of other sources of frustration. Refunded for now.

    • thenevernow says:

      I don’t wanna troll, but playing a Japanese game with mouse and keyboard is asking for trouble.

      • Premium User Badge

        Don Reba says:

        I’m not new to playing Japanese games or console ports, but I have never seen it this bad.

        • ButteringSundays says:

          Is the choice to use K&M an accessibility choice?

          I only ask because all too frequently i see this sentiment, that it’s difficult to play a game designed for control method x not being great with control method y, and it’s like, use control method x then?

          Any half serious gamer should own a controller by now. It’s an input device specifically designed for playing games, after all.

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            I have not felt the need for a gamepad in any other games, and I don’t want to spend another $25-$50 on Nier.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            If you’re developing for pc, you’re developing for KB+M. Controller support is nice, but KB+M should be your first priority

          • fish99 says:

            Not really. I mean PC has always had more controller options than any other platform. I wouldn’t expect a serious racing sim to have mouse/keyboard support, for instance, and I wouldn’t expect someone to want to play something like Street Fighter on mouse/keyboard on PC.

            You should own the controller that best suits the game you’re playing. I have mouse, keyboard, joystick, steering wheel/pedals and gamepad.

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            I agree there are special games like racing and flight simulators and some arcade games that need a specialized controller. But it isn’t true for all games. I’ve played games like Nier, and I am sure a good K&M implementation would have worked almost as well as or better than the gamepad.

            The terrible implementation in Nier is not a genre limitation, it’s lack of love for the PC.

  14. CheeseFarts says:

    So after reading Internet Puke and Internet Love so far…
    Is it gud and does it have Platinum fights with gud soundtrack?

  15. lordcooper says:

    Frequent screen freezes (the game continues running while I’m stuck staring at what is essentially a jpeg) have rendered this completely unplayable for me with a 4770k and 78ti :(

  16. Thulsa Hex says:

    I haven’t gotten too far in but I’m having a blast. It’s a bizarre Bayonetta/bullet hell hybrid with A++ aesthetics. Can’t imagine playing this with KB&M… you maniacs.

    Performance-wise, I haven’t experienced any crashes–but I do have that weird resolution scaling bug where it seems to render at less-than-native when set to 1080p. Thankfully, the Borderless Gaming method (detailed here: link to pcgamingwiki.com) works perfectly as a temp fix.

    I may still tweak this, but I’m getting a rock-solid 60fps at 1080p with everything on high, if I turn AA off. With AA on (which I think is MSAA), I get an average of 55fps.

    i7 4790K
    16GB DDR3
    GTX 970

    • Monggerel says:

      As someone who has played through the original Dark Souls with KB+M
      and exclusively only ever play fighting games (MK, SF etc) on a Keyboard…
      I believe “lunatic” is the politically correct term.

      I only actually use my Xbawks 360 controllier when I play games that require 0 skill, because it is certainly more comfortable than hunched over my lethally non-ergonomic instruments like a fucking caveman.
      Oh yeah! Revengeance and Devil May Cry 3+4. Almost forgot.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        “As someone who has played through the original Dark Souls with KB+M”

        The very definition of masochism

      • Beefenstein says:

        I am both appalled and impressed. Well done.

      • GameCat says:

        My very first Dark Souls playthrough was on KB&M too. But now I can’t play it without gamepad.

      • Thulsa Hex says:

        Ah ha! I’m impressed. Admittedly, as a kid I would push through lots of games with KB&M that would be better suited to a flightstick or gamepad, but that’s an impressive list!

        These days, my PC is in a room adjacent to our TV, so I just run an HDMI cable between them. It’s pretty painless, and with a wireless Xbox controller this setup is wonderful for more traditionally console-based games. Recommend it for those who are able!

      • goodpoints says:

        Playing fighting games on a keyboard is really the opposite of the handicap people make it out to be. It’s basically just a budget Hitbox controller if you bind your keys similarly. Basically you end up with motions more like playing piano vs. the spatial memory you need to use a fightstick without riding the gate. Far less distance for your hands/fingers to travel and you can do all sorts of input shortcuts. e.g., for a DP motion with ASD keys as LDR you can just press and release D, hold S, then rock back to D and hold both. I actually sold my fightstick because I pull off combos far more consistently with a keyboard.

        Of course this only really works in 2D fighters, anything 3D and the lack of analog input limits you to only 8 axes of movement.

        • Premium User Badge

          Don Reba says:

          Of course this only really works in 2D fighters, anything 3D and the lack of analog input limits you to only 8 axes of movement.

          But then, this is exactly where the mouse comes in.

  17. shagen454 says:

    Weird, that you have to use an external app like Borderless Gaming to get it 1080p fullscreen. Otherwise, it looks like complete arse. And holy shit, I could not make it to the first checkpoint, spent a whole hour and half trying to get to that first save point, ended up turning it down to easy, and golly I guess I’m that much of a casual wanker – that I actually appreciate the auto combat mode more than trying to do it myself! The animations are absolutely gorgeous, especially with AI that plays better than I do. I bought this over Mass Effect (even before the shite 10 hour impressions) because at least the game is different. I honestly hated the prologue (I hated the MGSV prologue as well), but it’s opened up and gets pretty amazing after that prologue. The robot orgy thing has been shown a lot, but during that sequence, the animations, the sounds, damn near psychedelic art glory. Since, I hear it’s all about a couple playthroughs, think I’ll stick to easy/auto the first time around with me nub in the other hand.

    • Gitsi says:

      I haven’t needed it, yet, but I love that they provided what amounts to modular aids to make it so any and everyone can find a level where they can be successful and get that unrivaled feeling of badassery which good platinum combat always provides. They did a similar thing with bayonetta 2, I hope more developers pay attention. Everyone wins when you get more people playing and enjoying these games, and it doesn’t preclude having ‘fuck you’ difficulties for the die hard action fans either.

  18. ikazrima says:

    Squenix/Platninum don’t want my monies, as this and Revengeance are notoriously missing from SEA.

    I think I’ll shoot them an email as of why, since Miss Croft & Mr Jensen & the FFs are available for purchase (and I did purchase them).

    Am afraid to buy keys from GMG, as I read multiple posts that you can’t even activate them if you’re from my region.

    • Premium User Badge

      Martell says:

      Aarrrg, same here. On the other hand, Steam’s exchange rate for my currency means that most games are 50% off every day, which is awesome.

      Unless I ever move away from SEA, in which case I think I lose a 4-digit game library.

      • Premium User Badge

        Don Reba says:

        Unless I ever move away from SEA, in which case I think I lose a 4-digit game library.

        You can ask Steam to keep your region after you move. I kept Canadian prices for the six years I lived in Spain, for example.

  19. EternalPioneer says:

    Only thing i know about this game is that i see a lot of hentai of the white hair lady

    which was very confusing because when i search for “nier” on YouTube i get videos of white hair samurai xd

  20. Ysellian says:

    Loving this game so far! A shame to hear about the technical issues people are having, hope they fix this soon.

  21. epeternally says:

    Not bothered by performance, but right now the game is extremely buggy. My first two hours have been a mess, including being unable to use the shop without the game breaking and an item disappearing after the second time I reloaded a save. Glorious lovely game but right now it does not function, and I’m annoyed that there doesn’t even seem to be an official place to report bugs.

  22. AutonomyLost says:

    At least on Hard, those god damned moose are overpowered. Nothing like slaying an army of robots then being one-shot by an antlered mammal!

    Other than that, jesus fuck the game is astounding. I mean, I’m sinking my teeth right in and cannot wait for more. It’s been out for a day and I’ve played an embarrassing amount already :)

    Get it.

    Also — good luck and have fun with it, Alice!

  23. haldolium says:

    “I mean, I’m sinking my teeth right in and cannot wait for more. It’s been out for a day and I’ve played an embarrassing amount already :)”

    And then the sidequest roll in… BOOM, backtracking, running, backtracking, figuring out the horrific (yet beautiful) map, and even more backtracking.

    This game gets repetitive and tedios very fast. The quest design is a relic from decades ago and the level design fits right into it.

  24. racccoon says:

    This game lasted not long before a refund was demanded.
    Its a draw game.
    The draw is the flash your “pants” as the game plays like crap and does not make a good port at all, along with its confusing muddle of folding play from distant pasts, pushed into a maze of jittering puke.

  25. PiiSmith says:

    The game crashed two times on me. Once while saving (it did not destroy the save file, which was a relief) and once during the boss fight in the “amusement park”.

    The controls are really wonky. Some parts are better on the controller, while others are better played with mouse and keyboard. So I have been switching quite a lot, which does not help to familiarize with any one method.

    I managed to die three times in the “tutorial”. It was every time at the first phase of the “end boss”. I was full health all three times and he killed me in one hit.
    As there is no way to save in this 30 mins long tutorial/opening scene, I had to do it all over for three times. This nearly stopped my from playing further.
    For you reference I have not managed to die at any part after this. (Before you tell me to git gud.)

    The narrative is strange for me, but compelling. The variety of boss battles in these few hours I have played is great.

    On PC (I have not played a console version.) it is a technical mess. From strange decisions like the controls or the menus, to straight bugs.

    It is a mess, a beautiful mess.