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The combat in NieR: Automata is incredible. It has a very hack-and-slash feel to it, with an emphasis on agility and acrobatics. You will have to switch from using small, quick jabs with your weapon, to devastatingly strong attacks. You also have to utilize ranged attacks, as well as the companion that follows you around if you want to have any hope of surviving every encounter. It can be very difficult to win battles sometimes, but it also feels equally rewarding when you finally achieve victory. See More
NieR: Automata is set in an apocalyptic time where Earth has been overrun by robots, and the artists really nailed what that would feel like. Abandoned and overgrown cities litter the landscape along with old refineries, graveyards, and eerie forests. When you add the beautiful soundtrack to the experience, it fills you with a bittersweet mix of loneliness and hope. See More
NieR: Automata's outlook on storytelling is great: in order to get the full experience, you've got to do multiple playthroughs of the game. You unlock more chapters of the story as you complete the previous chapters more times: completing the first chapter twice will unlock the second chapter, then when you complete that you will unlock the third. When you begin, you play as an android known as YoRHA. However, subsequent playthroughs will allow you to choose different characters. This lets you experience the story from a different perspective. It's really interesting and certainly serves to make the game more fun overall. See More
This game takes place in a Gothic, Victorian era (1800s Europe) inspired city. The buildings are dark and tall, instilling in you a sense of awe and fear. The environments are very detailed, reminding you it was a thriving city before all went wrong. All of these elements fit the Lovecraftian horror theme really well. See More
You'll most likely die a lot, especially while you're still getting used to the game. It can happen on both regular enemies and bosses, with the latter being a lot more frustrating. Dying at a boss means you have to fight your way back to the boss room. If you're too agitated you might even die without reaching that boss again, which adds even more to the frustration. This pattern will repeat many times over the course of the game. See More
Bosses in most games nowadays hardly ever give the player any challenge. Bloodborne is an exception, with bosses being a test of focus and skill. You'll have to constantly move around, attack openings, read tells to dodge attacks, and choose proper positioning. Beating one of these beasts after a long and exhausting struggle is extremely satisfying. See More
The game engine often produces two unique frames followed by two duplicates instead of one after another. This makes it seem like there are frame-rate drops even though the game runs at a stable 30 fps. The gameplay doesn't feel smooth because of it, which can be quite distracting. See More
In the world of Bloodborne you're never safe. Each location is filled with fast and ruthless enemies that will constantly try to kill you. It can be infected humans, werewolves, and even demonic beasts. You'll have to constantly attack and dodge at a very fast pace, and losing focus for even a second means you'll die. It's the type of combat where you'll steadily improve with practice, making it feel rewarding when you get the hang of it. See More
Exploring in Nioh feels worthwhile since it helps you find new equipment and rare materials. This will help progress your character, allowing you to defeat enemies in fewer hits and giving you a smoother playthrough overall. It's also very exciting to accidentally stumble upon secret areas. See More
Nioh, like any other Souls-like title, has a very brutal entry difficulty. If you're new to the Souls-like genre, you'll have to get used to a lot of the mechanics, dodging, and, most importantly, dying. This can be the source of extreme frustration for the first ten hours or so, which causes a lot of players to quit during that time. If you can get over this initial hurdle, you'll finally start enjoying the game. The acquired skills will also carry over to other games in the same genre. See More
Nioh is a very fast-paced game, which also rewards awareness and patience. The combat in it is all about dodging, countering enemy attacks, and looking for openings. You will quickly regret any hasty decisions (like fighting three demon Samurai out in the open) since they'll most likely lead to your death. It also features some very intense boss fights that further expand upon this core concept. The fights are much longer and requires you to focus the entire time. Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment when you finally beat a giant mythical demon. See More
This is one of the best looking PS4 games to date, and really sets a benchmark. It truly pushes the hardware to its limits and showcases what the system can do. The Norse-inspired landscape of rolling mountains and grassy valleys is breathtakingly beautiful featuring realistic textures and shadows. Every rock and blade of grass is done in exquisite detail. The sky and water are photo realistic. Sometimes just standing and looking at the mountain peaks in the distance can provide a sense of awe. Even the leather and fur on armor looks and reacts realistically during movement. From the textures, character models, and everything in between - it's hard to find a better looking game on any system. See More
The same button used to block enemy attacks is also used to activate some special moves called Runics. Sometimes a mixup in the heat of combat can cause a Runic to go off by accident. It's not the end of the world, but it will force you to wait for the cooldown before you can use it again. See More
There are a lot of small details in God of War that help add to it's immersive atmosphere. For example, when traveling with Atreus and you stop too long to admire the view, he will start complaining about how bored he is. Snowflakes will actually stick to armor when in a snowy environment. Flames on candles blow and move based on the breeze. NPCs rarely ever repeat the same lines. When looking at Kratos, you can see every vein on his muscled arms. All of these small details add up making the game world feel like a living, breathing place. See More
Combat is just plain enjoyable and fun. Hacking and slashing with the axe feels brutal and impactful. Watching an enemy being cut in two in a bloody splash or staggering backwards emphasizes the power in your swings. Throwing your axe and having it boomerang back to you also never gets old. Blocking with the shield at just the right time provides some strategic elements. Unleashing special moves feels great since they reward careful timing as opposed to just mashing buttons. Atreus, your son, fights alongside you stunning and shooting enemies, and is way more of a boon than a hindrance that has to be micromanaged. God of War also sheds the cumbersome quicktime events from previous games in the series. Now you just press 1 button to unleash bloody and bone crushing finishing moves. See More
The dynamic between Kratos and his son Atreus is not only for plot purposes, as it also ties incredibly well into the combat and gameplay itself. Atreus fights alonside Kratos in battle shooting his bow at enemies and occasionally stunning them. However, like a son obeying his father, will only unleash his most powerful attacks when you order him to do so. Weaving his shots and runic ability in with your own attacks creates a great synergy between the two in combat, and helps to emphasize their relationship as a father and son team. While Kratos may be the protective father and leading the charge, he also learns a few things from the boy during their journey. During exploration, Atreus will often point out side paths you have may have missed. Additionally, Atreus is the only one who can read the many Norse mythology and lore runes scattered around the game world. All of these gameplay elements combined help to constantly reinforce the dynamic between the pair. See More
God of War is played from start to finish as one continuous camera shot without interruption. Every single frame features Kratos, so it's easy to stay intimately wrapped up in his state of mind and emotions at all times. Through moments of grief, silence, and anger - you are with him for all of it. Certain game mechanics cleverly use this camera work to their advantage. For example, fast travel around the game world is handled through the seamless camera trick of stepping through a gateway as if it's a door. Unless you die, there isn't a single loading screen. This continuous shot with an unwavering focus ensures you are fully immersed in the character and story at all times. See More
Slicing through enemies and throwing your ice-imbued Leviathan Axe around never gets old. It starts off with a basic light and heavy attack, but as the game goes on, you'll be constantly upgrading it with new and improved powers by killing bosses. One of the most satisfying aspects is throwing it like a boomerang. It sails through the air as it cuts up enemies, and then with a 2nd button tap you can recall it back into your outstretched hand as your controller gently rumbles. If you line it up properly, you can even throw it in your foe's face for a bloody headshot. This throw effect is not only used for combat, but also for environmental puzzles and smashing obstacles. Even with no enemies in sight, it still remains fun to just toss it around and see what you can smash with it. See More
While there's still a linear story to follow, there are plenty of optional side areas that you will have to discover on your own. While your son Atreus may point out a few of them, most are found via thorough exploration of your surroundings or taking on side quests. By traveling off the beaten path and straying away from the main storyline, you'll find collectibles, treasure chests, challenging enemies, and various loot, so it's always rewarding to poke around and seek out the secrets. See More
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