NieR: Automata DLC review: one of gamings greatest accomplishments is even better with hours of extra content

| July 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

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It’s only been a month, but it’s felt so good coming back to NieR: Automata. In the time that’s passed since completing the game, anyone and everyone I’ve met both in person and online has been forced to put up with me vocally obsessing over the game. Words don’t do what is quite possibly my favourite game of all time justice, but you can read my efforts here. If you haven’t read the base game review, or played it for that matter, you’ll want to do so before reading on. As a post-game expansion, this is very much only for those that have completed NieR: Automata. Whilst I’ll try to avoid any major spoilers, you’ll need to have completed the first three endings to access this DLC content. If you jumped out of the game after completing it once, jump back in – you’ve missed out on half the story.

Automata remains as dark as ever as it explores what it means to be human
Already, returning to NieR: Automata consumed me with an emotion that felt close to nostalgia. Its world, its characters, its music, even its menus hit me in a way that playing a beloved childhood game for the first time in years would. I don’t want to hark on about the base game too much, but to call it impactful is an under-exaggeration. It is, as I’ve said, possibly my favourite video game of all time. The 3C3C1D119440927 DLC is a typically far-fetched title for Square-Enix, but it does make some sort of sense. It stands for 3 costumes, 3 colosseums, 1 dream, and the in-game date of 27 September, 11944. Effectively, this describes the bulk of what this DLC is. At a cost of £11.49, you’ll receive three new sub-quests in the form of different battle challenge colosseums, each of which will reward the play with a costume for every playable character. You’ll also be rewarded with plug chips, hairsprays to change your hair colour and a few wearable masks.

Each of the three colosseums provide a completely different challenge
To play these new quests, I recommend loading chapter 7 from the chapter select screen. You’ll immediately receive a mail notification pop-up, and when the mail is retrieved from a terminal, three pointers will be marked on your world map. If you’re not at level 80 yet, I suggest grinding before travelling to these points as the arenas get quite tough. An easy way to do this is to hack into the golden rabbit statue in the amusement ruins, defeat it, save your game, reload, and repeat. The colosseums are located in the flooded city, forest and desert areas via discreet elevators previously inaccessible in the base game. These new quests, which disable your ability to use items, give you exactly what you’ve come to expect from NieR: Automata: engaging combat scenarios and tragic storytelling. I won’t spoil much of the story, but it’s thematically consistent with the game’s overall narrative and is wrapped up nicely with another woeful tale and a music video.
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One of the colosseums has you facing off against waves of machine enemies with set handicaps
Of these three new areas, two are fun and one is not. One is standard combat with waves of enemies, one has you complete waves with various handicaps (don’t use your Pod, don’t touch the ground, etc.) and one has you completing waves by remotely controlling machines with 9S’ hacking capabilities. It’s this machine-controlled colosseum that ends up being a chore as none of the selectable robots are intuitive to play as, but I appreciate it trying to do something a little different. There’s also a secret boss fight that can be found in one of the colosseums. By boss fight, I mean quite literally, as you’ll be faced off against Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda and Platinum Games president Kenichi Sato. It’s an insane, fourth-wall breaking battle, but it’s definitely one of the DLC’s highlights.

Hacking into robots for one of the colosseums was a nice idea, but it falls flat when compared to combating as androids
In summary: Lasting a few hours, this additional content may be too brief to justify a purchase from those with only a fleeting interest in the game. One of its three colosseums is frustrating to play, and the only new musical track can hardly be heard over cheering sound effects. However, for hardcore fans, three new varied challenges, a secret boss fight, a range of customisation items and a tragic story that lives up to the base game makes what was already one of video gaming’s greatest accomplishments even better. NieR: Automata 3C3C1D119440927 DLC (£11.49): PS4 A PlayStation 4 copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.


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