The Full Story Behind Nier: Automata on PS4

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The Full Story Behind Nier: Automata on PS4

Earlier in the year at E3, we unveiled a brand new game in the Nier franchise coming exclusively to PS4 in 2016. Today, we’re proud to unveil not only the official title of the game but also first ever gameplay footage!

NieR: Automata

I’m sure you guys have lots of questions about Nier: Automata, so let’s get you all up to speed.

What is Nier: Automata?

The original Nier is a very unique action RPG that struck a chord with many passionate gamers when it came out five years ago. The story revolves around the main protagonist Nier as he searches for a cure for his daughter who is infected with the Black Scrawl virus, a seemingly incurable disease.

To this day, gamers around the world still talk about Nier fondly and the soundtrack and design book are still selling so there’s clearly something special about it. If you haven’t played the original Nier, do try and track down a copy because it has one of the most memorable and emotional casts, stories, and music in recent memory.

The Full Story Behind Nier: Automata on PS4

Nier: Automata is the next game in the Nier franchise and it’s a collaboration between Square Enix and PlatinumGames. You probably recognize PlatinumGames’ distinct action style in the gameplay trailer but if you look closely, you’ll be able to spot gameplay elements from the original Nier as well. It’s still an action RPG so don’t worry if you want more RPG mechanics in the game, they’re still there!

What is the story in Nier: Automata?

Earth has suddenly been invaded by beings from another planet and mechanical life forms with overwhelming power were used as weapons of war which forced mankind to flee to the moon. In order to take back the earth, a resistance force of android warriors has been created by humanity to fight these invaders.

The world that you see in Nier: Automata is one where androids and mechanized weapons clash in ferocious combat in a barren and deserted wasteland. It’s set after the original game but the story is written in a way which means you don’t have to have played the first one.

NieR: Automata

The world/universe is still linked between the two Nier games though so if you have played the original, you will no doubt recognize some of the locations and characters who may or may not be returning. The locations in particular will look different as they’re now more like ruins after the alien invasion but there will also be areas where you get the sense of a very advanced civilization.

Most of the story is still shrouded in mystery though so there’s more to look out for and discover further down the line.

Who is the female character in the gameplay trailer?

She’s not actually female, or maybe it’s more accurate to say she’s not actually human. Her name or serial number is 2B and she’s an android. In the world of Nier, there are strict rules meaning this kind of android is not allowed to have emotions. However, each different model has its own quirks and characteristics and 2B has a comparatively cold and level headed personality.

Keen fans and eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that at the end of the E3 announcement trailer there were three words that popped up — “doll,” “human,” and “machine” so there were hints from the start…

Who is behind Nier: Automata?

Fans of the original Nier will be happy to know that all of the key members of the creative team are back for Nier: Automata! Below is a quick rundown of who is who on the team.

Yoko Taro (Creative Director) & Yosuke Saito (Producer)
I don’t think it would be a proper Nier game if Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito weren’t involved! They are the original duo behind the first Nier game.

Keiichi Okabe (Composer)

Keiichi Okabe was the composer of the first Nier and the music is such an integral part to the game. It really helped shape and form the games identity so it was really important to the team to get Keiichi Okabe on board for Nier: Automata.

NieR: Automata

NieR: AutomataNieR: Automata

Akihiko Yoshida (Character Designer)
Akihiko Yoshida has worked on many monumental Square Enix games like Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Vagrant Story among others.

Yosuke Saito actually suggested Akihiko Yoshida as the character designer for Nier: Automata as a crazy idea as expected him to say no and turn the idea down. Yoko Taro is also a big fan of his work and as luck would have it, the CEO of the company that Mr. Yoshida is affiliated with is a hardcore Nier fan so this really helped getting him on board with Nier: Automata!

PlatinumGames (Developer)

Of course, I should give a special mention to the team at PlatinumGames who are developing the game! You’re probably already aware of who they are but they’re the developers behind incredible games such as Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Yoko Taro describes them as “really young, talented hotshots” and when it comes to action gameplay, they are world class, so it’s super exciting to see their contributions to the gameplay.

Yoko Taro also moved to Osaka for this project and practically lives in the PlatinumGames studio which is about 400km away from his actual home. It’s all for the greatness that is Nier: Automata though!

So that is a brief introduction to Nier: Automata! I hope you guys like what you’ve seen so far. There’s plenty more to show and talk about the game so do keep an eye out for future updates. If you’ve got any questions, I’ll be sure to try my best to answer them in the comments.

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33 Author Replies

  • This looks good.

  • Please bring the original Nier to PS4. I never got an opportunity to play the original and would love to play both.

  • I guess we’ll play this sometime next year maybe, YAY!

  • I loved Nier when I owned a 360! It seemed to catch a lot of flak for some reason and a buddy of mine that was a manager at Best Buy said they had a copious amount of copies of the game they couldn’t move so he assumed it was poor. I convinced him to get it and he enjoyed it as well. It truly was a unique action RPG and there was no forgetting Grimoire Weiss. I’ll be looking forward to this!

  • Bought the first game after seeing the E3 trailer for this and it instantly became one of my favourite games. Really excited for this, looks really fun and the music sounds like it will be as good as the first.

  • Hell yeah, ALL HAIL PLATINUM GAMES!!!!!!! God bless them, best Japanese modern developers of today.

    • Yeah we’re really excited to have PlatinumGames on board with Nier: Automata :) With them, we’re confident the action will be world class and with the original Nier team bringing the RPG side, setting and story, I think this game is going to be really special

  • I jumped and screamed with joy when I first heard of the announcement, so first of all thanks for that^^

    I won’t even watch the trailer, ’cause I’ll buy that game anyway and what everything to be a complete mystery for me like with the first game. Also it’s the sequel to one of my two games that keep me from selling my PS3, so I dont need any proof. This WILL be a masterpiece for me^^
    Also knowing that at the core the same people are involved makes it just that more awesome. Can’t wait, but take all the time you need!

    Thank you.

    • No, thank you for all of your support!
      We really couldn’t make a new Nier game without the original team and they’re super passionate. There really isn’t anything like the original Nier so I have total faith that they will deliver something amazing… again!

  • i get a kaijiura-esque vibe about the soundtrack which is not bad and the graphics are good too.never played the first game but i think i will try it in a near future.

  • I can’t wait for this game. Glad to see Square hasn’t abandoned the series even if they are taking an independent story approach to it. Hopefully Chrono Trigger will some day see the same treatment.

    • To be honest, I was surprised when I found out about Nier: Automata as well! I guess it goes to show that Square Enix as a company aren’t afraid to do something a bit different and unexpected. Getting PlatinumGames involved is not only a perfect fit but also shows how serious we are about this game too.

      If you’re a Chrono Trigger fan, Project Setsuna is something you should definitely keep an eye on too. It’s not a new game in the series or anything but I think fans of Chrono Trigger especially, will like what they see :)

  • This looks INCREDIBLE! I still can’t believe we’re getting a sequel to Nier let alone developed by the best action games developer! I WANNA BUY 10 COPIES OF THIS

  • Loved the first one… never went to discover the secret ending though… The story was so unreal… and the sadness that involved the whole experience was so well delivered…

    I’ll definitely will get this one once it comes up!

  • This is really exciting. I loved Nier, and i REALLY loved the soundtrack. I listen to it all the time. I’m so happy that there’s going to be a new Nier, and it looks like it’s going to be as amazing as the last.

  • Keiichi Okabe!

    Enough said.

  • I’m still kinda surprised a squel to Nier is being made. I never played the first Nier, but I am a fan of the Drakengard series. I felt 3 was disappointing and it wasn’t received too well.

    Personally, this makes me want a PS4 installment of Drakengard. I’d settle with a remake or possibly a reboot based on the original games.

    • Well the Nier series is tied to Drakengard, albeit quite loosely and if you can get hold of a copy, the first Nier is definitely worth playing for the story and music alone

  • I am so incredibly giddy for this game! It’s prefect in my eyes, the setting, the main character, the combat/action, the music. I loved Drakengard 3 and knowing that these 2 games are at least related in the universe gets me stoked.
    Day 1, collector’s edition for sure! Cannot wait! Keep it up!

  • Sony, I don’t understand you sometimes. Why did you not show this during the conference? This looks awesome and would of had people talking!

  • Looks like an amazing game!

  • this looks fantastic,.. i’m definitely onboard.

    please consider porting the old game to ps4,.. i missed it the first time around but this has me hyped to try and play it.

    • I’m afraid that’s probably unlikely to happen :( I’ll pass the message onto the team to see what we can do though but porting games can be a bit tricky

  • Day 1!!! Yoko TaroXYosuke SaitoXPlatinum. Cannot go wrong with that.

  • Can’t wait for this and I hate to be this guy but neir is not the name if the main character. Don’t want to say what it means here cus spoilers but last I heard there was no official name for him.

    • No, his official name is Nier :P
      In all seriousness though, his name was never really talked about because you have the option to choose/change his name. However, officially his name is Nier and we just don’t push the fact that much.

  • Looks nice, kinda like a female God of War however it bothers me and I can’t stop looking at the swords on her back are not actually making contact with her back lol. I know it’s a small detail but it bothers me…

    • It’s a small detail that wasn’t overlooked. If you notice the rings around the swords they float just off her back due to magnetism.

    • Yup, Izanagi-no-Okami is correct here :)
      The swords may not make contact but they are “attached” so to speak

  • Man, this game looks really good…

  • Freaked out when this was announced, never thought in a million years we’d see a full-blown sequel to NieR, which is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite games. Taking the original staff and then adding on Platinum AND Akihiko Yoshida, preeeeetty sure I just had a stroke. My most anticipated game of 2016 or 2017 or whenever you guys decide to release it (take your time), the trailer amped up my hype even further. Thank you for giving NieR another chance and putting so much care and love into it, it definitely shows, and it already looks/sounds incredible. Wooo!!!

    • Thanks for your support :) we’ve got a bit of a dream team working on NieR: Automata so we’re definitely serious about making it the best game it can possibly be!
      While we haven’t confirmed any solid release date, we’re definitely aiming for a 2016 release.

  • im ready to get depressed again.

  • Awesome!!!
    More games like this!

  • I played, loved, and got the Platinum on the original Nier. When I heard they were making a second one I was obviously excited. But having seen the trailer, now I’m a little concerned. The action element of the combat seems to be the focus of the new game. I usually like this kind of combat in my action games, but somehow it feels wrong for Nier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for another Nier and with updated combat to boot….just make sure the rest of the elements that made the original Nier so great, find their place in the Nier: Automata. It would be a shame to revisit such a niche title, only to loose the heart and soul of what made it great; the characters, the story, the emotion, the quests, crafting, collecting, weapon upgrading, and more. I know it’s and action/rpg so of course the rpg elements will be there, it’s just a little unnerving to see the first real trailer for it center around combat alone.

    • Wow, the platinum takes a fair amount of work so congrats on getting that!

      We’re aiming to release Nier: Automata in 2016 so it’s still early days for the game and that’s why we decided to show off the combat today. PlatinumGames are an incredible talent that will really bring something amazing to the game so we wanted to show what they can do. If you look closely, you can see elements of the original Nier in the combat too, things like dodging huge number of “bullets” and using the flying robot companion. We don’t want to reveal too much of the game’s story and other things too soon since the game isn’t out for a while so keep an eye out for more updates in the future.

      That being said, I wouldn’t worry about the other Nier elements. We really couldn’t make another Nier game without the original team and since both Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito (and others) are back on Nier: Automata, you can count on them to make Nier: Automata special like the first Nier. If they can’t do it, literally no one else can!

  • AMAZING! And this came out of left field. Wow, PS4 is killing it!

  • This looks amazing!

  • I really loved the first Nier game, and noticing you’re working with Platinum on this one is nothing but excellent news.
    I really loved Nier’s world and story, but gameplay could use some improvement, and when it comes to hack’n’slash games, Platinum are the best! So I’m expecting an awesome story over an awesome gameplay, can’t wait!

  • Gotta have this, can’t wait!

  • Commander: So the situation is dire, and our Planet is over run by mechanical invasion force. As we make do on the moon, lets devote resources to counter this invasion force with an android army.

    Peon: Well we only have enough time/resources to make one android.

    Commander: Huh, well better make it a sexy one. It will need every sexy advantage it can get when it goes up against the whole invasion force.

    Peon: A wise decision

  • Day 1 buy!
    More so, I’ll preorder if there’s some cool DLC!
    Also create special edition pleeeease?

  • NieR was one of my favorite games of last generation. I’m so excited for NieR Automata! Thank you for listening to the fans and making NieR 2 possible!

    • No, thank you for your support and playing the games in the first place. We hope you’ll keep playing and enjoying all of our stuff :)

  • That looks awesome. This is the type of game Sony first party should be making.

  • Looks amazing, can’t wait!

  • Absolutely gorgeous. Really looking forward to this game.

  • Great design, fluid action and awesome soundtrack.
    I haven’t tried Nier franchise yet but I’ll definitely get this one !

    One ticket to the hype trains pls !

  • Come on Square-Enix put the finishing touch on it. A Nier (SO5, or FF15) ps4 custom system would be totally awesome for the US, but probably be a japan exclusive. It’s nice to see those dark spheres all over the place like the first Nier.

    • As in a limited edition console? I don’t know the feasibility of these kinds of things but if you guys want one, I can at least pass on the message

  • Is it PlayStation 4 exclusive? I really want to know.

  • whens the PC port coming?

  • Holy….Amazing job! Very happy with this partnership. S-E has so many for 2016 feels good man.

  • Oh my god, this looks so freakin’ amazing! Please do a collectors edition for this game. And might I suggest teaming up with Goodsmile Co. for a Figma/Nendoroid of 2B for said Collectors Edition and release it in the US! ;)

    • If the demand is there then we’ll certainly consider doing a CE!
      We have our own figures at Square Enix so if 2B becomes popular enough, you never know, we may do a Play Arts Kai or some kind of other figure of her. Fingers crossed eh? :P

    • YES. NieR Nendoroids please! And Collector’s Edition! Just take all my money while you’re at it….

  • I’ve never heard of this game/series, the only reason I clicked on this article is because I noticed there were actual replies by the dev. This is huge! Actual answers shows you care about the community and your game. Other devs/publishers should take notice and be more active with the community.
    Now that I see all the positive feedback from the fans, I might need to pick up the original on PS3 and maybe the new one down the line. We shall see

    • If you like JRPG games with a deep story, then you will love the original NieR. Although the graphics aren’t exactly perfect, they story will blow you away. I recommend you to play the game twice to get an idea of the plot. NieR is split into 2 parts, after you bet the game the first time, you can play the game again from part 2 to get the other endings…and extra details. :)

    • Thank you for the kind words :)
      We’re trying our best at Square Enix to engage with our fans and community more so it’s nice to know that it’s being noticed. That being said, I’m not actually a developer but I will pass on your message to the dev team.

  • The announcement of a new NieR at E3 blew me away, I was literally screaming. NieR is one of my favorite games of all time, but it was definitely a cult title and I never expected a sequel. To have a team like this behind it is just unbelievable. Huge props to SE and everyone involved for giving a more niche series like this such a high end treatment.

    The new material looks perfect. Its got recognizable aspects to it, but its a whole different beast. Even the music fits in with NieR and Drakengard but really feels distinct. I appreciate whoever took the screenshot with the boar, both trailers as well as the screenshots have been filled with little hints for series fans.

    Others requested a collectors edition and figures, I would buy those for sure. I’d love to see a collection of all the weapon stories, or even something more extensive like ‘Grimoire NieR’ if the material is out there. A DVD of the YoRHa stage play would be neat, though I am not sure of the rights situation there.

    Also, when you say “She’s not actually female, or maybe it’s more accurate to say she’s not actually human.” are you just saying that 2B is a robot, or is it perhaps a reference to another character in the NieR universe?

    • As soon as I saw the boar screenshot, I knew I had to share it!
      I’m glad to hear you’re happy with what we’ve shown of NieR: Automata so far. It’s reassuring that hardcore NIER fans such as yourself like what you see and yes 2B is a robot/android :)

  • Is this a timed exclusive? How long do you think is the story of the game? . Day One by the way

    • At the moment NieR: Automata is a PS4 exclusive and we have no plans to release it on any other platform at this time. This may or may not change in the future but right now, it is not a timed exclusive, it is a full exclusive.
      As for how long the story is, I’m afraid we haven’t confirmed the games length. Sorry!

  • Send Nier to Bluepoint to remaster !

  • Just saw the trailer and hot damn it looks amazing. I’ve had an untouched copy of Nier for a couple of years now in my backlog but after seeing the trailer, it’s going up on my “to play list” lol.

  • This will be the first PS4 game I buy.

    Well, technically, the second; the first was Thief, though I exchanged it for the PS3 version. I decided to go with Valve and Steam Machines (well, SteamOS/Linux, at least… And the Steam Controller, which is light years ahead of any other console controller! I’m loving it!). But anyhow, I digress.

    NieR for PS3 (which I platinum’d and it took FOREVER) is one of my favorite games of all time. I think it’s second, actually. Second only to ActRaiser for SNES… And so, I nearly soiled my sofa when I was watching the E3 conference and saw this announcement. It was the only surprise I saw at E3. Nothing could compare to that.

    This will be the first PS4 game I buy – and keep.

    It will also be the reason I buy a PS4. Unless I can manage to borrow one from a friend; however, I don’t have many PS4 gamer friends local to me, as I live in a small town. So Sony can thank you guys for a future PS4 sale to me.

    Unless… Unless you bring it to Steam Machines. Then I’ll buy a few extra gift copies for friends that will appreciate it!

    • I would argue that it is ahead of other controllers. It’s different, and those differences appeal to you personally, but I can’t STAND it. I think it is one of the worst controllers I’ve ever laid eyes upon… so to each their own…. best not to state opinions like that as fact though, can lead to misunderstandings.

    • Who cares about how it LOOKS? Have you actually used it? I own one. It’s fantastic. FACT.

    • Thank you for the support and congrats on the platinum trophy! That’s a tough one to get.
      I’ll make sure that we’re on Sony’s Christmas card list :P

  • So glad to hear that the soundtrack seems to be retaining the original unique flair.

    Nier as a game was a little strange, but fun… but the soundtrack is among the best game soundtracks ever made.

  • Combat looks great! Can’t wait to see more of the world. Emil would approve a worthy CE with figure & physical ost.

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