While Nier Automata may be scheduled for a March 2017 release, Platinum Games has already released a demo for it on the Playstation Store available for PS4 users to try.
The demo introduces players to the protagonist, 2B as well as another side character 9S, both on a mission to eliminate some target at the Factory. Which as expected is a boss fight after players have moved through the map killing various small enemies, both melee and ranged.
In typical Platinum Games fashion, the hack and slash combat of Nier Automata is fluid and offers players a good deal of variety to combine their attacks in different forms.
The enemies are relentless so players have to make full use of the fact that they can shoot while moving to keep damaging the enemies even when they are kiting them around. Some enemies are shielded from ranged attacks and in those cases, their shields need to be taken care of first.
While the combat can become a bit monotonous sometimes, especially during the final boss fight of the demo which has players mostly just holding down the shoot button and dodging attacks for almost 5 minutes simply because the ranged attack does very little damage.
Platinum Games is targeting a 60 frames per second mark for the game, even with the PS4 version although the demo did stutter a couple of times for me when the camera zooms out quite a lot to give a bigger field of view. Surprisingly, it was relatively smooth during intense action sequences.
Given the world setting of the game, the visuals and art style of Nier Automata is pretty good although just not as detailed as many have come to expect from AAA games these days. The character design and clothing details are however pretty amazing.
Combine that with some really well done English and Japanese voice acting, if nothing else Nier Automata will definitely shine in the characterization department.
The demo is available to try for free on PSN before interested gamers decide to pre order the game. There is no demo for the PC version of the game, or a fixed release date. The PS4 version will however be releasing on 7th March in North America and 10th in Europe.