Square Enix and Platinum Games release a new trailer for NieR: Automata that has a bit of a Westworld vibe, with the game’s androids expressing human-like emotions.
In NieR: Automata, players take on the role of a combat android fighting on behalf of the last remnants of humanity in a proxy war against a machine army of invaders from another world. The androids are programmed to do what their human masters have ordered, and yet, after viewing the latest trailer for the game that Square Enix and developer Platinum Games revealed last week, we can’t help but feel like we’re watching a bizarre anime version of Westworld.
“I never quite realized how beautiful this world is,” says our main protagonist at the start of the trailer, sounding eerily like Dolores from the hit HBO drama. The two minute and 15-second clip, called “Glory to Mankind,” sets out to introduce us to androids 2B, 9S and A2 and it’s clear that while they may be robots, these androids also seem more than capable of experiencing human-like emotion.
“The commander’s put me in charge of your maintenance, ma’am,” another character tells android 2B. “That means I’ll be performing regular checks on you from now on.” Any other Westworld fans getting a vision of Bernard Lowe running a diagnostic test? As the trailer continues, it becomes clear that not all of the androids like the idea of being sent off to fight and die. “Androids were designed to protect their human masters,” android 2B says. “Even if it’s pointless, you still have to do it,” another character replies.
NieR: Automata is set in the same universe as Nier, which released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010 as a spin-off of the Drakenguard series. Square Enix has gone on record as saying that Nier: Automata takes place after Nier‘s fourth ending, but there is no direct narrative connection between the two games. It’s likely that Nier: Automata will also feature multiple endings and easter eggs, as gamers already discovered one in the game’s PlayStation 4 demo last month. Players were able to have their android commit suicide by removing the main protagonist’s OS chip from their inventory with just the push of a button, essentially removing their “brain.” Doing so caused the screen to fade to black and put players back on the main menu.
Square Enix claims that it teamed up with Platinum Games for this sequel specifically because it wanted to improve upon NieR‘s action gameplay. Game Rant said NieR: Automata has potential to be an improvement over the somewhat disappointing first game when we played a hands-on preview build late last year. We’ll find out if Square and Platinum’s efforts worked out soon enough.
NieR: Automata releases on PlayStation 4 in Japan on February 23, 2017, and in North America and Europe on March 7. A PC version is in development but no release date has been announced.