After its release first on PS4 and PC, and then on Xbox, now it is the turn of the version of Nier Automata on Nintendo Switch. And the question is clear: is it a good port? We’ve accessed the game ahead of its release to find out in this review.
With the number of Nintendo Switches sold and the pace the console is still achieving, it’s easy for many companies to be tempted to port their games to the machine. But the task is not easy, and it does not always have a satisfactory result. I’ve played as many decent console ports as there have been catastrophic ones, and there’s no set pattern. Games whose port is a challenge have had a spectacular result, while other more modest ones presented all kinds of technical problems that weighed down the experience. So, with a Nier Automata, it is logical to ask if a good job has been done, since the experience must be perfect to be able to move 2B in the same conditions of fluidity and precision that are needed. And it hasn’t always been like this, since in its first versions, and especially before some updates, there were some moments when we found ourselves with frame drops that cloud the experience. Fortunately and for the joy of many fans who have been asking for it for years, this has not been the case with the Switch version.
Yoko Taro himself was aware of the task and in a letter he made it clear: “It’s not that easy, damn it!” And no, it has not been. The production team has been assisted by Virtues, who know the console perfectly since they have been responsible for other ports such as The Outer Worlds, Dark Souls Remastered or Bioshock: The Collection. Playing the Switch version, the technical sacrifice is noticeable, but less than I would have imagined and especially considering the small screen of the laptop, where the pixel per inch gets a better job for the long distances that sometimes the Nier Automata world.
Nier Automata performance on Nintendo Switch
The technical sacrifice is noticeable, but less than I would have imaginedYes, reduced detail on some modeling and textures, shadows, reflections, effects and everything you can imagine; but all in pursuit of achieving that smoothness and consistency of 30 frames per second that the game already announced at the beginning, with a resolution in dock mode of 1080p and 720p for the screen of the machine. 30 frames per second that remain very stable and fluid and that allow us to control 2B perfectly, in a game where this is imperative given that, although Nier Automata’s dodge is not the most demanding in a game of action, it does require a quick response time. I have not had any problem to be able to do all the combinations even with a good number of enemies on the screen or with the gigantic enemies that appear from time to time occupying it all. The experience is not only fluid, but above all in the tightest and most linear locations, it demonstrates very decent image quality. It is in that open world where textures and distances can be seen somewhat poorer and, if we speed up as only 2B knows how to do, we get to see how the stage in some moments is loaded before us.
It is noted, therefore, that although this is the experience that sacrifices graphics especially for the portable factor, it has been taken care of as it deserves. Not only technically, but bringing with it all the content that was included along the way. Downloadable content and additions to the NieR: Automata -Become as Gods Edition- Xbox version. DLC 3C3C1D119440927 (You already know Yoko Taro’s fondness for impossible names) was the one included in said version and cost 15 euros at launch, while here it is included in the game, and gives us access to three coliseums and additional outfits. But this edition is baptized with another name: The End of YoRHa Edition, And that’s because it also has its own free downloadable content, exclusive to this edition: 6C2P4A118680823. Behind this code we will find six additional outfits, four new accessories and two skins for the pod inspired by the mobile game Nier Re[In]carnation. Apart from this, we will find control options that have been adapted to the possibilities of the Switch if we activate the movement controls, such as the possibility of sprinting by moving the console in the direction or even some actions with the touch screen.
Glory to Mankind
For the rest, Nier Automata is that game that made us fall in love the first time five years ago, that elevated the figure of Yoko Taro (and he deserves it) and that surprised by achieving sales of more than six and a half million units for a game that could seem niche, and probably is. Why then, this fascination with Nier? Of course you have to play if you haven’t to understand it, but I only needed to start the game again to rediscover it: Taro has a unique vision of our environment and is not subject to conventions of any kind. To dwell on a small example when replaying, I noticed that the intro, with the ships attacking the base and being destroyed one by one until only 2B remains, is surprisingly similar to the shoot’em up Technosoft’s Thunderforce IV. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence, because Taro is a video game lover who constantly pays tribute to it, regardless of the genre, being able to change the mechanics, the dynamics, the cameras as he pleases. Any game, under such pressure, would have collapsed. But Nier Automata, like its predecessor that can now be enjoyed in its NieR Replicant edition ver.1.22474487139…, comes out stronger leaving the player fascinated and always waiting for what will come next and how its systems are twisted.
And what comes next is a story that knows how to explore the limits of video game language, that is not afraid of existentialism told by robots and artificial intelligences, that uses them to their advantage so that we ask ourselves, in a way that has perfectly connected with the new generations, about the human condition and our reason for being. Even though I personally enjoy the story of his previous work more, because in Automata there are some ideas and surprises that are explored again (and also because the music of the first Nier seems to me to be one of the best in video game history), there is no There is no doubt that Automata is a more refined product in its presentation and, above all, in its action system that sustains the adventure brilliantly. If you haven’t played him and were waiting for this opportunity, put on a blindfold like 2B and have faith in him. And if you already know what this is about and what you want is to experience it again in a portable format, rest easy. We can say that it is a very good port and that Glory to Mankind.
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