Parents' Guide to

Nier: Automata

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Heady sci-fi RPG with robot battles, suggestive themes.

Game PlayStation 4, Windows 2017
Nier: Automata Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 12+

Best video game I have ever played in my whole life.

The story and characters were compelling, bizarre, and deeply tragic. Though it plays like a reasonably standard action RPG, Nier is also remarkable for its habit of switching genres on the fly. One minute you're beating robots to death with a sword in an underground lab, and the next, you're playing a top-down shoot them up dodging dozens of slow-moving bullets. The game switches perspective to mimic clicky-clicky RPGs like Diablo, while another section is a full-blown text adventure. It's wacky and different, and people like different.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 17+

One of the best games ever made

I was shocked at how incredible this game is. I tried it on a whim and it has entered my top 5 favorite games of all time but if your kid is looking to play it there are a few things. Content wise I’de say a mature 13 year old can handle the content but why I gave this a 17+ is because I feel that to fully enjoy this game you have to be older and more mature in order to get the best experience. This game has extremely complex and philosophical themes of free will, human emotion, and what it means to be alive and not just exist. So at the end of the day I would say this game is fine for like a 13 to 14 year old but if they want to get the best experience they can i say wait until they are older so they can fully grasp the deep and emotional themes and elements the story has to offer.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12):
Kids say (11):

This action role-playing game covers broad philosophical ideas, but its gameplay won't appeal to everyone. You know those broadly accessible games that grab hold of audiences with their relatable characters, traditional ideas, and familiar mechanics? Nier: Automata isn't one of them. From the outset, it challenges players with unusual concepts and imagery that some might find hard to understand (or swallow): Beautiful, blindfolded android warriors who do battle in nightclub attire. Dirty trash can robots that have taken the names of old philosophers. Characters who tear down the fourth wall, repeatedly referencing the fact that we're playing a game while providing advice on how to play. Action that sees players abruptly moving from arcade-like top-down shooter combat to side-scrolling platforming to open-world adventuring. It's an undeniably unusual experience likely to resonate only with a select few.

The game's designers certainly have things on their minds that they want to communicate, though. Whether they're successful is debatable. While plenty of interesting questions about identity and personhood are posed, few are answered -- at least in the first play-through. Once the credits finish rolling, players are encouraged to play again, this time experiencing the game's events from the perspective of 2B's companion, 9S, learning more about the world and characters within it along the way. Whether the player wants to do this will depend largely on whether he or she enjoys exploring the world -- which is surprisingly bland and small compared with many other open-world games -- and engaging in a type of frenetic, multi-genre combat that will be an acquired taste for most, to put it mildly. If you're searching for instant, easy, and familiar gratification, your money will be better spent elsewhere.

Game Details

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