How Nier: Automata Brought Me Into The Hack n Slash Genre


Let me begin by saying that I am not a huge fan of the fast paced hack n slash genre, simply because I haven’t been that good at it till now, which could be attributed to my obsession with sticking to keyboard & mouse as a preferred control input device. But I would also like to state that Nier: Automata didn’t make me go “LETS BINGE PLAY ALL HACK N SLASH GAMES”, but it sure gave me the idea that I could probably do it now, without getting frustrated.

Personally, it’s one of those games which gets you into a certain genre. For example- Ori and The Blind Forest brought me into metroidvania games/2D platformers, Dune 2000 made me appreciate RTS games, The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter got me into adventure games etc, you get my point. And yes, I do realize that Nier Automata is not the most technical of hack n slash games when compared to genre greats.

My past experience with the hack n slash genre include- Devil May Cry 4, DMC Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Darksiders 1/2, God of War 1/2 and out of all those, the only game I have seen through to the end is DMC Devil May Cry. I played a considerable amount of of both Darksiders 1 and 2, but didn’t complete either, because I simply didn’t get the essence of what made these games fun.

It was a non-explainable repulsion to hack n slash games, maybe because of the technicality of those games or maybe because a few of them became too repetitive. I would get a certain combo/set of combos which I was comfortable with and then would spam it throughout the game. The point at which those combos were rendered useless would be the point I generally quit the game.

Getting killed without being able to do much damage on top of not knowing the reason for your character’s demise (Because the on screen action in such games is highly chaotic) is not really a very encouraging sight. Yes it was a block in my mind, but that’s how it was. Another reason probably was the fact that all of these ‘technical’ hack n slash games had so many moves, it was tough remembering each and every one of them. The sheer amount made me stay away from these kinds of games.

Coming to the question of the article:

So How Did Nier: Automata Bring Me Into The Hack n Slash Genre?

Well, first of all Nier Automata didn’t force me into melee based combat from the get go. Sure, the sword dealt way more damage, but the amount of damage done through the pod’s projectiles was not negligible to the point of frustratingly grindy. Apart from that, having 9S as a support ally who keeps taking damage helped me get comfortably in and out of combat whenever things got a little bit rough. Another huge reason were those auto health regen Plug-In chips (Yeah I can hear those keyboards running “GIT GUD”).


They really helped me get over the fear of repeated death which would have fostered frustration and aided me to get deep into the melee combat without the fear of getting frustrated. By 3/5th of the game (About 40 hours), I had enough confidence to go in with an all out attack/speed based build because I had gotten the essence of game, what made the game fun and gotten a bit skilled as well.

Oh yeah…. Kick some robot a**………

In fact I was confident enough to restart (After completing about 6-7 endings of the first playthrough) the game on Hard Difficulty. Again it is really non-explainable what really went through my mind, but I started to enjoy the gameplay, looked back at the games I had missed out on and thought to myself “I need to go back to those games and give them another go”.

I know that for hack n slash veterans, this game is a piece of cake, but for the inexperienced/previously uninterested like myself, it really helped me get into a genre that is pretty popular and has a good amount of classics. Personally, for me, Nier is not just a work of art and a paramount example of what can be achieved in games, but is also a gateway to the hack and slash genre and I am thankful to the game for that. Bayonetta’s release date couldn’t have been any more appropriate for coinciding with my new found love in the hack n slash games. What do you guys think about the article above? Was this anyone’s first hack n slash game? If so tell us about your experience in the comments below. Peace out.