Nier: Automata Is a Game of the Year, and Here Are Tons of Spoilers Why Stay on target Plenty of games can impress me in their first hour. NieR: Automata impressed me through philosophical trolling, and that’s a completely new one to me. Square-Enix just sent me a code for the game, which I started downloading to my PlayStation 4 when I got home from work. It’s a 48 GB installation, and as I write this, it isn’t half done. However, it let me start playing early.This is only a spoiler for the beginning of the game, and if you played the NieR: Automata demo it isn’t even a spoiler. Still, I offer a line break or two so you can avoid any spoilers you might fear.The opening of NieR: Automata is the demo Square-Enix put out a few months ago. That’s it. It’s the entire opening section, where you play as 2B fighting through a robot factory and then fight a giant robot both on foot and using 9S’ flight unit.It’s a pretty good section that shows off what will likely be NieR: Automata’s various combat mechanics, using both melee and ranged attacks along with timed dodges. In other words, it feels like Platinum Games developed it because Platinum Games developed it.The opening section ends with 2B and 9S, exhausted and injured, surrounded by three Goliath units. One Goliath unit was the entire level I just played through, an oil refinery platform with giant excavator arms that took several minutes of straight combat and three cutscenes to destroy. 2B and 9S appear to sacrifice themselves and destroy the three other Goliath units using “Black Box reaction,” taking mysterious black cubes out of their chests and touching them together to make a huge explosion.Then NieR: Automata jumps into an in-universe system check menu. And it starts asking me questions. Here’s a clip of the menu, so you can appreciate the choices.It’s exactly what it looks like. While NieR: Automata installs, it puts you in a question loop where the answers can be “God,” “nothingness,” “randomness,” and “will.” And if you give up, it lets you go back to the title screen and eliminates all of your progress from the opening section.In other words, it is the most Yoko Tara installation screen ever. Nihilism and futility, and false divinity all wrapped up in a way to not spend time while waiting for the other 24 GB of the game to install.You better believe it’s going to be thematically consistent with the rest of NieR: Automata. I haven’t played the rest of the game, and I know it’s going to be thematically consistent with the rest of NieR: Automata.Because NieR: Automata is a sequel to a game where, after you get the secret final ending, it completely deletes your save file.Because NieR: Automata is part of a spin-off series based on the joke ending of Darkengard where the protagonist, his dragon ally, and a giant cosmic abomination are shot down by jets over Tokyo.Because NieR: Automata is the fifth game based around a universe where everything and everyone is terrible, and nihilism is the closest thing you can have to a philosophy because reality is built around horrible things that want to eat you, including huge demon babies with shark teeth.Because NieR: Automata is developed by Yoko freaking Taro.