| I really had no idea what this was about before playing, just that it was supposed to be a phenomenal action game. I assumed it would be in the vein of Bayonetta or Devil May Cry and I was somewhat right, mostly in terms of the combat. It's more open-world than I thought and the story is way better than I would have thought, so I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed it. But, it both ended too soon and lasted too long! What a contradiction!|
Right now, I am watching the other 25 (!) endings on YouTube. There are at least 3 main ones for finishing the game (once, twice, and thrice), and most of the rest are jokes, often obtained through ignoring an urgent story mission. I just watched one where 2B (one of the main characters) decides to go fishing instead of helping the resistance camp, watched one where 2B eats a mackerel and dies, and am watching one now where 9S and 2B are annihilating the peaceful machine village, even as they plead not to die ("Please! Do not kill! We have done nothing bad!"), which is really sad!
Anyway, as I played the game, I was doing all the side quests I could and had done ~42% of them. There were also a handful of unexplored areas of the map, and I had only done one round of the various arenas and wasn't even leveled up enough to do the next rounds. So, I thought I had a lot of game left. But it ended! I mean, it wrapped up and I liked the ending, but it there is obviously more stuff! After the credits roll, Square Enix tells you that there is more to the story (!) and that you should continue your save and play again.
I did as suggested and, whereas you play from the perspective of 2B first, on the second playthrough you play as 9S, which was immediately awesome and revealed just how clever the writing is. For example, in the beginning of the game it's just 2B and then 9S comes and remotely helps with some of the first area. Well, you get to play all that from his perspective, which is differently gameplay. Then, after they are back in the bunker, 9S helps 2B boot up. This is when, as the player, you adjust the game options as 9S walks you through things. He casually says, "This is being recorded for posterity." When this happens as 9S in the second playthrough, he talks 2B (you) through options like he did before, but it plays back the video of you adjusting options from the first playthrough. That was so cool!
After that, though, it seems like you mostly just play through the game again but controlling a different character. There is a third character I'm seeing in the endings, A2, and apparently you can play as her on the THIRD playthrough, and the gameplay and story is different there. But that's what I mean about it being too short (there's clearly more to do) but too long (I don't want to play the whole game again and THEN play it a THIRD time with another character). I guess I would have seen more side quests and some new stuff, but one playthrough was sufficient.
Oh, I just watched another ending (ending U) where 2B self-destructs in the bunker and destroys everything and everyone there, ha. "Somewhere in the depth of space, the Commander still floats about with a stern look on her face." Some of these are funny. In ending W, you can die in the first battle ("YoRHa was destroyed and Earth became a paradise for the machines"). In X, A2 abandons 2B. In Y, there is a secret level 99 boss fight (I finished at like level 35). Z is a sad one.
Okay, so, I've established that everything is basically great. Combat and controls are super slick. Looks great, sounds great. The chip system for upgrades is fun to use. None of the upgrading stuff is very strategic, so it's really just about pursuing the upgrades, but that's fine. Story is outstanding, main characters especially. Honorable mention to the cute machines, which have gained sentience and are struggling with what that means. You've read/played/watched hundreds of stories about machines and androids and what it means to be human, but this is one of the better ones.
But I've got to find a flaw, right? What is the flaw? You don't have to look hard for it. The flaw is the unnecessary objectification of 2B. The artists took great pains to make her underwear visible. And not just like the waistband sticking out, but constant upskirt camera angles, her skirt that has a permanent billow such that you can always see inside it, the white underwear that is visible in full view. Why? What is the point? Why can't I see the male android's underwear? Why does 9S get shorts and reasonable attire, but not 2B? Why do other androids and characters you encounter in the world not have this billowy skirt issue, only the one that the player controls? This shit boggles my mind and drives me nuts.
Final verdict: Despite seeing 2B's underwear for the whole game, it's awesome and very much worth playing.
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