While much of the praise since NieR: Automata’s release has been directed to director and writer Yoko Taro, in a recent interview, PlatinumGames action gameplay head Takahisa Taura, who’s also set to direct for the first time with Astral Chain, talked about what differentiates NieR: Automata from other action games, as well as inspirations. [Thanks, DenFamiNicoGamer!]
First, Taura went over the basics – how in sword strikes, for example, there are various stages such as going into a battle stance, striking, then returning to neutral. What differentiates action games from each other is the timing of when these stages are cancellable. During test playing, PlatinumGames looks for spots where attacks may drag on a bit, then go over those bits one by one in order to adjust the cancellable timing to be slightly faster or slower.
For NieR: Automata, in order to make action more smooth and feeling better, these sorts of cancel triggers are everywhere so actions become cancellable all the time.
As for NieR: Automata’s theme, Taura talked about how a dancing woman was the image he had in mind. It was something different than what Platinum has made up until then, and is characteristic of NieR: Automata. Taura especially objected to comparisons between Raiden and 2B (due to their appearances) as their motions are completely different.
As for what sorts of motions inspired 2B’s actions, Taura cites Alita from Battle Angel Alita being the first and foremost inspiration. They added a more elegant and refined feeling to 2B’s motions to differentiate her later on.
NieR: Automata is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.