Stellar Blade Continues To Get Compared To Nier Automata. However, It Pales In Comparison To Yoko Taro’s Masterpiece In One Vital Way

The two might look similar but are vastly different.

Stellar Blade Continues To Get Compared To Nier Automata. However, It Pales In Comparison To Yoko Taro's Masterpiece In One Vital Way

SUMMARY

  • Stellar Blade's reveal and eventual launch excited fans and also caused some outrage against the title's art style.
  • Some people even went so far to call it a clone of the 2018 masterpiece, Nier Automata.
  • While the two titles are similar, the 2018 title outshines the former in one dimension: depth of narrative.
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Stellar Blade is a title that has been one of the most anticipated titles this year, and despite initially receiving flak from critics and the gaming fraternity for its art style, it was still appreciated for its core elements.

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However, after the game’s reveal, many gamers dismissed the title, calling it a Nier Automata clone, and the comparisons haven’t ended even after the game’s release. While in hindsight, the hack-and-slash element and the female protagonist are the two common elements, they are fundamentally different titles.

The Similarities between Stellar Blade and Nier Automata

Stellar Blade and Automata have a lot of things in common.
Stellar Blade and Automata have a lot of things in common.

When one loads up the game, the first impression that it receives is based on its graphics. While both games look fantastic, Nier Automata came out in 2016, loosely eight years before Stellar Blade. Hence, the difference in graphical fidelity is noticeable between the two titles.

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Video game graphics have improved dramatically in eight years; thus, Automata certainly shows its age. While the color palettes of the two games differ vastly, with the ShiftUp title looking much more polished and going for a more vibrant color scheme and Automata having more washed-out colors, the art styles in the two games also resemble each other due to their similar settings.

The pacing of combat in both games is also very similar, offering fluid combat that feels incredibly satisfying, especially the part of the gameplay that deals with inflicting damage using a firearm. The physics in the two games are also very similar; for example, the animation that is triggered when the main characters in the two games attempt to climb down is strikingly similar.

Apart from that, the robot companions accompanying the protagonists also feel cut from the same cloth. While many other points of similarity can be highlighted between the title from ShiftUp and many other titles even apart from Automata, a critical element of the two games is incredibly dissimilar.

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Automata’s Differentiator Is the Depth of Its Narrative, Something That Stellar Blade Lacks

Nier Automata is in a league of its own.
Nier Automata is in a league of its own.

Nier Automata isn’t a masterpiece because of its gameplay loop or graphical fidelity and its impact on the players who experienced the game’s narrative. The game touches upon profound subjects, like existence and consciousness, emotional rollercoasters, and intellectual stimulation without sounding preachy.ShiftUp’s title, while having a reasonably deep lore, too, lacks in the narrative area.

While many games focus on one aspect of subjective human experience like Life is Strange and The Last of Us, focus on the paradox of choice and interpersonal relationships, respectively, no other games apart from Automata have been able to do what the game did in terms of narrative enrichment.

Blending the nuances of subjective experience and the concepts of philosophy to present an entertaining and educative concoction. Moreover, executing all of that without compromising the quality of gameplay on a much tighter budget is undoubtedly praiseworthy. It touches upon theism and the concept of redemption through faith and freedom through reason incredibly nonchalantly.

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One of the most beautiful details about the game can be found in Androids and Robots, asking one of the most perplexing questions initially asked by one of the greatest existential philosophers ever. This is just the tip of the iceberg, representing how the game widens the player’s horizon.

Stellar Blade’s Writing Is Good but Might Doesn’t Quite Match Yoko Taro’s Excellence

Stellar Blade isn't only a knockoff but a great game, that said, Nier Automata is a lot more profound.
Stellar Blade isn’t only a knockoff but a great game; Nier Automata is a lot more profound.

The Game Directors of Stellar Blade and Nier Automata, Hyung-Tae Kim and Yoko Taro, talked about their respective games, and the two directors appreciated each other’s works. Kim was vocal about Automata inspiring him while working on Stellar Blade.

While Taro also expressed his admiration towards Kim’s work and the conversation was incredibly wholesome, objectively, the most profound details about Nier Automata don’t seem replicable. Philosophy is always seen as bereft of a polar right and wrong; it is the subject’s nature to throw conundrums toward anyone trying to explore it.

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The fact that Automata gets all of this right adds its spin to traditional ideas. Whether it is juxtaposing ideas or dealing with choices that require a lot of deliberation, the game manages to tap into the emotional and objective sides of the player with a lot of ease.

These factors aren’t to say that the ShiftUp title is a cheap knockoff of Automata but to say that while the comparison between them seems logical, the latter is in a league of its own. Despite their similarities, the two titles take very different approaches. Have you played any or both of these titles? Would you agree with the direction of this article? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by Sparsh Jaimini

Articles Published: 393

Sparsh Jaimini Sharma is a video games enthusiast and a Games Writer. A true white-blooded Madridsta. He is often seen grinding away at EAFC 24's Ultimate team and learning to code when he is not writing. A Batman fan and Arkham Games connoisseur. He is the quintessential DC aficionado.