On top of the myriad mechanics and ideas thrown into NieR: Automata‘s gameplay and plot, I’m going to add another following my first few hours with the game: Opera.

While I’m still unable to provide much more than the opinion of a person who has spent a short few hours blitzing NieR: Automata‘s early game (and an extra half-hour because I died to the prologue’s gargantuan boss and had to run through the entire thing again), I feel that it’s an important opinion to share.

There are games out there with an early game that’s merely a gradual build up to what the game will, ultimately, become. NieR: Automata, by comparison, does what operas and musicals often do and provides, instead, an overture to the game proper – a taster of what you can expect down the line; a concentrated hit of gameplay that tells you right off the bat what this game is.

With this in mind, I think it’s no bad thing to give you the lowdown on what I’m thinking roughly three or four hours in as the early stages of a game can (and do) make or break them.

For those of you wanting a fuller and more detailed overview of NieR: Automata, Rich’s review should be arriving shortly (you can check out his in-progress review here for the time being. While I’ve not covered some aspects of the characterisation and story and I’ve skipped over mechanics like death and retrieval (hint: it’s a bit Dark Souls, because what is a game review, now, without reference to that oft-cited series?) and I’ve not gone too deep on weapon upgrades, I’ve attempted to give you an overview – an overture, if you will – of what a full review of NieR: Automata will look like.