I had originally planned to get NieR: Automata for my PS4 Pro, however I decided to hold off for the PC version because I’m a graphics junky. I thought to myself “This is going to look quite a bit better than the PS4 version and run a lot smoother.” Yeah, I was wrong. This is not a game that was built from the ground up for PC, this is not a game that even really tries to add a ton of graphical options and make the PC experience look noticeably better, it’s a port with improved anti-aliasing(Which is really super-sampling), texture filtering, stable resolution of your choice, and stable FPS. Or rather, I wish those last two were true... but they aren’t.
This is the problem with Automata’s PC port: It’s bad. The first thing I noticed when I booted the game up was that it didn’t fill the entirety of my screen. There was a black border all the way around, framing the game. I went into the options and set it to 1080p because it wasn’t automatic, and that did not fix it. In fact, even at 1080p it still looked not as clear as it should. So not only did the image not fill up the entirety of my 21.5 inch monitor, but the resolution also was not actually what I set it at, it was lower. How low? I don’t know, but it clearly wasn’t 1080p. changing to windowed mode however suddenly made the game 1080p, I just had to drag the image out to fit my screen, but it was noticeably clearer and had no black border. So that problem was somewhat solved, still salty that I can’t play it in fullscreen.
The next biggest problem is the framerate. I’m running a rig that consists of a GTX 980 Ti with 6GB of GDDR5 RAM, 16GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7-3770, and my framerate was still not entirely stable. Don’t misunderstand, it was playable and maintained 60fps most of the time, but there were indeed drops from time to time and even the cutscenes suffer from framerate drops that I swear aren’t on the PS4 version last I checked, but I could be wrong. They’re choppy rather than a ‘smooth’ 30fps, at least most of the time. This is a bit of a pain because the cutscenes are a visual treat, but it’s kind of hard to appreciate that when everything is stuttering.
And the third problem I’ve found with the PC version is that you should not, under any circumstances, play with a keyboard and mouse. The game frequently switches between third-person action and top-down twin-stick shooter style controls. The former is fine with a KB&M though it is a tad difficult to lock-on and shoot at the same time due to the key locations. The latter on the other hand is an absolute nightmare because you aim with the mouse, but if the mouse stops moving, the aim resets meaning you stop shooting in the direction you were trying to shoot and that actually carries over to the third-person sections where you have to aim up and down while moving. It’s terrible. So for the first time ever I connected a controller(Dualshock 4) to my PC, booted up Steam Big Picture mode, configured the controller, and went to town on the game and was able to play it without issue.
Those are the big problems with this port. I spent $60 on it not knowing that. If I had I may have held off on getting Automata or just went for the PS4 version. That being said, I’ve worked around the ports faults enough that I am now enjoying the game and can comfortable play it, even if the framerate drops every now and again.