We’re playing more NieR: Automata tonight, and we have plenty to do as we’ve opened up the world and have leveled enough to confidently explore all of it. So I’m thinking that we’re probably in the second act out of three, and how fast we progress to the third act is a matter of if we complete all the side missions or not. While I’d love to 100% this game, if it eventually comes down to grinding levels and farming money, I’d rather just move forward with the main story. So far, the game has had a good balance between mechanical progression, side stories, and the main story.
From now on, whenever I think that I’m in the second act of a three act game, I’m going to start assuming that the game is about to end. But in actuality, there still is a lot of NieR: Automata left to play, for alternate endings and different gameplay experiences. After looking up how many endings NieR: Automata has, there’s basically an ending for every letter of the alphabet, 26!
So if the second act is completing side missions and challenges for Ending A, then the third act would be exploring the rest of the endings. Technically, we already achieved an ending when we died by eating a mackerel (Ending K). Then, when we started our second playthrough, we inadvertently deserted the game, playing as 9S (Ending G).
While re-exploring the game multiple times and in various ways may not be for everyone, I can see how someone who really likes this game would love the opportunity. I personally appreciate the uniqueness and creativity of how this game is executed, but I don’t think that I’ll go too far beyond exploring the main story based endings.