Nier and the art of pulled punches
You don't save the world at the end of Nier. The main character is trying to, certainly - or, more accurately, he's trying to save his daughter and saving the world is a fortunate byproduct. But by the end of the game and the subsequent replays, it's clear that you aren't saving the world.
Drakengard, Nier, and backstory
I came to Drakengard at probably the worst possible time in my life. I picked it up shortly before the end of my last semester in college, when I was simultaneously dealing with breaking up with my girlfriend and getting into a new relationship that was spectacularly ill-advised. What I needed was something to encourage me to not give up; Drakengard, by contrast, made it clear that your best intentions are empty, your hopes are doomed to failure, and the best thing you can hope to accomplish is making a doomed life slightly less miserable for a little while whilst you fail at every other goal. It made an impression. Nier is both a sequel and a spiritual successor to Drakengard, a game about the ultimate futility of being a hero. It's also this month's big Patron-funded bonus article, and I quite enjoyed my time playing it, at least during the portions that didn't want me to dislike the game. (King of Facade and your stupid temple, I am looking at you.) It's brutal, depressing, and short, but I'm glad I played it. Of course, it also makes me sad that you can't get Drakengard 2 for less than a hundred odd dollars. Come on, Square. At any rate. The article. Hope you enjoy it!