Because of the outright state of video game reiusses, I need to discuss what Nier Replicant is prior to I can inform you how it is. Nier, established by Cavia, launched in 2010 in 2 variations – Nier Replicant for the Japanese market and Nier Gestalt for western areas. Both are nearly similar, conserve for their lead character. The west got “Dad Nier”, an adult guy with an Ikea closet someplace in his ancestral tree, and Japan got a boy rather, out of the issue that the older lead would not interest Japanese audiences.
Both lead characters have the exact same objective, conserving Yonah, who is either their child or sibling, from a mystical disease called the Black Scrawl. Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… brings the Japanese variation to the west for the very first time. The variation number, the square root of 1.5, suggests to inform you that this is neither a remake nor simply a remaster, it’s someplace in between.
Nier Replicant starts with a scene in which lead character Nier attempts to safeguard his ill sibling Yonah from a a great deal of intruding beasts called Shades, prior to an abrupt timeskip takes you over 1000 years into the future. The boy you manage now shares his name with his counterpoint from the past, and he too has an ill sibling he wishes to conserve. Before you can discover how these 2 things are linked, you need to follow a simple JRPG story for around 10 hours.
Nier (or whatever name you choose to provide him) invests his time being directed from A to B by a female called Popola, who yes, huge push, is among the characters linking this video game to Automata. In an old temple, Nier satisfies a talking book called Grimoire Weiss, who offers him the power to beat even Shades he was formerly helpless versus. He is then informed that if he gathers more capabilities for the grimoire in the kind of so-called Sealed Verses, and discovers another book called Grimoire Noir, this will certainly conserve his sibling. Over the course of the story, he satisfies a girl called Kainé, who swears like a sailor and battles in underclothing that reveals her whole butt (her only specifying attributes till much, much later on), and Emil, who needs to keep his eyes concealed since one appearance from him suffices to turn you to stone.
You go to 6 places a number of times throughout a playtime of at first 15 hours, each of which you reach by travelling throughout a practically completely empty piece of land. Yes, these places are expected to be empty since Nier occurs in a post-apocalyptic future, however that does not obscure the truth there are no intriguing landmarks, each dungeon is strongly direct, and there is beside no opponent range. Nier is an extremely empty video game.
Where the original was in addition encumbered unsightly visuals that count on brown and grey environments, the remaster raises the entire plan to an empty video game with grey and brown environments, rinsed textures and great cut scenes, animations and lighting impacts. Like Automata, Nier does not simply adhere to one category in its gameplay, however offers you hack and slash fight, little platforming series, and some bullet hell gameplay. These components are still special to Nier and reveal a devotion to keeping things intriguing and differed, however regrettably the concept remained in its infancy for Nier, so these series are all brief, simple to survive and can get lost in tiresome busywork. There is even a 4th video gaming category that makes a look in the Forest of Myth, though it’s so unforeseen I do not wish to ruin you for it if you do not understand it yet. Nier also plays with camera angles in truly interesting ways – some portions of the game will be isometric, a spooky manor makes use of the infamous Resident Evil camera, while for puzzles and bullet hell sequences you get to see things from a top-down angle.
The biggest change to Nier Replicant, apart from its looks, comes through the combat. In the original Nier this was an ostensibly simple affair that turned out fiddly to control. By getting controls in line with Automata’s control scheme, battles are now a lot more enjoyable. New combo attacks and animations make the whole thing feel smooth, although combat is slower and never reaches the heights of Automata’s stylish chain combos. Still I had fun, particularly in the second half of the game, where after another timeskip your hero grows up and becomes more proficient in combat, which gives you access to a new weapon set.
That second part of the game, which begins after another five-year timeskip, consists of backtracking through almost every location, places you’ve already seen multiple times during the first half. I’m not against backtracking if I am rewarded with looking at places a different way or I meet new characters, but Nier sends you back through the same halls to solve minimally different puzzles and fight the same bosses.
Nier Replicant struggles as a game released into a post-Automata world – it’s more remaster than remake, so it fundamentally can’t eradicate the aspects that went wrong in the original game. It’s a game I’ve played for hours in a frantic search for the good bits. To be fair, everything that can could be improved without starting from scratch got an upgrade: the graphics are still not great but are certainly better, the character design is neat, the soundtrack – one of the best around – was re-recorded but otherwise functionally left alone, lines were re-recorded using the same voice actors for the (enjoyable) dub, and a Japanese language option was added. Two main quests let you skip famously annoying parts that people loved to complain about back in the day. New bits of lore have also made their way into the game, including a new boss and one (1) all-new sequence that connects Nier to its sequel as promised. But do not overestimate the amount of new stuff – I’m no Nier lore expert, but most of the video game is as I remember it.
Nier’s best parts are hidden behind its different endings, for which you’ll have to play the second part of the game several times. But the endings aren’t that different from each other, and due to the nature of the rest of the game, I wouldn’t blame anyone who gets tired before that.
Yes, there’s a narrative twist, but if you’ve played Automata, you expect there to be one, and waiting for it feels a bit like that Simpsons “say the line” meme. You’ll likely feel different if you’ve never ever touched Automata, but I have, and that just makes me recommend Automata over Nier in every respect. Fundamentally, Nier was never a great video game. It had promise, but it just wasn’t there yet.
This isn’t just my assertion, Nier: Automata was a clear effort to implement feedback from the first video game and enhance Nier’s strengths and eradicate its weaknesses, according to its developers. I consider Nier: Automata to be essential, as such I think if you’re a mildly curious Automata fan, you’ll come away from Nier disappointed. You have played the better Nier game currently. This reiusse is meant for lore nerds, for hardcore fans, for completionists, oldschool Nier evangelists, basically everyone who’s already decided to buy the video game prior to reading this.