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29 Apr 2021

REVIEW: NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139...

Review by Jon Donnis
I was lucky enough to get sent a review code for NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139... by the excellent people at Square Enix Ltd.

Now for the sake of time and effort, I will from this point on refer to this game as NieR, mainly because I am lazy.

Regarding the name, I have seen a lot of people complain, saying it is confusing, too long, and so on. As someone who has worked in marketing my whole adult life, I actually think it is a stroke of genius. Firstly, NieR is an updated version of NieR Replicant which was released in Japan about 10 years ago. And there were also a few slightly different versions released on different consoles over the years. So, by giving the game a slightly ridiculous name, it created a talking point. And if people are talking, then people are buying, it is that simple.

With all that said, we are not here today to talk about the name, but instead talk about the game.

NieR is a prequel of sorts to NieR Automata, now I have played that game too, and one of my biggest complaints about that game was the lack of saving points, meaning you could play an entire part of the game, die and then have to play it all again. Or if you simply had to leave the game for some reason, you would lose all your progress unless you left the game running.

Sadly, this issue also rears its ugly head again, but it is not as bad as with Automata, so if that frustrated you about the last game, then rest assured it is not as bad here. It is still annoying that there is no auto save, but we just have to live with it.

You play as NieR and your mission is to eventually find a cure for your dying sister, Yonah, who has something called the Black Scrawl, along the way you will have to fight evil monsters called Shades, as well as all sorts of other monsters. Early on in the game you come across a sentient floating book called Grimoire Weiss, that gives you magical powers, or the book has the magical powers, anyway, when you have the book, you can cast magic spells when fighting enemies, you can collect Sealed Verses which in turn increases the powers of the book. 

You will get most of your directions from a person called Popola, who you will have to return to, each time you complete a main quest. Why can't they have a mobile phone?

You have your main quest that you can follow as well as side quests, unfortunately the side quests can get a bit tedious, there is a lot of running back and forth, which gets boring, quick. What is worse is that you cannot pick and choose which quests to set as the active quest, so at times you will find yourself, not really knowing where to go or how to complete the quest, and you will end up forgetting about them, and sometimes even completing them, without realising. 

Once you complete the game, you are encouraged to play through it again, you actually start at the second act on the second playthrough, and although you have to do many of the same things again, there are new cut scenes to see, and new dialogs, that help further tell the whole story. In many ways the second playthrough is better than the first. And to see all of the different endings, then a third playthrough is needed, but I imagine only the hardcore fans of this game will bother with that.

The soundtrack is great, and the voice acting is very good, no complaints there. The graphics could be better, I think NieR Automata is better in that regard, it is interesting how your viewpoint will change in some locations, for example, you may go from the free camera view, to a side on almost 2D type view, sometimes to a static Resident Evil style view, to a top-down view. It is all very clever, and does create something different visually.

The Good
Easy to play, entertaining story, great characters to meet.

The Bad
Side quests are a bit of a trek, and not the most entertaining, the lack of an autosave is also a major annoyance.

To be brutally honest, NieR Automata is a better game, but NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139... is also a good game, and if you are a fan of RPG games mixed with puzzles, and action adventure.

I score NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139... a solid 7/10

Review by Jon Donnis

Out now on...
PS4 -

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