Bringing a classic game to a new generation of gamers, the recent release of the remastered NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… has been a big hit. And understandably so. This action RPG offers a fantastic, character-driven story with fun if a bit easy combat and multiple endings to keep you coming back for more. Where this game shines the brightest is with its effective world-building, the characters you can’t help but fall in love with, and the fun combat mechanics. You need to play this game now!
The graphics and music are an obvious draw to this game. This remake comes with upgraded visuals which show off the characters and the exciting world wonderfully with music that perfectly emulates every step of your journey. But these details pale in comparison to the wonderful world-building that goes on in this game.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22 features a vast and varied world with many people with very different lifestyles and cultures. The way they talk, dress, and behave is always a pleasant surprise because they’re always so varied. From ancient Egyptian-inspired desert dwellers to sea-side townies, I have yet to be apathetic to the people I meet on this long journey.
And this never fails because you learn more about the world through your character as he experiences it. This isn’t a game where you need to read to learn about the history and happenstances of the world. Instead, you’ll discover it by interacting with other characters and taking on side missions. Of course, what you learn is nevertheless filtered through the naïve but full-hearted main character, but it never fails to land.
From concrete ruins to a desert temple to dilapidated factories, the world you’re dropped into is fantastical but still grounded in modern reality. While you’re able to wield magic and battle against monsters, many of the places you’ll explore are remnants of a bygone era that look hauntingly familiar. These familiar artifacts draw you in, make this world personal, but the characters are what really keep you coming back for more.
With so many different people in this game, there’s plenty of characters to talk to, get to know, and take quests from. Each one has something interesting to say. Now, not all the characters are parcels of depth and complexity, but the main characters are. The game has a great way of expanding character backgrounds and personalities quaintly with minimal effort from the players themselves.
Loading screens always have some sort of writing on them. The first few have excerpts from Yonah’s diary. While it’s impossible to miss how upbeat Yonah is and her fervent want to help her brother, her diary reveals just how deep these sentiments go. Other loading screens reveal historical events that may seem confusing at first but eventually become relevant.
Weiss and the main character spend a lot of time together while you run back and forth between objectives, and they will often talk in the background. Now, NieR Replicant ver.1.22 isn’t the first game to do this. Dragon Age and Mass Effect are well-known for the banter in the game’s background between characters in your party. But it’s nevertheless a great touch because, just by spending time in the game, you get character development and world expansion regardless of what you’re doing.
And despite so much talking going on, the dialogue never drags one bit. This is primarily because of the varied personalities of all the prominent characters and the fact that Weiss and the main character play off each other well. Weiss’s cold, snobby demeanor that slowly cracks the more time you spend with him and the main character’s heart of gold are a great juxtaposition and lead to plenty of chuckles but also personal, warm-hearted moments.
The action is extremely enjoyable and gratifying. And part of this fun comes from the fact that the combat feels extremely intuitive, specifically on a controller. With magic and dodging mapped to the triggers or bumpers, you can hack and slash while also easily focusing on casting spells. It allows for an easy way to explore combos but also multitask in a battle. Even though there are plenty of tutorials, it’s just fun to explore new spells and combat tactics.
The bosses are not only aesthetically attractive but require different mechanics to overcome. Many have multiple phases, changing up their tactics and attacks for each stage. But there are also instances where the perspective changes. Whereas you usually run around in a third-person perspective, some battles will change your perspective to 2D or top-down. This really shakes up the usual formula just when things might get a bit boring.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22 has so many great things to offer fans of the genre and series. This remake brings tantalizing music, updated graphics, and a character-driven story that will make you cry as often as you laugh. But what will ultimately make you fall in love with this game is its excellent world-building, the deep characters, and the fun combat.