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Analysis of NieR Replicant: a post-apocalyptic fantasy

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The original Nier Replicant / Gestalt is considered a classic, however, it ended up being put a little bit in favor of its successor, Nier Automata, which became almost the game of the year 2017. I confess that I never got to play Nier Gestalt and much less the Japanese version (original Nier Replicant), but I would like to say in advance that my experience with this new version was positive and refreshing.

The game’s plot follows a character known as Nier although players have the possibility to name him whatever they want. Nier is a boy who tirelessly seeks a cure for the tinny disease that affects his younger sister, Yonah. In other words, it turns out to be the same story as 2010, but it does not disappoint, because all the excitement is there and the events that have passed are not easily forgotten, not even certain segments that are literally told in writing right in front of us. The only drawback on this topic is the first 2 hours of play that are played out very slowly, but after this point a fantastic journey begins.

As I couldn’t miss a game by Yoko Taro, it takes more than a playthrough for the whole story to be told, in my specific case I almost made a friend (extremely loyal to the Nier / Drakengard franchise) feel insulted if he didn’t to do more than a playthrough.

Analysis of NieR Replicant a post apocalyptic fantasy

Graphically the game is much better than its previous version, as you would expect. However, compared to Nier Automata, a 2017 game, it seems that it has not evolved much, thus wasting some potential and there is not even any specialized improvement for the new generation of consoles.

The soundtrack is all a remastering of the original and still manages to be better than the one already mentioned. Returning favorite and varied themes that capture the essence of the events and locations we pass through. And quite honestly it is a topic where there is nothing else to point out but the fantastic quality.

Quests

The Nier Replicant quests left me very divided. The main missions are extraordinary and varied (mostly) where we are presented with several locations ready to be explored, not to mention the variety of incredible final bosses that appear in most of them. However, certain of these main missions end up leaving me a little empty and I found myself trying to clear several enemy rooms as soon as possible to try to reach the boss. I understand that hordes of enemies are one of the game points hack and slash like this one, but I also believe that this concept could have been revised better for the remake.

When it comes to side missions, I still believe that this should have been a completely redone topic. Most of them end up passing us by a messenger to collect different materials for the client or even to find certain hidden objects. It is definitely a mechanic that has not aged well at all. The good thing is that we are free to focus as much as possible on the fantastic story.

Characters and World

In this new version, all the characters have a voice, but it is mainly in the excellent performances (of voice) of the main characters that we must focus. The performances of the chosen actors capture the exact personality of the characters and also manage to transmit it. From the figure of Kainé’s lone warrior, to the impatience and cunning of Grimoire Weiss, to the innocence of Emil, everything was captured in an extraordinary way. The three-dimensional models have also been redone in more detail while remaining true to the original aesthetic.

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The world of Nier Replicant has also been remade with a more appealing look, but it continues to present an almost “dead” feeling, it is true that it is a post-apocalyptic scenario, but even this should not be so static. Even with the new visuals there is still a lack of detail in the locations and the characters (NPC) are literally out of 2010, as I mentioned, the three-dimensional models have all been redone, but most of these characters are simply planted in the same place with a single line to say (most of the time) all the time. This lack of dynamics ends up affecting the experience offered by a modernization of a classic.

Combat

Combat is an extremely strong point of this game. It has great fluidity that is combined with incredible visual and sound effects. The mix between body attacks, magic attacks and the character’s movement was very well achieved and offers the player several creative ways to face the different opponents. To enrich this creativity, it is possible to switch between three categories of melee weapons, mechanics that on the battlefield ended up becoming extremely useful and dynamic, especially in the dungeons end of game.

However, it remains a warning that this arsenal turns out to be of the “use the strongest that has been” type, since the upgrades that can be done depend on a huge grind that requires “to farm” the robots that inhabit the dungeon in Junk Heap. The positive side is that there is an element of personalization in the form of words that we can give to weapons in order to increase certain attributes without having to “farm” so much, since they appear several times in common enemies.

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In addition to these mechanics it is not highly recommended to choose more difficult difficulties as it only makes enemies authentic sponges of damage that require much more time and much more “button mashing” to defeat, especially at the beginning of the game when the equipment is weak and the player you just want to move on to the best parts of the story.

Verdict: Nier Replicant

Nier Replicant is undoubtedly an improvement over its original version, with new visuals, animations and even a soundtrack. The big problem is that it is already showing how part of its design is already outdated. The lack of dynamism in the world and the lack of variety in its quests are the most notable negative points, but also the slow speed at which the character’s evolution takes place towards the end of the game.

Anyway, the plot and characters are unforgettable and definitely worth a playthrough, or more than one, in the case of a Yoko Taro game. I would also like to thank Ecoplay for the opportunity given to us by providing this material for analysis on the website, which allowed us to live this incredible story.

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