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You may see the title Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... and find yourself perplexed. Don't be alarmed, this only means that the game is having the effect it wants on you, but I'll leave you to figure what that means by playing it. Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is an action role-playing game that seamlessly blends hack-and-slash combat with an overwhelmingly brilliant story. Add to that a beautiful in-game world clouded by melancholy, and you have one of the finest remaster experiences I've ever played.
Before we go any further, this will take a minute to explain. The original Nier released in the West back in 2010, except this wasn't exactly the original Nier. On April 22nd, only a day before this game launched in Europe, two games released in Japan: Nier Replicant and Nier Gestalt. Replicant starred a young male protagonist and was available on the PlayStation 3, while Gestalt featured an older main character and came out on the Xbox 360. We won't go into the reason for these two distinct versions here, but the important thing to note is Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is a remake of the PS3 game. For the rest of this article, I'll refer to Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... as just Nier Replicant, because no matter how much I love that title, it's an SEO nightmare.
In Nier Replicant, you play a teenage boy who cares for his poorly younger sister Yonah, doing odd jobs in and around your village. The game's world looks much like any other RPG. There's gorgeous, rural scenery. Friendly NPCs litter towns, with some offering sidequests. There are traders and blacksmiths to deal with.
However, the game's apparent fantasy vibe is called into question as Nier Replicant is set in the future, taking place after the world was once much more technologically advanced. As you explore, ruins of the bygone era dominate the environment, adding a strong sense of mystery to the mix. The intrigue is strengthened further by the game's soundtrack, which doubles down on the intense melancholic feel of the game, the cause of which you can't quite put your finger on.
As mentioned, Nier Replicant is an action RPG, and the combat is delightful. You wield a variety of swords and magical abilities, offering up exciting combos that flow endlessly as you eliminate enemies. The primary foes of Nier Replicant are Shades, monstrous shadow creatures with bright yellow highlights. These baddies range in shape and size from sword-wielding warriors to child-like imps, requiring you to mix up your combat style. Some of them are invulnerable to your magic attacks, so be ready for anything.
In the early stages, it's already clear that Nier Replicant is an ambitious, fascinating game that will hook you more and more as you play. Whether you're new to the series, or you're a returning fan, this is an RPG you'll want to play this year. If you've only played the sequel, Nier: Automata, then you must play Nier Replicant.
Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... was played on PlayStation 4 with code provided by Square Enix. The game releases on April 23 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
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