The first NieR flew under a lot of people’s radar. Most fans came to the series with the critically acclaimed sequel, NieR:Automata, in 2017. This NieR Replicant review ver. 1.22474487139… is a little bit complicated. It’s a remake of an alternate version of the original 2010 NieR, which was never released outside Japan. It features a younger protagonist and some slightly different dialogue from the version eventually released in the West.
This places the remake of Replicant in a unique position. New players have the opportunity to start the series with an updated version of the first game. NieR:Automata fans can play the first game without having to dig up outdated hardware. Fans of the original NieR will have an opportunity to experience a different version of a game they loved.
NieR:Automata was one of our favorite JRPGs from the PS4 era, so we decided to spend some time playing Replicant and give you our review.
- What is NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…? It’s an action RPG about a young man who embarks on an adventure in search of the Sealed Verses. It’s also the prequel to NieR:Automata, a critically acclaimed Japanese role-playing game.
- Reviewed On: PC
- Price: $59.99
- Developer: Toylogic
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release Date: April 23, 2021
- Website: View on Steam
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 Video Review
Beginnings and Endings
The story is set thousands of years before the events of NieR:Automata. You play as a young man who lives in a small village with his younger sister Yonah. It’s revealed early on that Yonah is sick with a disease called the Black Scrawl, and you set off on a journey to find a cure. Your travels lead you to an abandoned shrine where a floating, talking book named Grimoire Weiss is entombed. Weiss gives you magical abilities and charges you with collecting the “sealed verses” to gather magical power and cure your sister. You are eventually joined by a foul-mouthed (and scantily clothed) woman named Kainé and a mysterious blindfold-wearing boy named Emil.
The story feels like a typical JRPG in the beginning, but there is a time skip about halfway through. Things start to change after that. Replicant plays with perspective and subverts the tropes associated with the genre.
Like the original Nier and Automata before it, Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… doesn’t really end the first time the credits roll. There are actually five different endings that can only be experienced by meeting certain conditions throughout multiple playthroughs. You also unlock new information and new cutscenes each time.
Not Exactly a Storybook World
Though there are ruins of a technologically advanced civilization everywhere, the world of NieR Replicant has a distinct fantasy feel to it. Small towns are surrounded by open wilderness. The clothes feel medieval, and you use swords, spears, and magic to defend yourself from the spectral creatures known as “shades” that attack people on sight.
Don’t let the beautifully lit scenery and friendly locals lull you into a false sense of security, though. This isn’t Hyrule. Death is a very real thing in this world. The charming dialogue, cartoonish boar riding, and whimsical side quests are frequently undercut by an abrupt character death. It can be jarring, but it also reinforces the feeling that these people are struggling to survive. They cling to moments of levity because they can’t allow themselves to give in to despair.
Streamlined, but Shows Some Age
Mechanically, the combat hasn’t changed much from the original NieR. You still tap attack buttons to perform combos with your sword, hold a trigger to block, and tap the bumpers to unleash magic spells. They’ve streamlined things with the fluid motion and fast-paced action that Platinum Games helped Square Enix establish in NieR:Automata. You can also run now, which is a big deal considering just how much you have to travel.
That brings me to one of its biggest problems, though in this NieR Replicant review. There is a lot of running around in this game. Nearly all of the secondary missions are some sort of fetch quest, and there’s a fair amount of them in the main game too.
NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… isn’t the most intensive remake ever made. It doesn’t exactly look like a new Final Fantasy, but it has significant upgrades to combat, textures, and gameplay from the original. The voice acting performances by Laura Bailey as Kainé and Liam O’Brien as Grimoire Weiss are outstanding, and the score is absolutely phenomenal.
The main drawback is the excessive amount of fetch quests and the overall slow start, but it’s still a fantastic game and the best way for players to start the series.
Zoom Out: Verdict
NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… is a remake of a beautiful story with upgraded mechanics, graphics, and all-new voice acting. Running back and forth between locations and the large number of fetch quests can grow tedious, but it’s still a worthwhile game and a great entry point to the series.
- Great story
- Fun combat
- Good entry point to the NieR series
- Way too many fetch quests
- A lot of running between locations
- NPC based quests won’t activate during certain missions