I am going to do something a bit more casual here. I am going to write an impression instead of a review because I am not here to sell you anything but give you my impression of the game as a fellow gamer who is just trying to help some gamers out there whether you should play this game or not. so I’m too lazy to articulate my thoughts, especially after playing a heavy-loaded game like this. I have already put over 60 hours of gameplay into this game. Not going to 100 % it. I did it with Nier Gestalt years ago, but would at least try to 100 % the side quests. Currently, while writing this post, I’m at 83%. Weapon completion is also important as well. This is a story-driven game. You would appreciate the story more by completing these tasks.
NieR Replicant ver_1_22474487139 released 2021 of April, is not a remake or a remaster of Nier Gestalt (2010). It’s more closely related to Japan’s version Nier Replicant which players play as the brother instead of the father. Some additional content has been added to this upgraded version to flesh out the story. So if you have played Nier Gestalt and wonder whether you should purchase it, you should but not at full price. You are not missing much. It’s just less convoluted than the one released in 2010. Perhaps, this is what some players need, a straightforward story?
The upgraded version gameplay feels a lot smoother and fluid like you would play in Nier Automata (2017). The gameplay is very simple: hack and slash with plenty of weapons and magic to choose from, although let me warn you that gameplay was never the game’s biggest strength. I stick to one weapon and two magic: Dark Lance and Dark Hand the entire time. As for difficulty settings, there is Normal Mode which is really Easy Mode, and Hard Mode. I can only imagine what Easy Mode is like. You’d go through the game without a sweat. Well, I can see it being an option if you are into speed runs. Some of the trophies required players to beat a boss within a certain amount of time. And if you are just interested in experiencing the story, then there is no reason to play on Normal or Hard Mode.
Without spoiling the story for those who have not experienced this masterpiece (yes it was a masterpiece in my eyes when I first played it). It’s about a brother who is trying to find a cure to the disease called Black Scrawl which has been inflicted on his sister. There are some heavy topics such as body dysmorphia, homosexuality, and borderline incest introduced in this game. Yes, it’s not your typical hero and heroine you see every day. They are humans, but are they?
As I mentioned earlier, the side quests add to the story so don’t skip them. They are fun and addictive with a twisted sense of humor. The greatest attribute of this game is the soundtrack, however, the music arrangement is not as on point as in Nier Gestalt, which did affect my experience. I didn’t like how it sounds unnaturally flawless. So, I didn’t enjoy the game to its max. It feels kind of soulless. Well, it’s not soul’s game if that’s what you are expecting. If I were to compare this game with Nier Gestalt, I would still pick Nier Gestalt over Nier Replicant, playing as a father seems more logical. I don’t know though, I never had brothers who go to an extreme to protect me so it didn’t make any sense to play as an overly protective brother.
Although I can say, I know what it is like to be the protective big sister. I guess there is some similarity in that sense, or it’s just the fact, I’m as crazy as the protagonist. I just like killing stuff. Clearly, though, the game was not intended for the female demographic but why is it so popular among female players? That’s something to think about.
So what’s so great about this game? Well, it’s the story. The soundtrack, but more importantly how it was executed. The game allows players to see from different angles and it starts to question your morality. Who are the real humans? Even if you think you are right, does that justify killing?
I think you get my point. The game will make you think about your actions. Are you really righteous?