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NieR Replicant 1.22474487139… – This Could Be David Lynch’s Legend of Zelda

REVIEW – It takes a huge ego to christen your video game NieR Replicant 1.22474487139…, but thanks to Yoko Taro, you’ve got it. We tested the latest version of NieR, the unique action role-playing game released ten years ago, on Xbox Series X.

 

Somewhere, Yoko Taro is a bit like the misunderstood David Lynch of the games industry. He hasn’t made many games, but they all have their own unique style, and he’s a real eccentric, and the only way Yoko Taro gives interviews is if he’s a bit like the David Lynch of the games industry. He hasn’t made too many games, but they all have their own unique style, and he’s a real eccentric who only gives interviews when one of his characters has a grotesque mask on his head.

The adjective “misunderstood” only applies to NieR: Automaton 2017, as it was the first game to be a huge success. Around the same time, the press and gamers started to take a closer interest in Taro’s older titles, especially 2010’s NieR, which has since released several versions.

Even these games have been released in bizarre ways on different platforms. For example, in the Japan-only PlayStation 3 version, NieR Replicant, we played as a young boy, and in NieR Gestalt for Xbox, we played as an older man. Both were linked to a major supporting character in the game, a sick girl: the hero of Replicant was the girl’s brother, and the hero of Gestalt was her father.

Neither version was a huge success on either continent, and the NieR franchise would probably have faded into obscurity – if not for the incredible popularity of NieR: Automata, the previous instalment of which everyone was so eager to see. And so it was that the impossibly titled NieR Replicant 1.22474487139…, which I’d been poking at for a week on Xbox Series X, was released again.

Black Scrawl

 

In a universe that combines post-apocalyptic and traditional fantasy elements, our title character is a young boy whose sister is infected by a deadly plague called “black plague”, for which there seems to be no cure. They both live in a small village that has been walled off to prevent the aggressive and mysterious “dark creatures” from entering and abusing the population.

Our hero’s main goal is to somehow stop the plague and this can only be done, it is claimed, by a book come to life called “Grimoire Weiss”, who is the sworn enemy of another “Black Book” (Grimoire Noir). Weiss joins us on our adventures, but the problem is that this comically arrogant, cynical and conceited floating book has no idea about any of this, and only hears about it for the first time when a girl in the village sings the legend.

Our other companion is a very sexy girl, Kainé, who wears only underwear and who despite her angelic looks has an extremely foul mouth,
as cynical as Weiss – although it’s unclear whether this harshness is not just a mannerism she has picked up. In any case, he and Grimoire Weiss are constantly sharing laughs, and the dialogue is brilliant.

Thirdly, we are joined by Emil, a peculiar little boy who later takes on a strange appearance and even stranger things are revealed about him…

Play it again, NieR!

As you can probably tell from the above, NieR Replicant 1.22474487139… takes a unique, innovative turn in storytelling that sets it far apart from traditional fantasy. If you could compare it to a classic franchise, it’s a bit like a darker, more cynical and wittier Legend of Zelda, filmed as if by David Lynch.

There are multiple endings to the main story, which can be explored through replay, and a plethora of side quests to add colour to the game. You can also take the story to the extreme, for example by changing the music that plays during the game, but also by a variety of other means that would be too long to list here.

Yoko Taro’s aim was clearly to make you fall in love with NieR’s very special atmosphere and play it over and over again. As the eccentric and eccentric, but also special, Taro now has a huge fan base, they will be in for a treat with a very surprising ending.

We won’t boss you around much

The control of the game was the biggest weakness of previous versions, and the developers have improved that a lot. Essentially, it’s a sword-and-sorcery, traditional action RPG, where you can use the controller’s various buttons to perform various attack moves and combos. Our hero’s movements are much more precise than in previous versions, but what is perhaps missing is a proper challenge, which is a bit unusual for a Japanese game.

In practice, we can beat the bosses quite easily, not to mention the various other monsters. Since we almost always have a pocket full of healing potions in case we get too much of a slap, beginners can go for it, but those who want a really serious challenge might not be so happy with this game. The game is actually long as it is hard but rarely does the time pass without having to tackle a boss over and over again.

Unique game, from an eccentric creator

As you might have guessed from the above, NieR Replicant 1.22474487139… is a very unique game from the eccentric, eccentric-humoured Yoko Taro. Although its story is only loosely related to NieR: Automaton, it’s still a must-have for anyone who loved that 2017 bestseller.

True, I can’t sing the praises of the graphics: 1440p resolution on Xbox Series X and 1080p on PlayStation 5, which is quite surprising for a game like this. Even so, the visuals are pleasant and atmospheric, with quite artistic visuals in many places and a much clearer visual world than the old, more blurry console versions, but it’s not a game that fully exploits the capabilities of the new consoles or the more modern graphics cards, that’s for sure.

-Zardoz-

Pro:

+ Unique style
+ Revamped gameplay
+ Excellent ambiance

Against:

– Gets a bit repetitive in the second half
– Enemies are a bit the same as well
– Could look crisper


Publisher: Square Enix

Developer: Toylogic

Genre: Fantasy action-adventure

Release date: April 23, 2021

REVIEW - It takes a huge ego to christen your video game NieR Replicant 1.22474487139..., but thanks to Yoko Taro, you've got it. We tested the latest version of NieR, the unique action role-playing game released ten years ago, on Xbox Series X.   Somewhere, Yoko Taro is a bit like the misunderstood David Lynch of the games industry. He hasn't made many games, but they all have their own unique style, and he's a real eccentric, and the only way Yoko Taro gives interviews is if he's a bit like the David Lynch of the games industry. He hasn't…
As you might have guessed from the above, NieR Replicant 1.22474487139... is a very unique game from the eccentric, eccentric-humoured Yoko Taro. Although its story is only loosely related to NieR: Automaton, it's still a must-have for anyone who loved that 2017 bestseller.

NieR Replicant 1.22474487139…

Gameplay - 8.4
Graphics - 7.8
Story - 8.5
Music/audio - 8.1
Ambiance - 8.3

8.2

EXCELLENT

As you might have guessed from the above, NieR Replicant 1.22474487139... is a very unique game from the eccentric, eccentric-humoured Yoko Taro. Although its story is only loosely related to NieR: Automaton, it's still a must-have for anyone who loved that 2017 bestseller.

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