14th Oct, 2022
Fans of Japanese-themed video games and RPGs in specific would probably remember Drakengard, a video game released by Square Enix some time ago. The developer is now back with another title that continues the story of their previous one, changing the gameplay a lot in some aspects, while also preserving most of the original game's spirit. Even if you're not familiar with the previous game in the series, you may still be interested in this, given the lack of quality RPG titles on the console platforms.
Nier puts you in control of a character bearing the same name, and the game plays similarly to the previous one, with the player taking on quests and disposing of enemies in the process, while on his way to solving his main quest, which involves finding a cure for a deadly virus that's infected his daughter. The story doesn't shine with anything that unique in particular, but it's well-written for what it's worth, and keeps you engaged and involved while you're playing.
There are some problems with the gameplay's variety though, as it can get somewhat repetitive if you play for a while. There aren't that many types of quests to choose from, and once you've gone over the basic types at least a few times, you'll start noticing the patterns and they'll get more and more obvious with each go. At least the quests are entertaining for the most part, and will keep you on your toes while you're making your way through the game's levels.
Graphics and System Requirements
Nier has received some criticism for its graphics, and while this is true for the most part, you should also keep in mind that it's based on a rather unique art style that can't be so easily criticised on the quality of its graphics. PS3 users will get to enjoy a bit more eye candy than their Xbox 360 friends, but that's understandable considering the hardware differences in both consoles.
The framerates are satisfying, but they're locked on both consoles and even though that adds to the smoothness of the experience, it can also make the games look less fluid overall if you're playing on a larger screen and are sitting closer to it. A possible solution would be to increase the point at which they're locked, but it would likely not happen now that the game's out.
There are two different versions for the game for the two platforms in Japan only, the rest of the world gets the same game for both consoles. The differences in the Japanese versions are mostly in the storyline and in the way the character is presented – also giving a different angle on his relationship with one of the other characters.
RPGs have been a bit scarce on the console scene lately, so this is definitely a breather of fresh air – even if you're not into the genre that much, you may still want to give this one a try, as it's been developed with a lot of care and attention.