NIER features a foul-mouthed hermaphrodite who likes lacey underwear. You can see most of her (his?) bum.
NIER features a foul-mouthed hermaphrodite who likes lacey underwear. You can see most of her (his?) bum.

NIER features a foul-mouthed hermaphrodite who likes lacey underwear. You can see most of her (his?) bum.

Where to start with NIER, perhaps the most genre-bending game of 2010? This JRPG from cavia (Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles) is a hodgepodge of so many gameplay types that it's impossible to work out, even once completed, what, exactly, it is. This is undoubtedly a good thing.

Even describing it as a JRPG may be stretching it, for while NIER has experience points-based levelling up, weapon upgrading, towns, NPCs, item farming, party members, and all that other role-playing stuff we know and love, it doesn't really feel like a JRPG at all.

In truth, it feels more like an adventure game, specifically that great influencer: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Indeed on the face of it, NIER looks like a high def OoT, except with lots and lots of blood and loads of swearing. But really this is an imperfect comparison, because while cavia has clearly used OoT's manual to fashion NIER's foundations, built on top are nods to old-school Resident Evil, 2D side-scrolling platformers, "shmups" and even God of War.

So yeah, where to start with NIER? As always with these things, it seems best to start at the beginning.

NIER begins with a single line of dialogue from Kaine, the game's eye-catching, foul-mouthed hermaphrodite party member. She's very, very angry at a floating, talking book called Grimoire Weiss. With the f-bomb still ringing in our ears, realisation sets in: Kaine has set the tone perfectly for what is a very different Square Enix game.

The game begins properly in the summer of 2049. Protagonist NIER, a bulky 40-something, is fending off mysterious, semi-transparent monsters called Shades in an abandoned, snow-covered shop. He is with his daughter, Yonah, a young girl racked by the deadly Black Scrawl disease. Things aren't going well. The pair are cold, hungry, and desperate.

NIER touches a magical book, using its power to defeat the unending conveyor belt of Shades. Then, we skip 1300 years in the future, and things start to get really weird. The world is on the verge of destruction. Civilisation has reverted to a feudal existence, with relics of the old world a depressing reminder of what was lost. NIER, with his daughter Yonah, live in a small house in a small village. Yonah still suffers from the Black Scrawl, and NIER still battles to save her from it, and the Shades.

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4 Comments

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Highest Rated Comment

WhisperingMute's Avatar

WhisperingMute

Awesome Review and very well written. It's a first to see a reviewer with such an open and modest mind about the game. Though, I must humbly admit that I've just recently ventured to this site from Gamespot and the difference in writing styles are quite starking in that this site is far greater and much more informative about the actual title. Often times their reviews are plagued with ill-informed reviews with a plethora of unsubstantial opinions. Besides the point, I honestly thought this title was in the reigns of pure-action along the lines of the snore-fest Dynasty Warriors series, but I didn't realize this was an action-RPG or even that of an open world reminiscent of Zelda. My interest for the title has gone way up since this review and may even consider purchasing the title down the road.
Posted 17:39 on 22 April 2010

User Comments

zangetsukakashi's Avatar

zangetsukakashi

really really an awesome review... nier is one of the best games i've ever played and i hated it when gamepot gave it a 5...
Posted 10:34 on 08 July 2010
WhisperingMute's Avatar

WhisperingMute

Awesome Review and very well written. It's a first to see a reviewer with such an open and modest mind about the game. Though, I must humbly admit that I've just recently ventured to this site from Gamespot and the difference in writing styles are quite starking in that this site is far greater and much more informative about the actual title. Often times their reviews are plagued with ill-informed reviews with a plethora of unsubstantial opinions. Besides the point, I honestly thought this title was in the reigns of pure-action along the lines of the snore-fest Dynasty Warriors series, but I didn't realize this was an action-RPG or even that of an open world reminiscent of Zelda. My interest for the title has gone way up since this review and may even consider purchasing the title down the road.
Posted 17:39 on 22 April 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Yeah I agree with FM,
whenever a game includes a new game plus option you always end up getting a hell of a lot more out of it.
Some notable games that left it out for me were Batman Arkham Asylum (although I see how that wouldn't have worked)
and also God of War III
Posted 16:46 on 22 April 2010
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

Thanks Wes, if anything the sheer diversity of gameplay types here means there's probably something for everyone if they stick at it. Very glad I preordered now and love the fact there's a new game plus option which usually at least doubles the longevity of any game in my collection. Just gotta wait for the postie now, it didn't arrive early but got my hopes up for release day.
Posted 13:57 on 22 April 2010

Game Stats

NIER
8
Out of 10
NIER
  • Lots of fresh, unique ideas
  • Captivating story
  • Graphics are poor
  • No one single element stands out
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/04/2010
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360
Developer: Cavia
Publisher: Square-Enix Co
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 3,284 9
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