A classic action-RPG has gotten new life this year. Nier Replicant ver 1.22474487139, a remake of the original 2010 game, is out this week on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
A precursor to PlatinumGames’ Nier Automata, Replicant helped establish the world of Nier that would later be explored in that breakout hit. But the original release was met with poor sales and middling reviews, making it ripe for a modernized facelift. How well does it revitalize the cult classic?
The critical reception has been largely positive, citing the revamped combat system and a new appreciation for Yoko Taro’s charming sensibilities. Though some critics have cited elements that didn’t age well, like its quest and level design, the bright spots largely appear to outshine the antiquated shortcomings.
“If Nier: Automata was about discovering your humanity in a world devoid of life, Nier Replicant is about a world desperately fighting to preserve what humanity it has left, and often failing to do so,” Michael Higham wrote in GameSpot’s Nier Replicant review. “Those you fight for, fight with, and fight against–and you, the protagonist–all have a stake and responsibility in the plight. There’s an ever-present melancholy that hangs over the violent world of Nier, and the more you fight on, the more you understand just how tragic human life can be. It’s tempting to wallow in sorrow, but once you’ve seen Nier Replicant’s conclusions in their entirety, you’ll come to cherish its moments of warmth as well.”
To give you a broader picture, we’ve compiled some reviews from around the industry. For even more impressions, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Nier Replicant ver 1.22474487139
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release Date: April 22
- Price: $60 / £60
GameSpot — 8/10
“I’m not going to lie, Nier Replicant made me ugly-cry on several occasions. Kainé, Emil, and Weiss will win your heart with their earnest and endearing personalities, making their tragic journey with you and tremendous story moments hit hard. Despite some significant gameplay enhancements, the lengths you have to go to see the story all the way through will be a test of your willpower. But for all its antiquated designs retained from the original version, it’s worth the effort in the end. Thus, Nier Replicant is essential for anyone who has love for Automata, and it’s a special experience on its own.” — Michael Higham [Full Review]
The Gamer — 5/5
“When I wrapped up my experience with Nier Replicant, I realized it was the most satisfied I’d ever felt after working so hard for a particular ending. Yoko Taro asking me to relive the same experiences again and again wasn’t a repetitive journey, but a more meaningful reflection on a cycle of hate, pain, and trauma. Nier Replicant is Yoko Taro’s best work, brought up to modern standards, and finally delivered in the presentation its tale always deserved.” — Andrea Shearon [Full Review]
Siliconera — 9/10
“NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 is a more approachable version of an emotional and thought-provoking RPG. This is a game people might not have known what to do with years ago. Now, following the success of NieR: Automata, it’s presented with additional accessibility options, better looking and smoother gameplay, and additional content that gently builds on what was already there. It’s an opportunity to connect, question, and put your emotions through the wringer yet again.” — Jenni Lada [Full Review]
Destructoid — 8.5/10
“There aren’t many games like NieR Replicant, and I’m not just talking about in the modern era, but since 2010 as a whole. Whatever power that be helped Yoko Taro become world-famous, to the point where he can keep making these weird masterpieces, in any format: thank you.” — Chris Carter [Full Review]
Game Informer — 8.25/10
“Nier Replicant’s colorful characters, sprawling story, and updated gameplay mechanics help make up for its old-fashioned quest design and empty world.” — Jason Guisao [Full Review]
Digital Trends — 3.5/5
“NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… confirms that the original NieR was both way ahead of its time and far behind it. The story is tremendously captivating and it’s only gotten better with newly added content. On the other side of the coin, the repetitive gameplay feels outdated even by 2010 standards. Those who press through the 30-hour adventure will be rewarded with a bold narrative odyssey. It may even outdo NieR Automata in retrospect, but it’s hard to blame anyone who’d rather watch it all on YouTube instead of playing it for themselves.” — Giovanni Colantonio [Full Review]
Video Games Chronicle — 3/5
“Nier Replicant is at once an improvement over the original while still retaining its dated design frustrations that’s not quite at the bar of modern remasters. Yet for all its flaws, the story, bolstered by its grand otherworldly score, has the same deep emotional depths that first won over new fans, and if nothing else, you won’t find a more mismatched bunch of outcasts worth caring about.” — Alan Wen [Full Review]
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