NIER – Review

4
Posted May 3, 2010 by Marshall in PS3, Reviews, Xbox 360

His Destiny is written in Blood

His path is forged by Vengeance

His dreams are woven with Deception

Story

The voracious Black Scrawl plague has all but exterminated humanity, ending civilisation and twisting the world beyond recognition. Across this ruined landscape strides Nier, hell-bent on finding a cure for his infected daughter. with keen blade in hand, and mighty allies at his side, he is heading into the very heart of darkness. There he will learn the truth about the accursed plague, his child…and himself.

The game begins during the summer of 2049. Protagonist Nier, plays the role of a desperate but heroic father fending off mysterious, semi-transparent monsters called Shades in an abandoned, snowed-in shop. He is with his daughter, Yonah, a young girl plagued by the deadly Black Scrawl disease. Things aren’t going well. The pair are cold, hungry, and in desperate need of help.

Nier, on his travels, has with him a strange and magical book, and using its power, he defeats the never-ending hoard of Shades. We then suddenly skip 1300 years in the future to a seemingly peaceful setting, or so you would think. The world is on the verge of destruction. Civilisation has reverted back to a feudal existence, with relics of the old world, a constant reminder of what was lost. Nier, with his daughter Yonah, live in a small house surrounded by a small village. Yonah still battles with the Black Scrawl plague, and Nier still battles on to save her from it and the Shades.

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Gameplay

Alot of the game revolves around you as the character hacking and slashing your way through hundreds of enemies using nothing but your choice weapon and magic. However this is really all you need since the combat system is fairy simple to grasp unlike some Action RPG’s that require you to memorise vast amounts of styles and techniques to have any chance of beating the game. Most of the time you will find yourself throwing out mad combo’s while diving out of the way of enemies attacks which I thought was one of the most fun and entertaining ways to fight hordes of monsters.

You also have the choice of a wide selection of spells to use with your enchanted book, Grimoire Weiss, and yes it has a name. Grimoire Weiss, a magical floating book is rescued by Nier after you go searching for Yonah when she goes missing early on in the game. The pair agree to help each other as Nier needs the book’s power to defeat the Shades and save his daughter, and Weiss needs a companion to help him regain his memory.

Fortunately, Weiss is one of the most powerful allies in the game as he grants Nier a vast range of dark and deadly spells. Some of these spells are: Dark Blast which fires out deathly red balls of dark magic, giving the the game shooter-like qualities. Dark Whirlwind, unlike the many attacking spells, protects Nier by surrounding him with rotating blades. And one of my favourites is the Dark lance which effectively fires giant lances of dark energy but also grows as your mana does so it can fire up to 15 lances in all directions, devastating your enemies. There are eight such powers, gained as bosses are defeated which is just one more feature that adds depth to the combat. However, the combat system can seem a little too basic at times as you will notice when compared to games such as Ninja Gaiden, but still provides a satisfying fight every time and does manage to avoid feeling repetitive.

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Design

Like some of Square-Enix’s previous titles, I didn’t think Nier would be any better in graphical detail than games such as Infinite Undiscovery. But I was clearly wrong. Although lacking in detail in some small areas, I found that the game in general looks very good in pretty much every area from character detail to scene animations. However one of the best thing about the game was looking at the stunning detail in every location you found yourself in, be it from a small quaint village to a monstrous chasm with narrow perilous walkways. I also took note of the surrounding weather in every area as sometimes it would be very windy so you would notice cloudy mists to move in certain directions and various parts of Nier’s clothing would blow about just to give you that subtle bonus of realism within the game.

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Soundtrack

The music used within the game very much tells you that this is a Square-Enix game. This is because of the traditional Japanese music played throughout the game like so many others before it. I particularly liked the way the music sometimes fades out when going to a different area or nearing a fight which can also lead to another shift in music as the music might turn ugly and tense moving rapidly away from the occasional relaxed feeling you get while roaming NIER’s vast sun drenched plains. I thought the right music was played at the right times so I agree that the soundtrack does make a large impact on the quality of the game and with NIER, it was great, so well done to Square-Enix for another excellent score.

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Conclusion

Overall I Think the game is well worth buying as it will definitely surprise you at least in some areas. It’s really what you would expect from the Enix team as there are always aspects of the game that give you little reminders of the creators, be it from the music, the character design or even battle system. Truly the only  thing I would have done to improve the game would have bin to work on it longer to improve the graphics so I could make it look even better than It already is. For these reasons, I give NIER a 5/5

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Author

Marshall
Marshall

Video game fanatic since a young age. FIFA expert and all-round sports junky. I dive into various titles and love experiencing new and creative games.


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