Review by Khainox

"Nier, A journey into darkness."

Lately the JRPG genre has been in desperate need of something new and refreshing. Nier, Square Enix's new action RPG just happens to be one of the most original and inventive games of the year.

The soundtrack is arguably Niers strongest feature. The score is composed by Keiichi Okabe. It is very dark, beautiful, unique, and fits very well with the game.

The gameplay in Nier is similar to the likes of Dynasty Warriors and Drakengard (one of Cavia's former games). Fighting in Nier primarily consists of melee combat which includes three different weapon types with over 10 weapons each. Each weapon type comes with its own play style as well. You can also use magic, there are about 10 different spells and depending on the battle you have to pick the spell that's best for the situation. You can find just about every style of game play ever created is in Nier. The game contains survival horror, schmup, 2D plat forming, and 3D action sections through out the game. If you're looking for a game which has a little bit of everything you can certainly find it in Nier.

The story plot and the characters are perhaps the best part of this game. There are four main characters that journey with you throughout the course of the game. Nier is the series protaganist. He is an older protaganist who has spent his entire life caring for his daughter, Yonah. There is also the foul mouthed Kaine, who fights with two one-handed blades. She is a close companion to Nier throughout the story and serves as the games primary female lead. There is also a mage who joins the party. Emil is a young boy who has been unable to use his eyes throughout his childhood for annyone he looks at is turned to stone. Perhaps the most interesting (and humorous) character is Grimoire Weiss a talking floating book that gives Nier the powers of magic. Weiss serves as the games primary comedy relief character which is quite fitting considering he is voiced by the almighty Liam O' Brian.

The story of Nier follows a 39 year old man who is trying to save his daughter from a disease called the black scrawl while pursuing a personal vendetta against shades who have been attacking his village with more frequency as the game goes on. These harships have caused him to have little time to focus on his own well being. He works odd-jobs as a sword for hire/supplies collector/missing-person investigator, leading to many side quests through out the game. There are also fishing and farming aspects to the game, which can also be used to bring in money through the game.

The best way to describe this game is “Nothing is as It Seems.” This phrase holds true throughout the entire game, which has numerous plot twists. The overall story line of the game is very deep and engaging, as the majority of the game is spent developing not only the main cast of characters, but also the supporting cast as well. It takes two play-throughs to get the true story because in the second play-through, you get to see the events from a different point of view. There are four endings you can get, but be careful, as one ending will erase your game data.

Nier came out with DLC soon after its launch entitled "World of Recycled Vessel" which you can get off of the XBOX live or Playstation Network. It contains 15 special missions in which you go back in time and play as young Nier. If you own the Japanese Nier RepliCant you get to play as Old Nier. Once you complete the mission you unlock special costumes and weapons for the game itself. The DLC is priced at $6.99 on PSN or 700 Points on XBOX live which in our opinion is well worth the purchase.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/13/10, Updated 05/19/10

Game Release: NIER (US, 04/27/10)

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