Nier Replicant Ver 1.22474487139 is quite an extraordinary package. A full remaster of the now decade-old Neir Gestalt, Replicant boasts impressive visuals, a revamped combat system, and a story that will tear your beating heart right out of your chest. 

Replicant follows the story of the main protagonist Brother Nier as he searches for a cure for his dying sister Yonah. The world has been cursed by a disease known as the Black Scrawl, of which there is no known cure. You take up arms against the dangerous Shades which have been terrorizing villagers and killing humanity in droves.

Your adventure takes you all over the map from the dilapidated ruins of the Lost Shrine to the sandstorm-filled deserts outside of the kingdom of Facade. Accompanied by your allies Kaine and Emil, you search and search and search for the last shred of hope in this world. 

This mostly consists of following story beats as you travel from point A to point B killing shades and monsters along the way. Nier Replicant’s combat system is revamped and modernized to more closely resemble the combat from Nier: Automata. This change makes combat feel more fluid and less stiff. However, ultimately you’re going to be hitting a lot of square and triangle. Luckily, the animations are beautiful and more than makeup for a little lackluster complexity. 

Every weapon and magic attack can be enhanced using the Word Edit system, which allows you to give added benefits like increased attack power or additional experience from slain enemies. The system is filled with a bountiful collection of words received from killing enemies. The system is relatively straightforward and there is a button to auto-assign the best words for each weapon and spell, which makes the system easier to manage.

The heart of Nier Replicant is its story. In fact, some of the games best moments are found during the in-between spaces of pivotal story beats. Conversations you’ll have with Kaine, Emile, and Weiss as you traverse the terrain, or loading screens of Yonah's diary shedding a ray of hope during interstitials. The innocence of Emil compliments the ferocity of Kaine in a way that provides these characters with real, vulnerable moments. 

When people talk about a rag-tag group of adventurers. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more true sentiment than the cast of Replicant. A brother looking to cure his dying sister, a boy with extraordinary powers, a cursed woman possessed by a demon, and a floating silver-tongued book. All of them, bound together by the idea that surely there must be something in this godforsaken world worth fighting for. 

This is furthered with all-new voice recordings from the original cast reprising their roles for Replicant.

Of course, I won’t spoil key story moments, but that is where Nier Replicant shines. Each moment more heart-wrenching than the last, Replicant’s story doesn’t pull any punches. Even many of the side quests (in which there are over 70) have sad and tragic stories that add to the drab and dreary backdrop of the world. Lovers dying, children lost, and even an old lighthouse keeper all have small stories to tell. 

While the actual activities the side quests have you do are mainly fetch quests by nature, it’s the story being told around them that makes it interesting. What it lacks in variety it makes up for in moments. 

Nier Replicant is entirely a game of moments. Small and large. Characters like Grimoire Weiss, a sarcastic and proud floating book will leave you with words of wisdom that resonate harder than they should. 

Learning the backstory of characters like Emil, Kaine, Popola and Devola flesh out the world in interesting ways often leaving more questions than answers. It’s a world of mystery and deep sadness.  

This is only furthered by the incredible soundtrack which has been re-recorded and expanded for Replicant. Every area, character, fight, and moment is accompanied by an incredible piece of music from composer Keiichi Okabe. The soundtrack is powerful, intrinsic, and memorable. 

Roaming the Northern Plains will always be in conjunction in my brain with “Hills of Radiant Winds”. It’s a soundtrack that worms its way in and never leaves. 

While much of Nier Replicant will feel familiar to players of the original, there are new additions to the game. In the second half of the game there is a whole new main questline not previously found in OG Nier, as well as a brand new ending to the game for players who want to chase it. Much like Automata, Replicant has multiple endings that will require some prerequisites to obtain. 

If you want to see the breadth of the Nier story you’re going to want to see all five endings of the game. Including ending E, which is brand new for this version upgrade.

It’s hard to pen the correct words when talking about a game that resonates so deeply. You never want to spoil or rob another player of the moments. If you’re a fan of Nier Automata, this is an easy recommendation. The upgrades are more than a simple coat of paint. 

It’s a story filled with character development, intrigue, mystery, and deep sadness. After all, there is nothing worse than a sad tree.

Pros

  • Compelling story and Characters
  • Revamped Combat System
  • New Content

Cons

  • Lack of Variety in Side Quests
  • Barren Temple Area Drags

Score 9.0