Let’s be clear right away – today we will talk about a remaster of a niche jRPG with F95Zone that failed in sales in the same universe that became interesting to the general public only after NieR: Automata .
It makes sense to be interested in the project for those who love strong stories with a powerful atmosphere and an interesting combat system, as well as for fans of “Japanese” – and the NieR and Drakengard series in particular. It is likely that even if you are completely unfamiliar with Japanese RPGs, Replicant will be able to captivate you with the gameplay and stories that this world is saturated with. Now let’s talk about this in more detail.
NieR Replicant is a story about a post-apocalypse in which the Earth died about two thousand years ago. At the time of the events of the game, the remnants of humanity already have a poor idea of what happened in “antiquity.” All this time, the surviving population is terrorized by mysterious Shadows – incomprehensible creatures afraid of sunlight, as well as the no less mysterious Black Letters disease, which covers the hands of the sick with runes. It was she who contracted the younger sister of the protagonist Yona, and now he is forced to look for a cure for an ailment that even kills local kings.
The game has a rather banal plot, and it takes a long time to harness the main story, but its first half is saved by elaborate characters and the world. Almost always, you travel with a companion (in the second half of the game with several at once), who often comment on what is happening. The first is the flying book Grimoire Weiss, which ironically speaks of all the hero’s attempts to help someone. It is Weiss who will be the first key for the hero to search for a cure, because this book is far from a novel about the heroes.
In all his works, Yoko Taro , the permanent scriptwriter of the series, creates mysterious and dark stories in which there are no happy ends, and the characters, following the laws of drama, pass through full-fledged arcs with development. That NieR , that NieR: Automata wants to be compared with “Best grenade spots dust 2“: everywhere hidden meanings, secrets, depression and rethinking themselves and the world around them heroes.
For a reader unfamiliar with the classic mecha-anime, the easiest way would be to draw an analogy between NieR and Twin Peaks – everything around is very strange and not at all what it seems, but each oddity has a reason. In this aspect, Japanese developers differ from David Lynch , because they created a detailed world and more or less explained its structure.
In general, the game world is much more picturesque than most Automata zones – fields with grass are much nicer than a pile of destroyed high-rise buildings. But what is one thing, what another in terms of the quality of performance is somewhere on the level of the PS3 . Despite the seeming volumes of content, Replicant manages to remain an extremely compact game: two cities can be separated by one location, run in 30 seconds. By the way, after Final Fantasy 15 with one major city, visiting almost half a dozen interesting settlements in Replicant seems like a real outlet. Another thing is that the cities themselves are quite small.
It is worth noting that the “remake” remains a PS3 project . It gives out a lot: here is the design of the locations, and the frequent downloads between them, and the brown color scheme, which they tried to cover in the remaster with filters, and the save system at certain points will more than once provide an opportunity to shoot yourself in the foot and spend more time in the world of NieR .
The development of a remaster was only possible thanks to the success of NieR: Automata . At one time, the original sold so badly that it buried the development studio with its failure. Therefore, the project about androids was already done by Platinum Games , which was able to successfully develop the ideas of the first NieR and sell the game with 2B cowards.
For roughly the same purpose, Square Enix at one time decided to make two versions of the original NieR with different protagonists same as difficult person test. In NieR Gestalt, the protagonist was an aged man, and in NieR Replicant , a teenager. Accordingly, Yona was either a daughter or a sister. The version of Gestalt was intended for the Western market, since the management believed that the age character would be closer to Western players, and Replicant was released only in Japan, where siblings are traditionally strong. In ver. 1.22474487139 … the Japanese version is taken as a basis, which for the first time brings this version of the story to the Western market.
Thanks to this, for people new to his work or “Japanese” in principle, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 … can be a great start. It’s a lot more of a regular Japanese RPG than Automata : if the latter was one big “weird” trying to fit into a jRPG, then the original is just a weird jRPG.
Also keep in mind that according to the jRPG tradition, the game does not have a Russian translation, but it is likely that on PC enthusiasts will soon figure out the fan version: more than 90% of the original text remained untouched.