NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139…
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 9

NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139 is an upgraded prequel to NieR: Automata and updates the original from 2010 with new visuals, voice acting, and other refinements. Players take control of a brother seeking to save his sister from a terminal illness called the Black Scrawl, but in the process, he becomes caught up in a quest that could alter the world. Fans of Automata will find a lot to like in Replicant, while those who liked the original will immediately notice how much has been improved. Despite this, the game still has plenty of repetition and tedious grinding. Still, the engaging storyline and memorable characters make it worth returning to, especially for those who want to experience all its endings.

Gameplay: Action-packed combat and a great storyline, but lots of fetch quests and backtracking.

Graphics: A big step up from the original game.

Sound: The voice acting is great, and the soundtrack by Keiichi Okabe hits all the right notes for the emotional storyline

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NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139…

Developer: Square Enix, Toylogic Inc. | Publisher: Square Enix | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Action / Adventure / RPG | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

NieR:Automata was always going to be a tough act to follow, and unfortunately, no effort has been made to do so thus far. However, its success has meant a slew of new fans eager to discover more of Yoko Taro’s work. This would inevitably lead to disappointment, though, as most of his previous work lacked the polish and accessibility of Automata. Thankfully, Square Enix, with the assistance of Toylogic, has attempted to rectify this situation with the release of NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139. According to Taro, it is not a remake or remaster of the original NieR but instead a “version upgrade.” This would also explain the version number in the title, which is the square root of 1.5.

Players whose familiarity with Yoko Taro’s career extends beyond Automata will recognize Replicant as an update of his 2010 title. It served as the prequel to Automata and is set in a world ravished by an illness called The Black Scrawl. Not only has most of humanity been wiped out by this illness, but monsters called Shades are doing a good job preying on what is left. Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139 is actually based on the Japanese PS3 version of the game, which saw a young boy desperately trying to find a cure for his sister, Yonah, who is infected with the Black Scrawl. In contrast, western audiences were treated to an Xbox 360 version of the game, which replaced Yonah’s brother with her father. It doesn’t matter if you played as father or brother, though, as the game served up an emotional storyline with many subversive elements hiding just beneath its typical JRPG exterior. Unfortunately, the original game was also saddled with less-than-stellar visuals, janky gameplay elements, and a lot of repetition.

Thanks to Toylogic, Replicant looks much better than the original and plays much closer to Automata. Since Platinum Games were not involved, it doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of Automata, but combat, in particular, is a massive improvement over what players had to put up with in the original. However, some tedious elements from the original game couldn’t be improved or removed, which means Replicant will be a more divisive title than Automata. For example, the game is laden with fetch quests, and some seem to exist only to see how many times they can get you to move back and forth between the same areas. Most of them are thankfully optional, but some are part of the main storyline. Completionists will also have a tough time with Replicant due to the amount of time it takes to gather enough resources for weapon upgrades. And, as is expected from a Yoko Taro title, completing the game once only scratches the surface of the story, and more endings are beckoning just over the horizon of your second, third, fourth, and even fifth playthrough.

Replicant is a game of two halves, and the first half has a very typical “young man on a noble quest” JRPG feel to it. Things become a lot darker in the second half, but it is not until your second playthrough that you realize just how grim things really are. The unnamed protagonist is not alone in his quest, though, as you also encounter a talking grimoire named Weiss, a scantily clad warrior with a foul mouth called Kainé, and Emil, a kindhearted boy with terrifying powers. Apart from Weiss, who provides the protagonist with magical powers, your companions are not much use in battle, but they are essential to the game’s emotional core. Replicant is not the first RPG to feature a band of outcasts thrown together by fate, but its cast makes it one of the more memorable ones. There’s some great banter between them, too, and the exchanges Kainé and Weiss have with each other are amongst the best in the game. This is also helped by the fact that Replicant is fully voiced, and most of the English cast, including Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, and Julie Ann Taylor, returned. In addition to the rerecorded dialog, Replicant also features remastered and rerecorded music tracks. The soundtrack is still incredible, but some fans have expressed their preferences for the original tracks. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for players experiencing the game for the first time.

The original was never going to win any awards for its visuals, which looked somewhat dated even when it was first released. Replicant does a good job of bringing everything up to the standards of Automata, but the game still has a very bleak and colorless look. This is likely intentional to emphasize the feeling of emptiness and desolation that permeates the game world. That isn’t to say the game lacks moments that will wow players. The boss battles are still highlights, and a few encounters are even more memorable than those in Automata. Replicant also doesn’t hesitate to switch camera angles, turning portions of the game into a side-scrolling platformer or top-down action RPG. There are even some text adventure sections awaiting players in the Forest of Myth.

In terms of new content, Replicant delivers with a brand new section based on a short story from the Japan-exclusive lore book about the game. It also includes the Recycled World of Vessels DLC, which gives players a chance to control the father character during a few dungeons. Best of all, though, is a brand new ending to supplement the four that were already in the game. Players will have to work to get it, but it is worth the effort and ties the game closer to Automata. The upgraded combat system also makes it feel like a new game compared to the original, making encounters less tedious. The protagonist can wield swords, two-handed swords, or spears and can quickly switch between them on the fly. Combat involves more than just button mashing, too, as enemies eventually wear armor, which makes it essential to dodge, parry, and retaliate. The inclusion of a lock-on battle really helps in this regard. However, players who simply want to experience the story can switch to Easy mode, which even has the option of auto battles without any penalties. Anyone needing a break from all the fighting or fetch quests can also relax with the farming and fishing mini-games, both of which are addictive in their own ways.

After playing Automata first, it is interesting to see how much of it was built upon things established in Replicant. For example, having Weiss float around to unleash magic attacks on command is the same as the Pods in Automata, while the “words” that must be found to enhance weapons and abilities function like the plug-in chips for the Androids. In addition, the game world is relatively small and split into distinct areas that must be visited repeatedly for quests.

Ultimately, your experience with Replicant will depend on your past with the series. If you fondly remember the original game, you will appreciate the upgrades and enhancements as well as the new elements. If Automata was your introduction to the series, you might find Replicant a little tedious and repetitive at times but will still love its distinctive Yoko Taro style. Those who have never experienced the series are perhaps the most fortunate, as they have Automata to look forward to after completing this game. As with any Yoko Taro game, though, this is not one you play through once and then forget.

The game is by no means perfect, but there is a reason why the original became a cult classic despite a lot of its clunkiness. NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139 treats it with the respect it deserves and makes it more accessible for new audiences without compromising what made the original special. It takes a little while to really get going, but in the end, Replicant sucked us in and didn’t let go until many hours later when there wasn’t a single quest, ending, or achievement left to do.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows® 10 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen™ 3 1300X; Intel® Core™ i5-6400
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ R9 270X; NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 26 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • Additional Notes: 60 FPS @ 1280×720
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows® 10 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen™ 3 1300X; Intel® Core™ i5-6400
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 56; NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 26 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • Additional Notes: 60 FPS @ 1920×1080

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