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Nier Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q2 2010

Publisher:

Square-Enix

Developer:

Cavia Inc.

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action/RPG

Release Date:

April 27, 2010

Square-Enix has been trying to appeal to a wider worldwide audience for quite some time now; this new emphasis on expansion has resulted in their new Los Angeles studio, the acquisition of Eidos, and a more adult/mature-oriented focus in projects like Nier. It may take a definite backseat to the likes of Final Fantasy XIII and maybe even Level 5’s White Knight Chronicles but if you’re looking for something fresh, it might be a mistake to ignore Nier. An action/RPG that should feature an engaging storyline, fast-paced combat and a unique set of characters with a lot of added flash, this one might become a massive sleeper hit. There will also be some platforming and we expect to see some puzzle solving as well; as for the setting, that’ll be dark, gritty and loaded with a ton of attitude. This may or may not be up your alley, but people are always saying they want something different from Square-Enix…

The story centers on the main character – fittingly named Nier – and it’s the year 2049. The world is suffering from the nasty effects of some mysterious pandemic called the Black Scrawl, which comes complete with an influx of dark monsters that are threatening the existence of humans. And as is the nature of humans, they initially created a medicine to combat the Black Scrawl, but this only spawned an even more powerful and deadlier disease (so what else is new?). There’s also an evil book of sorts that Nier finds in the beginning but despite his warning, his daughter goes and opens it, thereby causing her to become infected. So Nier suddenly finds himself on a very personal quest, which involves a lot of combat, a lot of twists and turns, and a lot of unsavory characters. That book? It’s Nier’s source of magic, basically, as it’s capable of firing off volleys of magical bullets and summoning a huge fist to bash enemies.

Weapons will be a primary focus and you’ll be able to experiment with multiple types. You’ve got the one-handed weapons that are quick and deal light damage, the two-handers that are slower but deal heavy damage, and spears, which deal moderate damage along with added range. The book is known as the Grimoire Weiss, which can also be used to boost physical attacks. Upgrades are worked into the progression of your weapon expertise; such upgrades come about thanks to a system known as “Word Edit.” When your foes fall in the field, they will sometimes drop special words, which can then be “attached” to your weapons. These words can also be applied to martial arts abilities, spells, and other skills. According to IGN, there are around 100 words in the game, which means the total number of combinations available should be almost countless. It’s definitely a good idea to experiment, here.

Square-Enix is intent on calling this an “action/RPG,” so it will most certainly boast the requisite depth, but it should still play like a standard, real-time action, hack ‘n slasher. However, interestingly enough, they’ll mix this type of combat in with platforming sequences and original boss encounters that might surprise you with special perspectives. Those boss battles are bound to be big crowd-pleasers, too; from some of the media we’ve seen, they’re as big and intimidating as those seen in straight-up action titles like Bayonetta. And although the battles will feature the intricacy granted by role-playing elements, you’ll still need a firm handle on the action mechanics. We’re hoping Nier will be a game worth playing, just because we could use a fresh take on the RPG genre.

1/12/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

Qubex
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:04:06 PM
Reply

It seems FFXIII and White Knight Chronicles are what RPG fans are really looking forward to, but Nier may be a sleeper hit in the making. I will be very interested to read all reviews covering these games.

I know people here prefer turn based battle game-play mechanic rather than an action oriented one; however I am intrigued at how Nier pulls off a more action-based game mechanic. This form of game-play will appeal to me more I think. Demon Souls is another game I really do need to have a go at... sometime during this year I would think.

Again... waiting for reasonable pricing across some of the titles I want for my collection :)

Q!

"i am home"

Last edited by Qubex on 1/12/2010 10:04:44 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:14:15 PM
Reply

I've two minds about this of course, one part of me says "Yeah okay sounds interesting, give it a chance" And of course I will, but the other part of me says "SE doesn't do so well when experimenting and ought to stick to what they do best." Well, at least what they used to do best.

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Qubex
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:26:24 PM

Yhea, for me is too see how this action/rpg game mechanic works. What is the flow like? Does it keep constantly engaged with the action etc?

Q!

"i am home"

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Highlander
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:52:26 PM

You must be thinking..."Oh no! Not another Last Remnant!"

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LowKey
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 9:43:33 AM

I'm with you on this one world, and thank you for adding "used to" as they haven't done much worthwhile in a long time. I think I'll wait for it to release and watch some gameplay videos before I buy it.

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Oxvial
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:32:09 PM
Reply

Ben what you think about that Hong Kong mag that give FFXIII a 4/10 a troll attempt to got attention? or a honest review?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 12:23:10 AM

No idea. Haven't read it. :)

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karneli lll
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 7:07:50 AM

Could be true, i came across an article that said enough was cut from ff XIII to make another entire game.Probably the compromise messed the game in a dvd kind of way.Or perhaps SE was hoping the hype
will disguise the game's flaws

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hellish_devil
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:34:13 PM
Reply

I don't see Nier as a "super Square Enix" game, I just see it as another action game that may be good, and that may be all that it is going to be.

When you saw a game with the words "Square Enix" on the cover, you knew, by instinct, that is was good, but not anymore.

Last edited by hellish_devil on 1/12/2010 10:35:06 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 10:51:21 PM
Reply

"as for the setting, that’ll be dark, gritty and loaded with a ton of attitude"

Not a game for me then. Thanks for the preview, now I can concentrate on other games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 12:10:42 AM

Westernization takes hold

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 12:22:47 AM

Yes, indeed. :(

You know what? I'm offended that SE think that all we 'western' gamers want is dark, gritty and a ton of attitude. How about you? I think we're better than that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 1:20:49 AM

Actually yes I am insulted that people believe we are that simplistic and single minded. That we can't appreciate anything but grit, swearing, and gallons of blood. Not that those things are bad in the right game, but I get a whole different vibe when they are changing the game up to suit us and apparently that is all we ever buy.

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Qubex
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 3:13:57 AM

Yes, you make a fair point World!

Q!

"i am home"

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___________
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 11:40:01 PM
Reply

hmmm sounds intriguing.
but knowing SE they will find a way to completley screw it up.
heres to hoping its done well and lives up to the explanation given.
a dark story driven RPG with fast combat and some platforming and puzzles?
that could really turn out to be the SE reviver they need, and maybe it could re spark my confidence in them.
but i wont hold my breath.

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Alienange
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 12:46:35 AM
Reply

Just call it what it is Ben. It's SE answer to GoW. The RPG elements will be cursory at best.

And is it me, or does the story sound an awful lot like Ninja Blade's?

Last edited by Alienange on 1/13/2010 12:47:27 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 1:47:11 AM
Reply

Just don't let it turn out like that Action "game" with RPG elements that was called "Genji: Days of the Blade" which I regret paying $5 for.

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 9:28:51 AM

I know I'll offend a tone of gamers by saying this, but Genji Days of the Blade reminds me of a poor man's Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 - OK, a *very* poor man, but still...

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BigBoss4ever
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 2:09:31 AM
Reply

i need a bit more info on this game before i can form an opinion for this game, right now, other than seeing some screen shot, i dont even know the fighting mechanism, which essentially determines how fun the game is

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 1/13/2010 2:10:38 AM

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Akuma07
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 6:37:34 AM

exactly my reason for not getting FFXIII =D

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 2:16:35 AM
Reply

I just looked at the screen shots, Nier himself looks kinda like an old crackhead.

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FullmetalX10
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 4:34:34 AM
Reply

I must say that these screenshots look a lot better than that trailer from a couple of months ago, which I think looked like a PS2 game or sumthin. Still gonna have to wait to buy any games till I have the god of war ultimate edition though.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 6:00:48 AM
Reply

Its funny, im not looking forward to either FFXIII or WKC.

WKC looks kinda...lame to me.
and FFXIII is soooo totally not FF to me, that will be a rent for sure.

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JackC8
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 7:22:56 AM
Reply

The PS3 version, Replicant, kind of interested me. the xbox version, which is apparently all we'll get in NA, didn't do anything for me. And this is just some port? Not even the version designed for our console?!?

I'll check out the review, who knows.

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 9:32:01 AM

That's the part that I don't understand at all, and that worries me greatly.

SE are writing a version for PS3 and a version for Xbox360. Then they are porting the 360 version to PS3 for a "Western" release. Huh!? Is this some new weird MS inspired tactic to ensure that although they can sell the pure PS3 version in Japan to preserve their home market they can still sell some gimped BS to PS3 owners outside Japan? Good grief. I wonder if the import of the Japanese version will sell better than the NA release? Probably not since I'm certain it won't have English text/subtitles as an option.

Something smells fishy to me, and it's not my socks.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 7:52:59 AM
Reply

I hope this is an awesome game - but I know I wont even think about picking it up until I am FULLY done with FFXIII.

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coverton341
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 1:09:29 PM

Well, now you can at least look forward to buying this game in half the time you would have had to originally wait, seeing as how half of Final Fantasy XIII was cut due to being too big for DVD format.

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SvenMD
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 2:25:23 PM

HA! So that's their reason for cutting the content...

They're trying to get us to buy FFXIII AND Nier!

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dzabava
Thursday, January 14, 2010 @ 3:32:19 PM
Reply

Seems like a cool game, i like the trailers i´ve seen, looks like a bloody dark game and i like that the characters are like despaired,really fighting for something (Nier for his daughter) and look more sentimental, not like the bayonneta or dante type that practically fight for fun and are too.... (cant find the word) arrogant (laughing and smiling at your enemy) i rather when a character really makes and effort and has hard times against foes and ends up tired and damaged (like Claire in claymore (sorry for mixing anime and games, but is the best example i can find), or like Wander from SOTC)Nier seems like that type of game.

Last edited by dzabava on 1/14/2010 3:36:11 PM

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