NieR Replicant, a prequel to NieR: Automata, is not a new game, and you probably already noticed it considering the second part of its—particularly long—title, "ver.1.22474487139..." (ellipsis included). This is an update of a game that originally debuted in Japan back in 2010, and since there were 2 versions of it, it all comes with an interesting story to tell.
NieR versus NieR Gestalt
Long story short, NieR and NieR Gestalt (the version most people in North America have played) are the same game... although they feature different protagonists. The original version tells the story of two siblings in a post-apocalyptic world, with the protagonist being a young man who will do anything to save his little sister Yonah from a terrible and rare disease known as the Black Scrawl. It's kind of cliché, we won't deny that, but as the story unfolds and more unique characters join your cause, you'll find yourself invested in the plot and caring about Yonah's health. For some reason, there's another version of this game that plays exactly the same but from Yonah's father's perspective, so we get to play as a middle-aged man instead of a cute-looking young boy looking for adventure.
If your destiny is to save a loved one, we respect that. It doesn't matter if it's your sister or your daughter... just as it doesn't matter if you're a teenager or an old man.
In NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... we play as Yonah's brother, and that's a double-edged weapon: some of you will miss Yonah's father and will have a hard time getting used to a new protagonist, while some others just won't care about it or will be even more excited about this new point of view. What side will you be on?
Updated Graphics, Updated Mechanics
So, what's the point of an update that comes 11 years late? Well, it gives NieR Replicant a breath of fresh air while it also gives a lot of people the chance to play NieR Automata's sequel for the first time. This new game comes with updated graphics and several improvements to combat mechanics, for example, something that the original game definitely needs to satisfy gamers in this day and age. Now Nier—or whatever you name the protagonist—feels more agile and killing Shadows is more exciting, making you actually enjoy a good session of hacking and slashing.
Another thing that old players need to know is that the voice acting has also been improved, making the dialogues feel more natural. Not only that, but you'll also find a lot of new cutscenes here and there that help giving better context to things—although they are so well integrated into the story that you won't notice the difference between versions if you have poor memory or never played the original one.
In our case, although we played NieR when it first came out, we must say it was a lot of fun to revisit this game and discover all these new features and upgrades. This is a JRPG with an impactful plot, so it's nice to see it now plays like more recent games in the genre and is closer to what you can find in NieR Automata, which definitely will attract more fans.
There's a New Ending Waiting For Those Who Beat the Game Back in the Day!
Probably the most attractive thing about NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is that it comes with a new ending route. For obvious reasons, we won't tell you the details, but we can say it will take you 2 runs to discover it (for those who don't know, it's unlocked only after getting an ending that completely deletes your save date... we hope we are okay with that). You can always find a guide online if you don't exactly know how to trigger this ending, but now you have something else to look forward to regardless of your experience—or the lack of—with NieR.
There are 5 endings available, so that means a lot of gameplay!
We know several of you first discovered this saga when NieR: Automata came out, and that's okay. It's hard not to feel curious about what happened before 2B's adventure, especially once you discover there's a game that gives more context to the already rich universe of NieR. Now you have the chance to know Yonah, Nier, Kainé, and the rest... in a more appealing variant of the story!
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is now available for PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.