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NieR is an action role-playing video game developed by Cavia and published by Square Enix. A spin-off of the Drakengard series of games, it was released to mixed reviews, before eventually becoming a cult classic. A more successful sequel developed by PlatinumGames, NieR: Automata was released in 2017. In April 2021, a remaster of the original game titled NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… was released for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
NieR was developed by Japanese game studio Cavia, who released the game as a spin-off of their Drakengard series of action-RPGs (known in Japan as Drag-on Dragoon). In Japan, the game was released on April 22nd, 2010 in two versions; NieR Gestalt for the Xbox 360, featuring a middle-aged man as the playable character, and NieR Replicant for the Playstation 3, featuring a teenager.
In the game, the title character works to find a cure for his daughter/sister Yonah's illness, known as the Black Scrawl. Along the way he is aided by a magic sentient book named Grimoire Weiss, a woman named Kainé, and a boy named Emil. The game features multiple endings, and requires players to play through sections multiple times to see the whole story. The game incorporates several different mechanics, such as bullet-hell gameplay, Zelda-like exploration, and even one gameplay section delivered entirely through text.
In 2017, the game received a more successful sequel developed by PlatinumGames, titled NieR: Automata, released to critical acclaim and financial success.
In 2020, to celebrate the series' 10th anniversary, it was announced that a remaster of Replicant developed by Toylogic, titled NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… would be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
A mobile game titled Nier Reincarnation was released on February 18th, 2021 for Android and iOS.
On April 22nd, 2021, Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139… was released in Japan, with a global release following on April 23rd (trailer and gameplay video shown below).
NieR received average reviews from critics upon release, garnering a 68 average score on Metacritic with nearly 60 reviews. While aspects of the graphics and level design were initially criticized, the game developed a cult following, and in 2015, Eurogamer praised it as a rare game that gets better with age. Writer Jeffrey Matulef wrote, "It's not the mechanics that make Nier special; it's the overall mood of the game. Nier isn't just weird; it's melancholy."
Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139…
On Metacritic, Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139… received positive reviews, with the game achieving 84 average critic score on the day of the release with over 60 critic reviews.
NieR generated a cult following online as players dove into its strange mechanic and compelling world. The game was played on the Super Best Friends Play channel (shown below, left). It was also played by Cryaotic, whose first episode in the series gained over 454,000 views (shown below, right). The game's subreddit has over 82,000 subscribers, though much of the content posted there relates to NieR: Automata.