It was definitely a good strategy for Square-Enix to release NIER after Final Fantasy VIII thereby making gamers to think of this game too as a highly fast paced action game. NIER possesses none of the superior story and the engaging gameplay Final Fantasy VIII had. NIER’s development had been outsourced to Cavia and frankly, they messed it up.
The story begins as follows. You are a man with a daughter managing to scrape a meagre existence in the city ruins that has been ravaged by monsters. The girl develops a cough and you set out in search of food and somehow end up in a battle at the outskirts of the ruins. The battle is only a preview of the fast paced action coming your way when you have unlocked your hero’s skills and learnt new attacks. The scene closes on a tearful note with the daughter dying in your hands.
Turns out that was all a dream or a sort of flashback, you are Nier, the strong arm who is trying to find work in order help your daughter Yonah recover from the cough. Turns out the actual world has ended in the previously mentioned scene and you are actually living in a fantasy world. The story may be confusing and not too great but that definitely is not the worst aspect of the game. The dialogue delivery is simply bad. The voice acting is very dull and monotonous and is more likely to induce a headache than engaging you in the game. The dialogues too are not too great and the developers should really invest in a few writers.
Battles and combat are the probably the best executed aspect of the game but compared to any other game worth its salt, it is very average. The monsters in the prologue seem very strange, appearing to be constructed out of binary figures. Moreover fighting is pretty unbalanced most of the time. Some of the enemy attacks cannot be parried and the movement is too sluggish to evade them. Also some of the attacks and spells Nier learns midway through the game make it way too easy, particularly the Dark Lance ranged attack will defeat almost all the monsters.
Levelling up of your hero is messed up. There is no way to find out if your hero’s level is enough to undertake a particular mission till you attempt it and get defeated. The skills and spells learnt by your hero are notified in small pop ups but to learn how to enable the move you have to go the start screen. Almost every gate or doorway triggers a load screen which soon starts to get to you. The graphics are not to great either with most of the setting pretty dull and drab.
NIER is game which would perhaps have been successful on PS2 or the Xbox but definitely not the current generation of games. It is a pretty dull and in fact ugly game with no intriguing plot or proper gameplay. The whole execution of the game has been sloppy and we recommend you give this game a skip.