NieR broke out into the mainstream with 2017’s incredible NieR Automata, and with the critical and commercial success the action RPG enjoyed, there were little doubt that Square Enix would capitalize on the IP’s potential going forward. Before we get a new game in the series though, we are going to relive the past with the release of NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 (which we’re just going to call NieR Replicant for convenience’s sake), and before that launches a few weeks from now, in this feature, we’re going to go through the key details you should know about the game.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?
NieR Replicant’s existence is as complicated as you’d expect something coming from the mind of Yoko Taro to be. The original NieR released back in 2010, coming out in Japan as NieR Replicant, featuring content that was exclusive to that version of the game, which, incidentally, was never released in the West. This new NieR Replicant is a cross between a remake and a remaster of that Japan-only release, all of which is a long-winded way of saying that it’s a remake/remaster of an alternate version of the original NieR.
NieR Replicant is set on the same post-apocalyptic world as NieR Automata, only thousands and thousands of years before the latter’s events take place. Players play as a young man living in a remote village with his sister Yonah, but when Yonah comes down with a terminal case of a disease called the Black Scrawl, he has to set out to look for a way to save her. Teaming up with a talking book known as the Grimoire Weiss, they must find a way to save his sister’s life. It’s a story that spans thousands of year, and one that goes to some really surprising places, as those who’ve played the original will tell you all too happily. If you haven’t played the original but enjoyed Automata, you’re gonna want to check out this remake.
So let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first. Given the fact that this is a remake, it’s obviously going to be updating and improving a lot of stuff from the original release, and that, of course, includes a visual update. And it’s a pretty hefty visual upgrade, honestly. While the camerawork and cutscene direction of the original game have been retained almost exactly as they existed back in 2010, this new NieR Replicant has completely new and significantly more detailed looks for environments, characters, enemies, and more.
NieR Replicant is also making some notable changes where the gameplay is concerned, most notably in the combat area. Essentially, the battle system in this version is going to be a cross between the battle system of the original release and the combat of NieR Automata, with director Yoko Taro having set out to revise it in a way that appeals to fans of both. The mechanics of the original are, of course, being retained, but they’re going to be brought more in line with Automata in terms of style. That said, NieR Replicant’s combat is going to be slower than Automata’s- which makes sense, since you’re playing as humans in this game, not as androids.
It’s clear that NieR Replicant isn’t going to stick to the original game as strictly as some remakes often tend to do, and that’s going to be true for the in-game locations as well. Environments from the original release are, of course, being brought over into the remake, but Square Enix and developer Toylogic are taking this opportunity to expand upon them. Several returning areas from the original game will be much bigger in scope, allowing for greater freedom of traversal and exploration.
NieR Replicant is also going to have plenty of new story content, which will entail both expansions to existing stuff and entirely new content. As far as the former is concerned, it’s been confirmed that weapon stories from the original game have been expanded upon for the remake. Meanwhile, director Yoko Taro has also confirmed that NieR Replicant also has completely new scenarios as well, fleshing out the original game’s story and adding greater context to its events. It remains to be seen exactly how substantial these will be and whether or not they will have any larger impact on the story, but fans of the series nonetheless have reason to be excited.
FULLY VOICE ACTED
NieR Replicant is going to be a pretty significant upgrade over the original game in the audio-visual department. We’ve already touched on this a little bit, and another example of that is voice acting. Unlike the original game, the remake is fully voiced, with voice overs provided for every line in the game. On top of new voice lines being recorded, voice lines from the original game were also re-recorded from scratch rather than updating them and bringing them over for the remake.
ORIGINAL VOICE CAST RETURNS
If you were a fan of the voice work done for the characters in the original release, you don’t have to worry- it’s been confirmed that the voice actors for most of the characters from the original game will be reprising their roles in the remake. There are going to be a few changes here and there though, with the most significant being the recasting of Grimoire Weiss’ voice.
Square Enix haven’t really talked about what their plans are for post-launch content for NieR Replicant, but we do know that at least some DLC is planned. We already spoke about weapon stories being expanded upon for the remake, but you can expect further new content here as well, with the developers having confirmed that new weapons and weapon stories will be added to the game following its release as DLC. Specific details on this have yet to be shared, but we can at least be assured of more content for the game post-launch.
If you’re playing the game on PC, exactly what kind of a setup are you going to require? All things considered, nothing too demanding. On minimum requirements (which will run the game at 720p and 60 FPS), you’ll need 8 GB of RAM, either an Intel Core i5 6400 or an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X, and either GeForce GTX 960 or a Radeon R9 270X. Meanwhile, on recommended settings (which will run the game at 1080p and 60 FPS), you’ll need 16 GB of RAM, and either a GeForce GTX 1660 or a Radeon RX Vega 56, with CPU requirements staying the same. Storage requirements, meanwhile, will be 25 GB of free space across the board.