Degradation of the Soul

Unpleasant truths laid bare.

Truths that betray the motivations of those who inhabit this mouldering world, and suggest that events are not always what you’ve perceived them to be. That encourage you to question the role that the protagonist has in this. And to consider whether what they’ve done is truly for the betterment of the world around them. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is an exhilarating narrative-driven JRPG in which you embark on a journey through a sprawling post-apocalyptic world to recover the ancient Sealed Verses, and to save those most dear to you.

Ambitious as that may be.

It’s an experience that remains wholly captivating throughout, and that constantly challenges you to alter your perspective on events as they unfold. With each successive ending affording even greater insight into details that have intentionally been left ambiguous prior to that point.

There are five different endings, each with its own requirements and each introducing something new on subsequent attempts. Of those, the fourth and fifth are arguably the most significant, as they fundamentally affect the progress that you’ve made thus far. But the first also has significance due to establishing a rather unusual mechanic. One that is steadily built upon with each ending thereafter. And one that directly contradicts the strongest beliefs held by the protagonist, while simultaneously providing further clarification as to the motivations of the main antagonist. Something that is as bold as it is satisfying. Mechanics as subtle (and as creative) as these are rare, but they contribute to the experience in unexpected ways and serve to make it a memorable one.

It was rare for the main campaign feel uninspired or monotonous, but The World Of The Recycled Vessel, a relatively lacklustre post-completion DLC, definitely did. Unfortunately, it eventually became necessary to visit this hellish domain, as only through it can you acquire the final three weapons and (more importantly) witness every ending. I didn’t really enjoy its gruelling gauntlet, nor did I feel that it contributed to this experience in any meaningful way. So it’s unlikely that I’ll revisit its content again. Even to farm rare items that are otherwise unobtainable.

I’d prefer to forgo its thoughtless busywork.

Having completed NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… in its entirety on Hard difficulty, I was pleasantly surprised by how consistent the challenges were. Having to utilise various strategies to overcome the toughest opposition complemented the calculated combat perfectly.

I rarely felt overpowered, nor could I ever mindlessly mash buttons to dispense with trifling encounters. I thought that once I’d collected the Sealed Verses, assigned numerous Words, and fully upgraded different weapons that I’d be able to. But I was never able to. Which is a testament to the efficacy and complexity of the combat mechanics, as I had to carefully consider how best to defeat each variant of Shade. Hence why I highly recommend NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… to those seeking an unforgettable adventure through an unusual series of events, as this truly has been a one-of-a-kind experience that I won’t soon forget. I have nothing but the highest praise for its countless successes, but to write fervently about its narrative would only spoil it for those who have yet to experience it for themselves.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

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