Reader Review: Nier

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Corey does, as he recovers from Nier's genre whiplash.

Yes, that’s right, we’re publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Corey Lee. If you’ve played Nier, or just want to ask Corey more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Nier (Xbox 360/PS3)

There’s something encouraging about an RPG that strives to do something different from the rest of its genre. The story of Nier concerns one man’s quest to save his daughter from a mysterious virus and the trials he must undertake as he hopes to find a cure. Indeed, such is the desire to be as different as possible that this game exists as 2 separate versions; Nier Replicant (Japanese) and Nier Gestalt which is the focus of this review.


Terrible Trio: Our 3 main characters consist of a middle-aged warrior who does odd jobs for a living, a woman whose knowledge of profane words is more substantial than the clothes she wears and a talking book with a superiority complex. If that doesn’t pique your interest, nothing will?

Weiss, You Dumbass: The voice acting for this game gives depth and enhances the interaction between characters. In fact, you can hear every ounce of frustration as the leading lady swears viciously at another character before you even reach the start menu. Either that or Nier’s gently loving voice for his sick daughter.

OST Odyssey: Never before has gibberish sounded so beautiful. Nier’s soundtrack is collectively epic and there is nary a track in it that won’t evoke the proper emotional response from the player. It just sounds great.

Is It Even An RPG: The most unusual thing about Nier is its gameplay. Somehow mixing hack-n-slash, 2D platforming, shoot em up, farm-based sims and text-based gameplay with RPG elements means that there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. Or to experience altogether for the first time.


Fetch Boy: During the main game, players can decide to suspend the epic story and play messenger boy for every village idiot nearby. The sidequests for this game are so redundant that many will see it as a deliberate ploy to pad out the storyline.

Nier Is Ugly: Our main character isn’t the nicest looking man around as he does wear a mask on the game’s cover slip for a reason. But more importantly, the graphics here are all somewhat outdated and borderline bland to the extent that many have compared them to PSOne and N64 titles. Consider it a rare occasion where both protagonist and environment are as devoid of good looks as the other.

I Repeat: The game combines a lot of things together and repetition is one of them. Sidequests are repetitive, locations are reused and monsters are recycled repeatedly. Monotony is a mainstay in this mind-numbing mix.

Kaine’s Naughty Mouth: Needs to be washed out with soap as far as I’m concerned.

Nier is simply a strange game. It is sort of difficult to comprehend something whose existence is defined by mixing different styles together and hoping the result is adequate. You might like some parts of Nier but there’s a good chance you won’t appreciate all of it. Regardless, it’s an experience worth playing and as the developers are now disbanded, one that is unlikely to be repeated.

Reviewed by: Corey Lee

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    I'm currently in gaming limbo having finished an awesome game recently. I have a huge Pile O' Shame which includes Nier and I can't decide what to play next.
    This review makes me think Nier might not be the best choice to fill the void just yet. I think I'll leave it until I've finished a not-so impressive game so it compares favourably.

    Great review! Also, Weiss is probably one of the best game characters to have come around in a long time.

    "I am Grimoire Weiss, and no, you may not abbreviate my name. You shall address me by my full title at all times"

    "Why, you insolent crone! How dare you address me like some common paperback?"

    he slays me

    Nier is currently on my 'Now Playing' pile. I'm upto the 3rd playthrough where all the farming begins for upgrading all the weapons. It is seriously soul crushing at times going for hours without seeing the item drop.

    I really enjoyed the game though with the mix of gameplay and homour. I hope to finish it soon however.

    I loved this game to bits! Treasure hunting for one of the trophies made my head explode, but taken for what it is, the game is pretty darn good. Agreed with the OST. Beautiful music.

    Kaine the hussy made this game for me.

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