Nier Updated Story Impressions

We are introduced to more characters and more questions in this upcoming action role-playing game.

The one thing we know for certain about Nier is that as a father, he would do just about anything to save his young daughter. From our last demo, we learned that Nier's daughter, Yonah, is afflicted with the black scrawl, and he must protect her from the mysterious creatures known as shades. The developers are keeping the story tightly under wraps, revealing just enough information about certain characters and story elements to make us scratch our heads and wonder what is going on. After checking out the game again, we're still not quite sure what is happening, except we did get a glimpse of the desert city of Facade and meet its ruler, played around with some new weapons, and eventually faced an overgrown wolf shade.

The focus of our last demo was the combat, so for more information, please read here. This time, we jumped ahead to more than halfway through the game to meet the young king of Facade, who is about to get married to a lovely girl that Nier already knows. We don't actually see what she looks like because she, like all the others in the city, is fully covered and masked in an unusual garb that makes her look like a walking tepee. The dry-looking city is nestled in the middle of a golden desert, with a sand river that flows through the crevices so you can always hop onto a small raft to get from one end of town to the other. Before meeting the king, we stopped off at a merchant to pick up a couple of weapons first, which would come in handy later. There will be 30 weapons in the game, and each can be upgraded three times if you can collect the ingredients that are needed to enhance them. To be able to afford weapon upgrades or even weapons at all, you'll have access to a variety of side quests and things to do, like fishing, gardening, and slaughtering sheep to earn a living. The merchant in Facade also sells seeds that you can't find in Nier's village, so it's worthwhile to snatch some up to plant in your garden later.

One of our companions, Kaine, stayed outside the city walls the entire time, but we were followed by a floating skeleton instead. We can't share too many details beyond that, except that Kaine's backstory, along with some other story elements, is explained during your second play-through of the game. The game should take roughly 15 hours to complete, but during your second and even third play-through, more of the story will be revealed should you choose to play the game again. For example, the shade wolf that we were about to face spoke in a garbled voice that sounded like digitized snarling. But if you were playing the game for the second time, you would be able to understand what it was saying.

The king and queen play crucial roles in the story, but we didn't learn much about them other than that their wedding gets rudely interrupted by aggressive shade wolves and their pack leader. The wolves have been harassing the citizens of Facade for awhile now, so Nier, Kaine, the skeletal companion, and the king then decided to hunt down the perpetrators and get rid of them once and for all. A small army of soldiers also tagged along to help with the fight, and through your menu you can give them orders to defend the king or help you take down the vicious beasts. Your combat style changes depending on which weapon you're using. To fend off the wolves, Nier armed himself with a spear in order to charge up some powerful jabs to take out enemies ahead of him. Other two-handed weapons are extremely slow but have a deadly arc, whereas one-handed weapons are quick and easy to maneuver with. It's important to know what kinds of shades you're dealing with and arm yourself with the appropriate weapon. Nier's powers at this point in the game were stronger, and he was able to summon a wall to protect himself against magic, as well as call forth a whirlwind attack to dispose of everything around him. Your magic attacks can also be charged up, so instead of smacking down enemies with one dark hand, you can summon three giant fists to pummel the wolf pack.

Gardening is just one of the many past times you can have.

After we defeated the wolf leader and his minions, we received what looked like a puzzle piece that would complete whatever it was we were collecting. No details were given about this piece and what it means, but Nier and his companions mentioned something about finding Yonah and the Shadowlord. If you're confused as to what's going on, you're not alone. Only tidbits of information have been released so far, and they only lead to more questions. Nier's story does seem intriguing, and we're curious to see how it's all supposed to come together. We'll be sure to have the answers soon when Nier is released on April 27.

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80 comments
kuraihikari
kuraihikari

Well no official gamespot review yet but I am really enjoying the game so far not the best graphically but I am in no way bored, and the floating grimoire is actually pretty funny. I also like the boss battles. It feels a little bit like the old style zelda but more to it. Anyway worth a purchase.

Devil_dante03
Devil_dante03

I refuse to believe that Square Enix would tarnish their very good reputation by releasing a sub-par game. I wont believe any talk until I play through the game myself on the 27th. Square Enix has never let me down and I dont believe they will start now.

Radium217
Radium217

85% in Famitsu, Gold award. Getting mine on the 23rd :)

slowhand461
slowhand461

the graphics aint great, bit slow, lotsa load screens (specially at the beginning goin bak and forth from temple to mission objective)...Why can my dude leap majestically over a boulder, but then hit a wall when trying to drop down a path :s And in the room he turns into flash gordon and comes out the opposite side one entered/exited :s The game starts pretty cool, but maybe its because im a huge Diablo fan, and it felt like a typical hack and slash with a few powers, mana etc. Presentation is horrible, the menu is bland and uninspiring (every time i look at it makes me think im playing a very cheap crap game)....but hey thats my 2cents and i only played for bout 40 mins...getting kicked by the sheep and then getting revenge (after chasing it for a while!!), woz the highlight of my 40mins :)

Areyal
Areyal

I'm not expecting much from this game, but sometimes we can find ourselves surprise. We'll see that on april 27th.

termadoyle
termadoyle

I was really looking forward to this but all the footage I've seen seems to lead to a pretty mediocre game. sub par graphics? check. Bad Animations? Check. probably a cheesy story? check. underwhelming gameplay? check. At most I'm expecting a minor cult favorite.

DM2438
DM2438

Looks like Bayonetta and Demons Souls had a baby. If this game has a good story, with good action...I am sold

drago9876
drago9876

Looks like a more expanded version of Devil May Cry....

AszaultSin
AszaultSin

Looks cool, I'm not sure if getting it but i couldn't expect less from Square Enix and Bioware.

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

The game is uninspired and looks very plain.

pandora1236
pandora1236

I just wanna know if there's any lovemaking scenes that Bioware made popular. Kaine rocking Nier's backdoor would be a definite purchase!

acidrain1976
acidrain1976

Those big, black hands that Nier's hitting huge bosses with reminds me of Bayonetta's finishing-move-hair-attacks. Looks interesting, though... Always more room for another action-rpg. :)

Black_Adder_
Black_Adder_

I have ordered it - I really like those "bad, grey, almost colourless" graphics and the sound - the sound effects are astonishing. The multiple playthroughs also is my kind of game and remember that Demon's Souls also was a short, multiple playthrough game:)

HenNut
HenNut

This looks like the best Final Fantasy game yet!

wooooode
wooooode

@georgeww Most shooters are only 4-8 hours, but I understand most RPG's are known for their massive amount of hours.

diggyman
diggyman

Not the prettiest of SquareEnix's games. Environments look kinda blah, but that boss looked great. I'm sure it'll be a decent game tho.

watchuwa
watchuwa

not quite sold on it yet but hey, it cant be any worse than ff13 right?

bencarps41192
bencarps41192

georgeww My first playthrough of Mass Effect took me 15 hours and it was one of the best gaming experiences ever.

UnitedGamerz
UnitedGamerz

People the story is 15 hours if you play side missions and other minigames it can be longer i mean who wants to rush through a rpg.

georgeww
georgeww

lol this will be a bargin bin buy, with only 15 hours get gears of war or somtin simeler...... rpg needs to be long enough to build a charters stats and stuff. 15 hours is long enough to shoot some stuff and find your grvety hammer!!! wot

dkdk999
dkdk999

i've spent more time playing fps campaigns.

wolfyrabbit
wolfyrabbit

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

soulzDestroYer
soulzDestroYer

looked cool until i seen 15hours i mean RPG right WTF

-Deimos-
-Deimos-

" Jackc8 Posted Apr 2, 2010 4:25 pm GMT An RPG that lasts 15 hours, even with exciting activities like farming and fishing? And a story that must be played two or three times in order to be fully understood? And all we get is a port of the 360 version in America, while the PS3 version is only available in Japan because us dumb Westerners are only interested in shootin' stuff and seein' blood? Not exactly chompin' at the bit to get my hands on this one." Agreed.

Schwarte
Schwarte

Sounds awesome actually. I like the concept of playing a father, because they can't really screw up that emotional connection, I guess. The usual romance based stories always get some unnerving twists, which is unlikely when you play a father. Also the concept of adding content for the next playthrough is great.

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

first Sazh and now Nier. i love father as a superhero

Shinkada
Shinkada

Thanks guys, you're really doing a great job of giving the West the OMG GRAPHICS AND GUNS reputation that we, apparently, deserve. I'm not saying this game will be great. The money-earning stuff sounds like your usual forced padding, and so does the multiple playthroughs gimmick. But this is an RPG, and like any other RPG, as long as it's even remotely playable, the only thing that matters is a great story. We can't really tell whether this will have that until we get our hands on it, now can we? Personally between the very unique angle of a father out to cure his daughter - honestly, name the last RPG where the main character was over 30 - and Kaine's, uh, obvious questions, I'm really hoping that this will be one of those extremely rare J-RPGs that actually deviates from J-RPG formula to make something interesting and, well, not a predictable grindfest *cough FF*.

corrupted333
corrupted333

omfg this game looks like a piece of crap games sure are going down hill to release this lame game seriously EPIC FAIL

KO4U
KO4U

Goodness, I do love a weird little game like this! I'm getting this along with Deadly Premonition!

milereb
milereb

Still on the fence about this game. Will have to see after release..

lyncer777
lyncer777

hey that Monster looks like Kozilek Butcher of Truth from Magic the Gathering haha haha (got nothin to do)...

redrhino31
redrhino31

nothing special for me i think this will be a pass.

whitemute
whitemute

Gamespot needs to get rid of the lady who did the video preview, like yesterday.

Elian2530
Elian2530

Extremely poor character design.. I mean, seriously?? Who gave the thumbs up for this? Just look at the main protagonist.. he looks horrible. And as a gamer, I do not want to play as him. Epic fail.

TheEldestGod
TheEldestGod

Seems interesting. I'm actually intrigued to learn more.

Ramiro00
Ramiro00

Devil may cry turned into RPG cool

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

@Jackc8...I was pretty much thinking the same thing. Was interested until reading the 15 hours and then the gimmick to play through multiple times. And I get to farm and slaughter sheep to make a living. That sounds...really horrible in a game that short.

Jackc8
Jackc8

An RPG that lasts 15 hours, even with exciting activities like farming and fishing? And a story that must be played two or three times in order to be fully understood? And all we get is a port of the 360 version in America, while the PS3 version is only available in Japan because us dumb Westerners are only interested in shootin' stuff and seein' blood? Not exactly chompin' at the bit to get my hands on this one.

ironcreed
ironcreed

Also, any of you guys remember Drakengard 1 & 2 from last gen? They were not critically acclaimed, but were sure fire gems. That was Cavia, same guys who made this game. Square is only producing Nier.

ironcreed
ironcreed

There is something about this game and it sounds like it may be a lot deeper than many are giving it credit for. I am not expecting a super polished AAA experience, but it does look like a mysterious and rather dark game that does not hold your hand as you are trying to figure things out. About right up my alley.

ScarecrowBirdy
ScarecrowBirdy

@aonekaraoke I literally lol'd when I read your comment.