Nier Gestalt Hands-On

We get a quick look at Square Enix's action role-playing game coming to an Xbox 360 near you in 2010.

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Square Enix has an interesting game selection at this year's 2009 Tokyo Game Show, but we had to wander over to the Microsoft booth next door to check out Nier Gestalt, an action role-playing game that is scheduled to come out in North America sometime next year. The demo was a short boss fight in an enclosed hallway, so we didn't get to see much else beyond that, but at least we got a chance to get a feel for the game mechanics.

We played as the white-haired Nier, a protagonist who is a bit older than you might expect (but still buff). He's a loving father trying to rescue his daughter, who is conveniently located at the other end of this hall we were put in and protected by magical barriers and scythe-wielding tin cans. We attacked with the X button and used the triggers to block as we fought through several little translucent skeletal minions that materialized from the ground. The young girl at the end of the corridor was sleeping through all the commotion, and once we cleared the grunts, we had to face the two golden tin bots that were ready to slice us in two.

Nier is a flashy third-person action game that's relatively easy to get a handle on. The enemies were heavily armored, so we had to run around them and fight them from behind to get to their vulnerable spot. The camera can be adjusted with the right analog stick, but it doesn't follow you at all, making it difficult to see where your target is. After we knocked one of the tin guys down, a clock appeared over its body, which tempted us to hit it as hard as we could. This seemed to draw some sort of energy out of the body, and we watched a short cutscene where Nier summoned black and red energy balls that somehow melded into a jousting lance and were tossed across the room into the other enemy's eye.

These cutscenes came up a couple more times before the demo ended, but we were left wondering what else there was to the game other than swinging your giant sword at large moving metallic creatures. The visuals were a bit unusual as well. The skeletons were grainy, almost like they were materialized out of sand, but that effect seemed to be consistent with everything else onscreen.

We'll be sure to update you with more information as soon as it becomes available. Nier Gestalt is scheduled to come out in North America sometime next year.

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