Nier: Replicant Gameplay Walkthrough Makes The Wait For April Even Harder

The 10-minute demo shows off the upgraded combat and the gorgeous score from Keiichi Okabe.

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A new 10-minute gameplay demonstration has been released for Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139.., showing off some very impressive upgrades to both the visuals and the combat. It gives us our clearest view yet of how the game will improve on the original 2010 game and even how it integrates elements from the sequel, which Square Enix didn't release for another seven years.

The video focuses on the protagonist and Kaine as they enter the Barren Temple, an area previously hidden by a sandstorm. It features large environmental puzzles as well as classic Nier combat, combining hack-and-slack action with third-person shooting and dodging projectiles.

If you played the original Nier, you know the combat wasn't exactly tight or particularly fluid. That changed with Platinum Games' input for Nier: Automata, and those same improvements are evident in the retooled Nier: Replicant. There is a sense of weight as you break an enemy's guard and send them flying backward, and you can also deflect their attacks and deliver devastating counter-blows. The Ikaruga-inspired enemy projectiles are still here, as well, mixing in a healthy dose of arcade action into your existential adventure.

Despite only launching on current-gen systems and PC, Nier: Replicant looks remarkably better than the original version, and it also sounds incredible because of Keiichi Okabe's score. We're sure it's going to make us cry, as will Yoko Taro's story of sacrifice and family during a humanity-eviscerating plague. If you've played Nier: Automata, you'll recognize a few of the characters who appear in the first Nier. The sequel is set thousands of years later and can be enjoyed without playing the previous game, just like Nier can be enjoyed without playing Drakengard, despite being a spinoff game.

Nier: Replicant releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 23. It's being developed primarily by Toylogic, and a mobile-only game called Nier: Reincarnation is also launching later this month in Japan. An English-language release date hasn't been announced yet.

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