The recent release of NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… had garnered a positive response so far thanks to its upgraded visual effects, narrative, rearranged music and a new scenario.
With its convoluted history, fans who do follow the franchise could still be confused about the background and versions of the game, but fret not because we broke it down for you in our spoiler-free review of the remake.
But what’s the point of the new name – NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 – for this remake? According to the game’s producer Yosuke Saito and director Saki Ito, it was a reference to simply differentiate the game from what came before.
Saito initially asked Yoko to come up with a name so that fans won’t have to struggle to differentiate the original from the remake, and he returned with “ver.1.22474487139…”. While it does its job in putting a good 0.22474487139 versions away from the original NieR, we’d like to chime in and say that it probably has made things worse for some of us.
Although considered a remake, the new title is essentially a version upgrade (hence the name) because it includes all-new “level controls, graphics, additional scenario elements, voice acting and recorded music,” explained Saito.
Compared to the original version, the action RPG does live up to its expectations and visuals of 2017’s NieR: Automata, thanks to the developers.
For the entire team, Ito explained that they had faced immense pressure with the remake, due to the critical acclaim of NieR: Automata. And personally, for Ito, it was about “reaching the quality Yoko and Taura (designer Takahisa Taura) from Platinum Games are looking for”.
And since NieR: Automata was praised for its visual and games design, he felt that there was a lot of pressure for the team to match it.
The world of the Replicant remake, like its original, is a solid RPG filled with gorgeous landscapes, compelling characters and an endearing narrative that offers an extremely unique and genre-bending gameplay experience. Despite all that, Ito recollected that there were still many things that they would’ve loved to add into the game but couldn’t.
“There are so many (things) I can’t even remember them anymore,” and when he looked back at the team’s idea notes, he saw that “we wanted to include a shooting game in the ending,” which unfortunately for us, didn’t happen.
Even then, the remake itself includes a variety of gameplay perspectives such as top-down, side-scrolling and third person and the duo themselves teased that they might or might not have another surprise for us later this year, whether it’s more new content or another game, only time will tell.
Having said that, we’re still sure their unused ideas won’t go to waste because when we asked about their partnership and if there are any future projects they’d love to work on, they told us about one action-adventure game with cats and sharks.
“It would be a shame if we didn’t make use of our expertise in action and background art so we’d like to create either a marine action adventure set in an ancient underwater city where you strike a friendship with a great white shark, or a nostalgic adventure set in the natural beauty of a Japanese countryside where you can immerse yourself and befriend a girl with realistic behaviours like in Detroit: Being Human,” Ito said.
He added that it has to have cats too because both of them absolutely love cats and sharks.
Saito then chipped in and said that they “aspire to create a game with dreams and hopes, like Final Fantasy.”
While each franchise has its own unique style and visuals, the NieR franchise which originated as a spin-off from the Drakengard series has had its own captivating and timeless stories much like Final Fantasy.
Having spent almost 30 years in the industry, Saito continues to push himself further and explains that the biggest driving force for him is the “feedback we receive from users who play our games,” whether it’s positive or negative, it drives them further to continue what they’re doing.
All their hard work can be seen in the remake and we’ll definitely have more to look forward to since it is already set to receive the 15 Nightmares DLC that offers additional content and costumes.
Along with the great response, we’re confident that there’ll be more good things to come and whether it’s another DLCs or a new riveting shark and cat action-adventure game, we’re all in on it.
Zheng Yi is perpetually looking for the Time Stone to juggle his love for toys, anime, comics, gaming and photography. He probably needs the Space Stone next for his collection…