Why You Need to Play: NieR

Credit: Square Enix/ Cavia
Why You Need to Play: NieR
10/10 best soundtrack ever, GOTYAY.

NieR is a very curious little action RPG developed by cavia inc. and directed by Yoko "Moon Man" Taro, of memetic fame. It takes place thousands of years after human society has been wiped out, and you take the role of a father trying to find a cure for his daughter's fatal illness. In your quest you will explore the remnants of a long-dead society, plunging into dungeons plagued by monsters and robots and all manner of bosses. NieR is a very hard to define experience, with a breadth of content and gameplay types that consistently swap things up to keep the whole thing fresh.

It also contains one of most well-written, keenly aware stories I have ever seen in a videogame. Something that I do not say lightly. Yoko Taro's speciality is creating deep, rich stories that compliment the interactivity of their medium to convey some very heartfelt and introspective themes. No other game does story like NieR.

It's terribly hard to contain and concisely format the massive list of praise I want to give this game. A word I have used frequently in this article is "unique" and that is very key to the success of NieR. From its gorgeous soundtrack (seriously, I can't overstate this: this is the best soundtrack in a videogame, hands down), to its heartful and bleak writing, its wonderful characters - each with their own journeys and pathos that evolve over the course of the game.

NieR is a game that effortlessly breezes through all of the steps many artful, pondering games take these days to be called "art" and does it in its own way. Brimming with content and quirky ideas, the moment-to-moment gameplay builds on itself throughout the game, with more weapons and spells and powers opening up to you as the story builds momentum and I'm sure will start to grow on you, NieR is an unforgettable accomplishment despite its samey JRPG trappings.

Upon its release, NieR was met with much criticism and didn't come close to reaching the heights of success that 2010 game publishers wanted. People poked at the clunky, awkward combat and the ugly graphics, the tedious side-quests and wanton amounts of farming and grinding for loot. It suffered under a barrage of critiques ranging from "awful" to "generic" or "trashy", and it's easy to see why for a good chunk of the first half of the game. It is a very slow start, but once it gets going...

It's extremely hard to sum up, but if you believe me and take a chance on this masterpiece of a sleeper hit, you will be in for an experience beyond anything you've ever played. NieR is, was and always will be a favourite of mine, hopefully you'll come to see why.

Image credit: Square Enix/ Cavia 
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