Nier is amazing.
I've been eagerly awaiting this game since I heard about it. I thought it would either be a total flop, or it may be interesting. The trailers where cryptic, no information online, and mostly skeptical critics commenting on demos they played. I heard that it was too hack and slash, then I heard that it was a totally in depth RPG complete with gardening and fishing. Its both.
I know, that's really weird. It doesn't usually go. But it does here. The game play is rather difficult at first, at least for someone not accustomed to hack and slash action type fighting. The fact that it lacks a "lock on" function is a real draw back to me, honestly. But over all, it's enjoyable, and challenging. Some of the fights have reminded me of Zelda with their puzzles and problem solving aspects to it.
The game starts out with a bang, and within the first half an hour I'm certain you will be intrigued and must play more! It makes you want to know more, it sucks you in. The story, so far, is like nothing I have seen before. It reminds me, in looks, of Shadow of the Colossus, except about a million times better because now there are towns and many people and creatures to interact with. It's also beautiful, and the back drop is indeed haunting, while still keeping a hint of Whimsy for the Square Enix touch. I'm so pleased that Nier has come out, when I was tired of being disappointed by SE's Final Fantasy releases post FFIX, and I was recently disappointed with FXIII's lack of an open world, well Nier fills that in spades.
The world is vast and gigantic! and you will be sent into it for many reasons, to deliver fragile packages that will break if you are knocked down or jump, to kill sheep and harvest mutton to a fussy lady with tons of fat children, or to run off and save your Daughter. And no, I'm not at all feeling that I lost out on the Japanese story, I like it much more as a father. I think it is more unique, and it makes more sense.
The characters are outrageous, and will often be saying very filthy things that will have you laughing out loud. I would not advise playing this game around small children. :x but many times I will laugh so loud that people who are in the other room will ask me what happened, and I will recount the video games content. It's very funny, and very unexpected.
The game is an all around hit. I've been playing it non stop since I got it, and I only stopped because I got caught on a particularly hard boss and my fingers started to hurt, not because I wanted to stop.
There are multiple endings, and quests that effect your characters proficiency in many of his day to day things, like fishing or gardening. And of course, he has his daughter at home, he cannot ignore her, he has to go home and check on her too. All of these actions affect the outcome of the game. The world is completely open, you decide in what order you do things, and it is beautiful and wonderful. It reminds me of the open worlds in old Final Fantasy games. (I am a Final Fantasy loving geek, so you have to understand, that is a huge compliment in my mind! hehe)
My only complaints is with the camera angles... some of them are terrible in certain boss fights, and the camera control can be buggy in small spaces. I dont consider it a huge issue, or any debilitating issue of the game, though it can be frustrating in the grand scale multi-tier boss fights. Also, it appears that you can only play as Nier, and not as Kaine or any of the other supporting characters.
The story is wonderful, the game play is fun and the music is absolutely fantastic. I would buy the Soundtrack without a blink if I found it on sale anywhere yet! All around, the game is a total hit! Any RPG or action fan would love it! I can see the "God of War" and "Devil May Cry" fans going for this, just as much as the "Final Fantasy and other RPG" fans as well! (I'm in the later category, and I have no complaints!) I love it. I recommend Nier, and I'm excited to see more of this new Franchise of SE's. ^^
Edit: I just found the soundtrack on iTunes, all 44 some+ tracks. It's amazing! This game is really phenomenal on all the right levels :)
Edit: I've played through the story, and I have played the second ending. Oh... my god. No really, I can only ADD stars to my review.
I the game has 4 endings, all revealing more shocking and unexpected story twists... new cut scenes, and other FUN stuff. After you beat the game, you do not have to restart the whole game and get to keep your character info and weapons/items (to avoid spoilers I will leave it at that) I love this game.
I find myself thinking about it, months after buying and playing it, and still wanting to play it. And the music, wow phenomenal! I still want to, and plan to play through the other 2 available endings, I'm procrastinating because once I play them, there will be no more Nier, not until they release another, and that makes me sad. This game is really something wonderful!