Square Enix just dropped over nine minutes of gameplay for the upcoming Nier Replicant remaster, and the updated action-RPG looks great in motion.
The showcase opens with a leisurely stroll through a desert village, with our young, nameless protagonist investigating alongside his travelling companions Kaine and the talking grimoire Weiss. A short time skip brings us to the Barren Temple, a newly unsealed dungeon of sorts which makes up the bulk of the showcase.
Immediately, Nier Replicant shows off the same gameplay diversity seen in Nier: Automata. It's got 2D platforming sections, plenty of 3D combat, and light bullet hell elements spliced in between. Like the bots in Automata, Weiss can be used to fire ranged attacks to hit enemies at a distance, and you've also got a range of magic attacks to connect and punctuate your melee combos. We get a brief look at the skill tree supporting these moves around six minutes in; defensive, evasive, Dark Hand, and Dark Blast abilities can seemingly be unlocked and upgraded to tailor your play style.
The showcase concludes with a boss fight against a golem cobbled together from floating cubes. The fight opens with some bullet hell back-and-forth, but evolves into a melee brawl featuring some profoundly video game-y 'giant boss smacks the stage with his hands' attacks. You'd think bosses would learn not to leave their incredibly vulnerable hands exposed.
Nier Replicant (fully titled ver1.22474487139 because Yoko Taro just can't help himself) will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (Steam) on April 23. Replicant is a sister game to Nier Gestalt, which was simply titled Nier outside of Japan, and a prequel to Nier: Automata. It was originally released in 2010, and it's had everything from music and voice acting to combat and graphics updated for its 2021 re-release.
The Nier games still hold some secrets: players found a new Nier: Automata cheat code just last month.