Trying out Nier for PS3

A friend loaned me Nier for PS3 since he had just achieved all the trophies and liked the game. Since I love RPGs, he suggested I check it out.

I have mixed feelings about Nier. I think I could really like it, but it didn’t grab me so hard in the first hour or so that I need to keep playing. So I probably won’t, since I have so many other things to play that I know I really like.

The story in Nier seems compelling. It starts in a dystopian future where the world is crumbling. There, you fight a bunch of ethereal monsters while rapidly gaining levels and abilities while trying to protect your sick daughter. Then, somehow (and I would hope this would be explained later in the game), you fast forward to a medieval future where you are a peasant/hunter trying to protect your sick daughter. And all the fancy abilities you had when fighting earlier: gone. Back to a simple sword. Presumably, you will learn the abilities as you level.

As Yahtzee says in his very entertaining review, the villagers are pretty useless, so you need to kill things for them, do their shopping, etc., as you level and gain abilities and money. This wouldn’t be so bad but the guy runs sort of awkwardly, which I didn’t like. Every stop was a skidding stop, which is silly. The controls are ok, but not as natural and fluid as some games.

The game is visually attractive, but not amazingly so. The characters are well done, as usual with Square Enix, but the landscape and animals are fairly simple and cartoonish. In the first mission, you need to kill some sheep that look like child drawings of sheep. Perhaps it’s an “artistic style.” Or not.

So Nier has a lot going for it, but not enough to draw me away from LOTRO and Portal 2 and Dragon Age 2 and all the other great games that I haven’t finished…

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