The original NieR Replicant was developed by Cavia and was released in 2010 on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Since then, 11 long years have passed and now in 2021, NieR Replicant once again makes its entry into the market this time as Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139…, a remastered version of the original.
Some of the original developers from Cavia are now in Toylogic, the studio behind the newly launched remastered Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… How does it feel for the original team members to be working on NieR again?
Main Programmer (unnamed): “It was about 11 years ago, so I’ve forgotten a lot of things. But I had a strong impression that development back then was a lot of fun, and that we were free to do whatever we wanted.”
“The embarrassment of being confronted with parts of the game that I had worked on immaturely in the past, and being able to challenge myself with various techniques that I hadn’t been able to implement back then, made me feel as if I was redoing my youth.”
Nier Automata’s fluid combat and beautifully presented acrobatic moves are some of the most memorable parts of the game. It has been said in an earlier interview that Toylogic had worked on Nier Replicant v1.22’s combat to show Automata’s quality and style.
What was the biggest challenge the team faced in achieving a more ‘Automata-liked’ combat system?
SAKI ITO (Game Director): “In order to create a sense of immersion in the “heartbreaking story” that is one of the most appealing aspects of NieR, we created a combat system that allows you to synchronise with the main character so that you feel as if you are naturally using the sword and magic. You can now mix and match swordplay and magic in a free, versatile, and speedy manner.”
“For example, if you shoot the Dark Lance while dashing, you’ll slide sideways with the same momentum, or if you unleash the Dark Hand after a weapon attack, it’ll turn into an uppercut that launches the enemy. These are just a few of the ways in which the magic will respond to your actions in different ways.”
“NieR: Automata was a great game that lets you enjoy a fast, free, and three-dimensional-style action. We thought it was essential that this game, which is part of the same series, had the same kind of feel.”
We asked Ito-san which game (Replicant v1.22 or Automata) he thought was the tougher game;
“Definitely NieR Replicant ver.1.22”,
“Of course, we’ve adjusted the game to be more satisfying, but we’ve also kept the essence of the game from 11 years ago, so you’ll still feel the crunch of the old game. This time, however, we’ve added auto-battle, just like in NieR: Automata, so even if you’re not a fan of action, you can still enjoy the game”.
Given Automata’s commercial success in delivering more than 5.5million copies in sales, was there any pressure on the Toylogic team to match or surpass Automata’s commercial success?
“It’s about reaching the quality that Yoko-san and Taura-san from Platinum Games are looking for.
The previous game, NieR: Automata, is a really amazing game, both in terms of visuals and game design, so it was a lot of pressure for the team to compare to NieR: Automata and be as good or better than it.”
We asked Ito-san and Saito-san (Yosuke Saito, Square Enix) about Music next.
The music component in the new NieR Replicant v1.22 has seen new tracks and extended versions of older tracks included in the new game. So, which is your favourite track in the new playlist and why?
SAKI ITO – I would say Kaine’s theme (Kaine/Escape); I feel it represents Kainé, who is heroic, but also sensitive as glass. I chose this song for it is used in one of the most memorable scenes in the game.
SAITO – It’s difficult to say which is the best… My favourite characters are Devola & Popola, so I’d go with “Song of the Ancients”… All of the arrangements of this song are fantastic too.
We tried to pry Saito-san for more than his favourite soundtrack, and more specifically on the possibility of the NieR series finally arriving on Nintendo’s platform especially the Switch, but unfortunately, we received no answer for that.
But what about a new NieR game, we asked. Is there a new NieR game currently in the works? If not, will there be one?
SAKI ITO – “I can’t tell you! So, it’s a secret.”
NieR Replicant v1.22 is now available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Still wondering if you should get the game? Read our full review of the game here.