NieR Automata has been a huge hit over the past few years thanks to its neat gameplay and thousands of recognizable characters. For the more newbies among you, know that this game is not the first in its series at all, and we’ll see all of this in detail.
NieR is a spin-off?
NieR may have become a powerful license, but it’s basically the spin-off of a game called Drakengard. The first episode was released on PS2 in 2004, the second Drakengard 2 in 2005 and finally Drakengard 3 in 2014, this time on PS3. The first two are mixes of Ace Combat and Dynasty Warriors, and we owe this choice by Square Enix to the popularity of these genres, which was exploding at the time. The third game takes on the direction of a beat’em in the corridors, more classic. Unfortunately, the series has never shone with its gameplay, which is passable, if not entirely bad. However, critics praised both the dark and mature script and characters with the well-written story.
Yoko Taro, the man behind the mask
To create this whole crazy and original universe you needed someone who was very upset and that person is Yoko Taro, the only video game developer walking around in masks. Mask, which is also in the portrait of Emile, a figure from NieR. Yoko Taro does not do this to give itself the atmosphere of a mysterious creator. In fact, he is quite open to his personal life and prefers to act that way to let his games do the talking for him. Very ironic, when the mere mention of Yoko Taro’s name is enough to make a project very popular. The entire universe he created is called Yokoverse by his fans and combines all animated or video game influences.
A completely messy timeline
What is this Yokoverse saying? Stay tuned because it sounds a lot more complicated than Kingdom Hearts. The starting point is the birth of Jesus. Apart from the fact that in this parallel universe in the ninth century, a futuristic city appears out of nowhere in Spain, bringing with it magic, dragons and a host of dangerous creatures. In the face of this arrival, the nations merge and form a kingdom called Midgard. That said, the idea looks very original, but they haven’t really sprained and the playing card is just Europe upside down. On the scenario side, it’s the festival from there: a flower wants to destroy the world, huge babies fall from the sky, a big monster from the Evangelion anime wants to destroy Tokyo and, in addition, the fight against it.The last fight is a rhythm game, in short said it’s daring. With all of these events, which sometimes take turns taking place, Yoko Taro and his team choose a narrative way to create the NieR timeline. In one of these alternate endings, Evangelion’s great monster dies, causing an epidemic that decimates almost all of humanity. This gives NieR that takes place in a destroyed world, and around the year 4000 humanity will even become extinct entirely. The aliens get out and form an army of robots that will fight another army of robot clones inherited from the last humans. That event is called Machine Wars, and NieR Automata takes place during the fourteenth Machine Wars in 11,939. It was easy!
An interesting anecdote: if you thought the title of the next NieR was complicated by the fact that it was called NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139, then it all started in 2010 when Square Enix fully conquered the western market and hoped with NieR reach an older and larger audience. At this time, Yoko Taro is immersed in a darker action role-playing game in which we play a nameless young man who has to save his sister from an illness. The concept is introduced to Square Enix’s US subsidiary, but they find that the character doesn’t really match Western video game standards. Then a new version of the character is created, a tall, muscular Daron who is no longer allowed to save his sister, but his daughter. It is this game that will hit the west, simply called NieR. The version with the younger hero will continue to be released in Japan on PS3 as the NieR Replicant, and the Xbox 360 version of the game will receive the version with the father named NieR Gestalt. The remake, which will soon appear in our country, is therefore a remake version of the Japanese PS3 game that we have never known in France, since our NieR, whether PS3 or Xbox 360, was only the Gestalt version.
Never on the phone
If you knew the saga with the Automata opus, there are still four games and dozens of hours of content to discover. If you’re more of a nomadic mobile gamer, you won’t be disappointed as Yoko Taro is a true jack of all trades. In fact, there are two mobile games that are part of the Yokoverse. The first is NieR Reincarnation, a turn-based role-playing game set in the universe of NieR. This faithfully reproduces the game’s graphics and atmosphere, and allows it to impersonate a large number of characters from the saga, as well as other unreleased ones. The game is already available in Japan and will be released in Europe in 2021. The second is a gacha called SINoALICE. For once, the game is indirectly linked to Drakengard and integrates characters from stories in hyper-creepy and ultra-warped versions. For example, Cinderella is a really depraved, Little Red Riding Hood embodies brutality, Princess Kaguya embodies masochism and Alice is a specialist in bondage, bondage in English … It’s Yoko Taro, you shouldn’t be looking to understand. Even so, the game remains a pretty classic gacha played on its own, with very gritty graphics and presentation. SEE THE OTHER VIDEOS “5 THINGS TO KNOW” By Tanabata, Editorial jeuxvideo.com MP