Mixed or average reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 58
  2. Negative: 3 out of 58
Buy On
  1. Nier is an awesome game which brings a great story, lots of gameplay variation, interesting characters and a very good soundtrack. It is the surprise of this year!
  2. Nier is as awesome as it is obscure. A game that will be hated by simpletons for its bold approach to the action-rpg genre, and loved by anyone in their right mind for exactly the same reason. The oddly loveable cast, the myriad of different gameplay-concepts (ranging from old school to sheer genius) and the awesome soundtrack make Nier into a roughly hewn diamond, brilliantly shining as the surprise of the year.
  3. With Nier, Cavia has done the seemingly impossible, and created something entirely unique from nothing but borrowed components
  4. 88
    It is absolutely, positively worth your attention if you are in any way an "RPG Fan." At least rent or borrow it. Give it a try, and see if you are capable of falling for this one like I did.
  5. On balance, Nier is a varied and engaging experience that for JRPG fans, is certainly worth a look.
  6. Time will never be kind to graphics, but enduring gameplay is rarely forgotten, and in that regard Nier's going to wind up as one of those "hidden gems" you always wish you would have played. Do yourself a favor and snag it early.
  7. The gameplay itself in Nier is quite good, but technically it isn't up to date. This fact can't be changed by the angle-changes and the cool word-level-up-system. Fans of Japanese games probably will have a lot of fun with this game.
  8. Feb 9, 2011
    Nier won't wow players with its basic mechanics, but in the story it tells, the characters it develops, and the themes present throughout play, it will easily win over anyone seeking something emotionally exploratory and well off the beaten path.
  9. If you're not really into RPGs, you won't be impressed. However, if you are like me (a role-playing veteran), and you've agreed with things I've said in the past about the genre this generation, get it. I can almost promise you won't regret it.
  10. The team at Cavia have without question nailed the entertainment portion of the game. But, the gameplay still needs a few tweaks to remain just as engaging. For a first run, Nier is exactly what it should be; a flawed game with a ton of potential.
  11. Pelit (Finland)
    A quite good action-adventure. Nier mixes in different gameplay styles quite carelessly - some of them work, some of them don't. Luckily none of them last too long. The basic enemies are quite dull, too. [June 2010]
  12. The wonderfully designed characters and intriguing plot do just enough to elevate NIER above much of what is coming out of Japan these days. It is, in many ways, the kind of game critics of the Japanese RPG have been calling for: different, fresh, and in parts distinctly un-JRPG. Not all of it works, but it's a commendable effort, and a memorable experience.
  13. As an action-RPG, perhaps there is a better option available if you've yet to play through Darksiders, but Nier still manages to stand on its own accomplishments – as varied in mechanics and quality as they may be. For that reason alone, I'd suggest giving it a try.
  14. Nier has one of the best casts ever seen. The constant bantering between the main characters is the perfect supplement to the frantic action where basic sword attacks are blended with massive magic attacks. Every so often Cavia turns everything upside down. Suddenly you'll be playing survival horror, a rail shooter, or possibly even a classic text adventure.
  15. A great combination of action games like Bayonetta and RPG games like Last Remnant. Everything from bosses to the epic music deserves praise.
  16. 80
    Variety is the word that defines Nier the best. Variety of genres and game styles which compose an epic, fantastic and full of action adventure.
  17. Nier comes with a bizarre mix of influences and its own accomplishments. Not all of it works, but it's a commendable effort, and a great experience.
  18. 78
    Compared with other high profile RPGs and Square Enix's own recent big budget release, the inventiveness of NIER is well ahead. However, the graphics and the bad choices keep it well out of their league.
  19. NIER is an action-adventure RPG game with an identity crisis; lacking enough uniqueness to make it interesting, but brimming with a refreshing adult attitude.
  20. For the most part it is a hidden gem, and shows a lot of care put into the inside game jokes and attention to detail in the story.
  21. Nier is a typical wannabe action-shooter-RPG: the dev. team put so much into this project that the end result turned out to be a rather confused mash-up. Still it's got some charm to it that might even convince you, for some unknown reason, to play at it for hours. Try it before you buy it!
  22. 73
    A game with split-personality disorder, aiming to please everyone with elements drawn from a raft of sources, but in the process it never excels in any one area.
  23. NIER might not the revolutionary title that it inspired to be, but it has some moments that make the downtime worth the effort. The cast, sorrowful fable, and boss battles are some of these moments that makes NIER stand out from the current crop of role-playing games.
  24. 71
    NIER is a kind of strange name for a game in our language, but the game itself isn't strange at all. It's pretty nice actually. It has a great atmosphere, brilliant audio and pretty cool enemies to fight against. But it's sad to see the graphics are more like a PlayStation 2 game then a PlayStation 3 game, so it could have been a lot better. But if you are looking for a great hack and slash game with RPG elements, then NIER wil be a nice game to play or add to your collection.
  25. A bizarre mix of influences and a great script still can't save this inventive but flawed role-player.
  26. Nier is a game that at first may alienate some. If you're seeking a classic RPG, then it is not for you.
  27. When you take its parts separately, it isn't a very good game. The gameplay mechanics are simplistic and unpolished, the graphics are bland, and the only real standout element is the audio. Yet there is something intriguing about the entire package
  28. 70
    It's like an ugly puppy: it's not appealing to look at and it sometimes makes a mess, but it's got a special quality that makes you love it regardless.
  29. Not exactly original, but then it doesn't pretend to be. Despite being clumsy, old-fashioned and bumpy, it's still a charming RPG with a great story that is sure to please fans.
  30. 70
    The ideas that Nier was built on are extremely solid -- the execution just falls short.
  31. If you're one of the many who've grown tired of spikey blonde protagonists and thirty hour corridors, then maybe it's time you let Nier convince you that there is room for change.
  32. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Nier can be surprisingly rewarding, but learning to appreciate its bizarre charms does require patience. [July 2010, p.78]
  33. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    JRPG blended with platformer, hack'n'slash and shooter surprises with some clever ideas but disappoints with story and dull side mission. Good game but not a smash hit. [Issue#191]
  34. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Production wise, there's little reason why this couldn't have been on PS2. With a little patience and a lot of forgiveness, you will have fun with Nier and it's very easy to get into, but there are far richer experiences elsewhere. [June 2010 p79]
  35. Nier could have been something if more thought was put into the actual gameplay and leveling system, rather than making it a linear path through mediocrity.
  36. PSM3 Magazine UK
    It's just made to look pedestrian by other JRPGs, most notably FFXIII. [June 2010, p.98]
  37. AceGamez
    Provided you can make it through the disappointing introduction and swallow your outrage every time Kaine makes a show of bending over, Nier is a classic action RPG with some refreshing elements and a reminder that streamlined gameplay need not mean a restrictive experience due to its minimal but innovative weapon and ability upgrade system.
  38. A well written story and some good gameplay gimmicks combine with an overall context that lacks coherence. Some issues in the control system and old-gen graphics utterly spoil the fun. A shame, especially for the waste of some good ideas and the well designed supporting characters.
  39. With so many genuinely good action/RPGs that aren't riddled with archaic missions and gameplay, I have trouble recommending Nier solely on the basis of a decent (but unevenly executed) story.
  40. In the time spent playing this, I really wanted to enjoy NIER as an intricate game but it suffers largely from an identity crisis.
  41. NIER is a game that will undoubtedly appeal to a handful of RPG enthusiasts because of the story being told. For others, myself included, the game is a slapdash effort that fails to make good on its promise and it ultimately ends of falling into a pit full of worn-out RPG conventions.
  42. The story is rich and engaging, but gameplay is little more than a chore.
  43. 62
    Nier is an average game trying to blend RPG with hack&slash. Unfortunately, it fails. The storyline is averagely delivered and the game starts out slowly. Gameplay-wise not much is there to entice you and that's without having to face mediocre graphics. Luckily, the dialogues are funny sometimes, otherwise there would not be much to enjoy in this game.
  44. Thanks to a strong narrative and a relatively good concept, Nier is to be considered a decent addition to the PS3's and 360's RPG catalog. Although its visuals aren't surely breathtaking and its gameplay doesn't excel in terms of depth, the game will in fact manage to guarantee a likable experience to any fan of the genre.
  45. A peculiar game, which should mostly fascinate Drakengard fans and appeal to the most inquiring minds.
  46. NIER is far from perfect – in fact, it's decidedly below average at times – but for every sloppy design decision or hackneyed rehash there are charming and often unique aspects that are worth the investment.
  47. Nier is a missed opportunity. There are moments when the storytelling shines, but those are few and far between in a pretty drab quest-laden game with boring missions and fetch quests.
  48. Edge Magazine
    You can call it feature creep or over-ambition, but it's the surfeit of content that almost buries the game's achievements. [June 2010, p.100]
  49. When NIER dares to take risks and deviate from the norm it really manages to find its own voice. The boss fights, changes of perspective and parts of the story shine, but the experience is sullied somewhat by the uninspired graphics, repetitious gameplay and the slow tempo.
  50. Nier is very difficult to dislike, even as you curse the quality control that lets the game oscillate wildly between the fiercely inventive and the utterly generic. Yet while it's hard not to admire a game that dementedly throws so much at the player in an attempt to make something stick, Nier's faults are too many and too severe to wholeheartedly recommend.
  51. Overall, Nier has its ups and downs. There are brief moments where you can see the influence from more brilliant games, such as Zelda and Bayonetta, shining through, but the overall experience is lukewarm at its best moments.
  52. Play UK
    Nier spends hours being impressively boring as you plod through the drab overworld, but the smart progression saves its blushes. [Issue#192, p.86]
  53. This dreary action role-playing game has its worthwhile moments, but they're separated by countless hours of fetch-quest tedium.
  54. Nier is a complete mess. To mix up action rpg and 2d scrolling shooter is a weird idea, and the results are very disappointing. The clumsy plot and the ugly graphics do the rest.
  55. When it comes down to it, Nier is a decent game that has some very cool ideas behind it, but overall falls short of what it could have been.
  56. 45
    Nier wants too much and therefore fails. The gameplay is not challenging, the graphics are below standard and there is no originality whatsoever. So, just don't buy this game.
  57. 42
    I'm just not convinced that this grab bag of half-baked ideas and gratuitous filler makes for a great videogame. And I learned something about myself, as well: It takes a lot more than sassy books and hermaphrodites to keep my interest these days.
  58. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    As far as being an actioner that's worthy of your time, this is not up to the standard we'd expect. In fact, it's nowhere Nier. [June 2010, p.105]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 358 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 358
  1. Serkan
    May 2, 2010
    It still amazes at all the average scores NIER has been getting from the so called video gaming experts. I've been playing NIER since It still amazes at all the average scores NIER has been getting from the so called video gaming experts. I've been playing NIER since day 1 of release and I can honestly say its one of the most innovative mature games to hit this console generation. Yes the graphics are not the best and graphically there are way better games out there but if you can look past the graphics what you will experience with NIER is an Action-RPG with a fantastic adult orientated story. NIER is much more than your typical Action-RPG it has side scrolling segments, top down segments, shooter segments which all seem to blend in pretty well with each other. If Final Fantasy XIII left a bad taste in your mouth with the lack of towns and NPC's then you will enjoy NIER as it has loads of towns and NPC's to interact with. It has also one of the most amazing video game soundtracks I have heard in a long time with memorable tracks which gives the game a sense of epicness. The voice acting is also excellent with some well known voice actors from the anime circuit. NIER is a strange game with some weird elements but personally I cant recommend it enough! Full Review »
  2. Nov 28, 2010

    Wow what can I say! This game really is one of the best games of 2010. The story and characters are really great and

    Wow what can I say! This game really is one of the best games of 2010. The story and characters are really great and touching. The graphical art style is fantastic.

    The combat is very fun.

    There are lots of optional sidequests throughout the game and there all different.

    The game probably has one of the most amazing beautiful ost's ever.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 25, 2010
    Nier is a awesome game. I give it 10/10.

    It is unique, dark, interesting, and insane. It is truely unique. I love this game. The soundtrack
    Nier is a awesome game. I give it 10/10.

    It is unique, dark, interesting, and insane. It is truely unique. I love this game. The soundtrack is so beautiful. How anyone can score this any lower than 10/10 is beyond me. The graphics are fine. It never slows down. That is something to say. It is a amazing story. A dark, intelligent and unique game. Brilliantly and well written. I love Nier. :)
    Full Review »