Nier looked and played like a C-tier PlayStation 2 game when it came out on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in 2010. The action RPG, a bizarre mix of hoary fantasy and post-apocalypse tropes, didn’t make a good first, second, or even third impression. For those that stuck with it through the limp combat, empty landscapes, and affecting bucolic music, though, Nier revealed itself to be one of the most affecting and strange games of the past decade. Finishing the main story involved playing through an odd but pretty standard action RPG, but the second scenario that opens is a soulful exploration of the relationship between the player and enemies in video games. The third scenario turns the brawling action into a text adventure about an intersex warrior possessed by the soul of a dead criminal. Nier goes to some weird, magical places and it deserves to find the bigger audience it never did on Xbox 360 and PS3.

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