The original Nier’s gameplay wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly thrilling either. Taking inspiration from Automata, 2021’s Nier Replicant has more or less completely revised the core combat. Nier’s action is now faster and flashier, encouraging players to juggle Shades and chain combos with a level of focus that simply wasn’t present in Nier Gestalt. Best of all, Nier Replicant’s combat has been updated without stripping away anything that made the original game so unique in the first place. Sealed Verses still work as they did, the Word Edit allows for soft customization, and there are over 30 weapons to use throughout the game that are split across three weapon types.
Taking inspiration from Drakengard’s wide arsenal of weapons, Nier Replicant offers players a wide variety of options through its distinct play styles. Every weapon has their own unique length and weight to begin with, meaning there’s a weapon for everyone. Between One-Handed Swords, Spears, and Two-Handed Swords, Nier Replicant offers players a tight rotation of weapons to choose from. Each type plays radically different from the other, designed with specific strengths and weaknesses in mind. While you can comfortably stick to a single weapon all game, there’s a reason Nier lets players change their equipment via the D-Pad on the fly.
Nier only has access to one weapon type during the first half of the game: One-Handed Swords. Of the three weapon types, One-Handed Swords are the jack of all trades (although it’s worth pointing out that the single strongest weapon in the game is a One-Handed Sword). Compared to Two-Handed Swords and Spears, One-Handed Swords always deal reliable damage and chain reasonably quick combos – but they’ll rarely outshine either category.
The main drawback to One-Handed Swords lies in their stats. Most One-Handed Swords are found in Part 1, which means they have early game stats. The few Part 2 One-Handed Swords pale in comparison to the best Two-Handers and Spears, ultimately trading the potential to rip through Shades with a comfortable control scheme that’s easy to play.
Two-Handed Swords are unlocked at the start of Part 2 after the five year time skip and are a much slower alternative to One-Handed Swords. Two-Handed Swords are designed around dealing heavy attacks and breaking away armor. Even though Replicant’s combat revisions make Two-Handed Swords faster, they still aren’t particularly reliable for chaining fast combos.
Two-Handed Swords are lousy for one on one fights, but they do an excellent job at crowd control. Part 2 throws hordes of Shades at players and the Two-Handed Sword can chop down anything in your vicinity without the need for much targeting. For those who desperately want to hold onto their Two-Handed Swords, dodging in and out of attacks is a nice way of keeping combat fast paced.
Just like Two-Handed Swords, Spears are unlocked at the start of Part 2. Unlike Two-Handed Swords, Spears are incredibly fast and can pierce enemies with lightning speed. Most Spears are a bit on the weak side to compensate, but some of the best weapons in-game (like the Phoenix Spear) are Spears.
Spears do a poor job at chipping away at enemies who are guarding, but Words can at least help break down Shade armor. While Spears don’t have as many AoE capabilities as Two-Handed Swords, their heavy attack can cut through quite a few enemies at once. For anyone struggling to wield Two-Handed Swords, but don’t want to stick with One-Handed Swords in Part 1, Spears make a fantastic change of pace.
Next: Nier Replicant Complete Guide And Walkthrough
- Nier Replicant
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