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Nier (romanized as NieR in the Japanese version) is an action role-playing video game developed by Cavia and published by Square Enix. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Australia, Europe, Japan and North America in April 2010. In Japan, the game was released as Nier Gestalt (Japanese: ニーア ゲシュタルト Hepburn: Nīa Geshutaruto?) for the Xbox 360, while an alternate version entitled Nier Replicant (Japanese: ニーア レプリカント Hepburn: Nīa Repuricanto?) was released for PlayStation 3 with a younger main character. A version that combined elements from both releases was in development for PlayStation Vita, but was cancelled in March 2011 due to Dragon Quest X taking precedence.
The game is a spin-off from the Drakengard series, and follows the fifth ending of the first game, the events of which have left the planet Earth in a state of decay. Set over one thousand years after this, the game puts the player in control of the titular protagonist Nier, as he attempts to find a cure for an illness, known as the Black Scrawl, to which his daughter Yonah has succumbed. Partnering with a talking book known as Grimoire Weiss, he journeys with two other characters, Kainé and Emil, as he attempts to find a remedy and understand the nature of the creatures known as Shades that stalk the world. The gameplay borrows elements from various video game genres, occasionally switching between them and the main RPG-based gameplay.
The game was developed to appeal both to older players and to players outside Japan, where the developer was based. The music was composed by Keiichi Okabe, head of Monaca, a music composition studio, and has sparked the release of several albums. Nier was released to mixed reception; reviewers praised the story, characters and soundtrack and were mixed in their opinions of how well the disparate gameplay elements were connected. Criticism was given for the execution of some gameplay elements, particularly the side quests, and was especially pronounced for the graphics, which were regarded as substandard. A sequel titled Nier: Automata is currently being developed by Square Enix and PlatinumGames for the PlayStation 4 and PC, featuring many returning staff.