Earlier this week, Square Enix released a closed beta for NieR Re[in]carnation. So I've sideloaded the title not only to see how it plays but to record a lengthy gameplay video so that everyone can see exactly what's in store once the game is officially released in the US. To my surprise, even though NieR Re[in]carnation is a wave-based auto-battle gacha RPG, it's highly polished. Hands-down, the music is phenomenal, the art is stylish, and the story is intriguingly dark, making for one of the better gacha games I've played, something I definitely didn't expect. So if you're eager to check it out, I've recorded an hour and ten minutes of the closed beta for your viewing pleasure.
Above, you can view NieR Re[in]carnation's closed beta gameplay video, recorded by yours truly. It's an hour and ten minutes long, and it shows the basics of the game while also diving into its menu and gacha system at the tail end. So yes, this is a gacha RPG, and it does contain auto-play. Battles are mainly wave-based, but thanks to the exceptional graphics, these fights look great in action. You can also choose to turn off the auto-battle function, so you are free to play manually as well. Fights are pretty basic, and you'll simply tap on buttons as they are highlighted, but I do show both auto and manual play in action so people can get a sense of what's available.
The first thing you'll notice is that the music is downright outstanding. Like way too good for a mobile game, surprisingly so. Beyond that, the art direction flips from 3D to 2D, where you'll explore short story segments in 2D, which are artfully presented this way since these tales take place in the past. Traversing each stage and all battles are in 3D, and these graphics definitely look great on the game's highest graphical settings, which appear to be capped at 30 FPS. While it does take about 30-40 minutes until the game finally reveals its gameplay loop where you'll take on battles to progress each level in order to finish each of the game's short stories (these will inevitably tie together), I never felt the pacing was too slow. You're eased into the game's mechanics, and not in an annoying way like most free-to-play mobile games.
So even though NieR Re[in]carnation is a gacha game where anyone can inevitably pay for a chance to get better heroes and weapons, I never felt like this was a focus. Much like Genshin Impact and Sky: Children of the Light, NieR Re[in]carnation offers extreme polish on top of the typical F2P systems found in most mobile games. It makes for an odd mix, but I do feel it pulls this off better than most. I can confidently recommend that people check the game out once it is released in the US. So if you're eager to get your hands on NieR Re[in]carnation, feel free to pre-register through the Play Store widget below to receive a notification the day it's released. Until then, enjoy the above video.