With the release of Nier Replicant, some players are wondering whether they should play it or Nier Automata first. Given the fact that the original Nier flew under the radar when it was first released, many players might not realize that Replicant is a remaster of that game. It can be confusing to determine the order in which Nier Replicant and Nier Automata should be played.
Should I play Nier Replicant or Nier Automata first?
It really doesn’t matter if someone players Nier Replicant before or after Nier Automata. The two games are set in the same universe, and they’re definitely connected. However, the events of Automata are self-contained enough that players don’t need to play Replicant to understand them.
However, playing Nier Replicant will give players more insight into the events of Nier Automata and vice-versa. If we had to pick an order to play them in, we’d go with chronological with Replicant first and Automata second. Since Automata takes place around 8,000 years after its predecessor, players shouldn’t expect too many common threads between the games. After all, almost the entirety of recorded history fits within the last 8,000 years, and think about how much is leftover from the Sumerians or the Indus Valley Civilization.
Making things even more confusing–at least for those who want to experience the entire series–Nier is a spinoff of Drakkengard’s fifth ending, and Drakkengard 3 has a tenuous connection with the series as well. However, players can safely skip the Drakkengards entirely. Although they’re ostensibly set in the same universe as Nier, the connection is so small and obscure that fans are best off just watching a YouTube video or reading a wiki entry about it.
When it comes down to brass tacks, Nier plays it pretty fast and loose with its timeline. So, just play the one that appeals the most first.