Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Nier Game Poster Image
Bloody, sexually charged RPG with an oddly touching story.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game explores themes of fatherly love and desperation. However, it glorifies violence with its frequent battles and needlessly graphic depiction of blood. It also sexualizes one character.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Our hero is a father consumed with finding a cure for his disease stricken daughter. His love for her is at times surprisingly moving, as is her love for him. He also feels honor-bound and indebted to his friends and fellow citizens. He is a good man; however, he uses his strength, skills, and stature to engage in acts of bloody violence, but never against innocents and usually as a means of protecting or helping friends and family.

Ease of Play

Three difficulty levels ensure that players of all skill levels will be adequately challenged and that even role-playing game (RPG) rookies will find the action accessible. The controls are simple, and plenty of text-based tutorials exist to help players through virtually every aspect of play.


Players use magic, swords, and other melee weapons to kill evil fantastical creatures and animals. Fights typically result in large gushes of blood flying through the air and crimson splattered across the ground, though there is no dismemberment. Humans are gravely and graphically injured in some of the narrative cinematics.


One female character is dressed provocatively in a skimpy outfit that looks more like a negligee than a practical costume. It shows most her posterior and generous cleavage. There is also flirtatious dialogue and discussions in which characters express romantic interests.


Profanity occurs off and on throughout the game and can at times be quite strong, with examples including: “f--k,” “s--t,” “bastard,” “bitch,” and “asshole.”

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional reference to drinking, with characters talking about others being “hammered” and a building designated as a pub.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nier is one of the bloodiest Japanese RPGs (role-playing games) to come along in some time. Huge gushes of crimson spew from fantastical enemies and wild animals when struck, and humans are shown gravely injured in the game’s cinematic cut scenes. There is also one character that is highly sexualized and wears skimpy outfits that reveal her posterior and excessive cleavage. Note, too, that the game features strong profanity, though the worst of it isn’t noticeably frequent. However, amidst all this potentially offensive content is a story with some surprisingly touching themes; specifically, a father’s tireless love for his daughter.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFiggy66 August 23, 2010

bad game

not that great of a game
Adult Written byMichael C. April 16, 2020

Simply awful beware!

Blood, gore, death, violence. Cursing to the max. Perverse outfits. Just stay away. Horrible disturbing ending. Anyone would be better off not playing this.
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 March 2, 2012

Depends on the kid.

As I loved Bayonetta and play it everyday, when I heard about this game from GameStop,I knew I had to get it.And it wasn't a disappointing buy.The gameplay... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMirrorrrorriM August 13, 2011

Game for mature teenagers

Personally, I think this was a good game, but it is defiantly not appropriate for immature children, and anyone who does not like heart-wrenching stories should... Continue reading

What's it about?

Set in the distant future, NIER, a surprisingly bloody Japanese role-playing game, tells the tale of a man trying to save his daughter from a terrible disease. He journeys across huge maps and through countless dungeons and battles a variety of mythical creatures on his quest find a cure. Along the way he meets up with some interesting characters, including a talking book and a foul-mouthed, scantily clad half demon/half human, and explores some imaginative locals, such as a village made of platforms suspended in a canyon. Note that, unlike publisher Square Enix’s most popular RPGs -- such as those in the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series -- this is mature game filled with adult themes, strong language, sexuality, and graphic violence.

Is it any good?

Nier has plenty of surface flaws. Despite some impressive vistas, its graphics are surprisingly bland, featuring flat, spartan environments and characters lacking much in the way of distinguishing details. And the battle system starts off as exercise in mashing a single button as players tap it to carry out repetitive attacks.

However, give it a few hours and the moving story, which is filled with quirky personalities, such as a world-weary, wise-cracking book, just might sink its hooks into you. And the fighting eventually becomes more engaging once players begin attaching “words” to their weapons to increase their attributes and learn to master dodge, recovery, and magic abilities. Plus, fishing, plant cultivation, and weapon-forging activities act as nice distractions when you want to take your mind of the main quest. It’s not the best role-playing game of the year by any measure, but there’s a good chance it will hit the spot for adult fans of Eastern-style action RPGs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between the game’s daughter and father. Did it feel real? Do you think the game makers were trying to use it to legitimize the father’s violent actions?

  • Families can also discuss the game’s excessive violence, something not all that common in Japanese role-playing games. Did it help give the game a more mature vibe? Or was it distracting, given the emotional and sincere narrative?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: April 27, 2010
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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