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N.E.R.O.: Nothing Ever Remains Obscure

Storm in a Teacup
May 15, 2015 - PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5

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Game Rant
3.5 / 5
9 / 10
3 / 10
Attack of the Fanboy
3.5 / 5
PlayStation LifeStyle
4 / 10
63 / 100
PlayStation Universe
5.5 / 10
Push Square
5 / 10
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Critic Reviews for N.E.R.O.: Nothing Ever Remains Obscure

'Nero' may have some rough edges and frame rate problems, but the brief experience offers a genuinely affecting story that lives up to the 'interactive novel' billing.

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Even after finishing, it's difficult to pin NERO down to a concept or feeling that's easy to explain. It's a game that prioritizes emotion above all else, and it does so wonderfully. But as the boy at the heart of this tale learns, emotions are tough to understand, and thus NERO is tough to understand. You'll just know that you felt something, and that sensation alone is worth the journey.

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N.E.R.O. relies on philosophical lessons in order to create its story, but in terms of gameplay it feels too clumsy and simple.

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NERO is pretty to look at but is decidedly lacking when it comes to substance or involving players in the intricate story it's trying to tell.

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NERO is not fun. NERO might have a powerful story. NERO might look pretty. But NERO is not fun. Nor enjoyable. Or engaging. Or really anything that may have driven me to want to keep playing. The only thing that kept me playing was the review, because dammit I'm a games writer and that's what I do. For its few successes in deep storytelling and pretty visuals, it fails to come together in any meaningful way. Less interactive than a game. Slower to consume than a book. Not as visual as a movie. NERO takes storytelling's greatest mediums and takes away the reasons you would use each particular canvas to tell a story. The result is a slow technical mess that has something deep to say but doesn't know how to say it.

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Nero calls itself an interactive story, and does fine by itself with the story aspect, however interaction is sorely lacking. Nero is an ambitious project and an obvious labour of love, and may be a worthwhile purchase for any gamer with a taste for story and mature subject matter, but be prepared for painfully dull puzzles and a few other blunders.

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A visually beguiling though relaxing explorative adventure, N.E.R.O fails to properly capitalise on its unique setting as its simple puzzles, brief duration, and lack of replayability ultimately damages its long-term appeal.

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N.E.R.O. intrigues as an interactive visual novel, but it fails in its attempts to be a game. The puzzles here are laughably easy, and they subsequently get in the way of the storytelling. There are some beautiful cutscenes and an interesting story here, but they're too often impeded by unenjoyable gameplay.

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