N.E.R.O.: Nothing Ever Remains Obscure
Top Critic Average
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
A few interesting puzzles can't save Nero from being an overwritten, mawkish plod that runs so poorly on the Xbox One it's tough to play without feeling sick.
As a visual novel and piece of fiction, NERO is an absolute treasure. As an actual game, though, it is almost a complete disaster, with slow, boring gameplay and technical hiccups abound.
I wanted to like Nero, I really did, but as the credits rolled all I could do was wish I could get my two hours back.