N.E.R.O. - NOTHING EVER REMAINS OBSCURE
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 9, 2016
Don't you just love it when developers do absolutely everything right to make a beautiful game with a moving story? Well, if you like that, N.E.R.O. (short for: Nothing Ever Remain Obscure) is definitely your cup of tea. Thanks to the amazing people at Storm in a Teacup and Soedesco we are lucky enough to be able to play and thoroughly enjoy this game. So sit back, relax and join me on this fantastic journey!
After releasing N.E.R.O. for the XBox One in May 2015, developers Storm in a Teacup and publisher Soedesco decided to bring this awesome game to the PC and PS4 as well. You can play the PC version right now if you buy it on Steam; the PS4 version will be released in the summer, so you'll have to wait for a bit if you want to play N.E.R.O. on your Playstation.
In N.E.R.O., You play a floating creature, dressed in a black cloak with neon-blue patterns for decoration. There is no apparent introduction story; instead, the back story unfolds as you play through the magnificently designed levels. This is sometimes done by a disembodied voice which serves as the game's narrator, but also by reading glowing and floating pieces of narrative text that are scattered throughout the environment. And let me tell you; in a environment that is mostly dark and only lit by neon plants most of the time, this looks absolutely amazing. No matter how you look at it, the combination of neon objects and dark and mysterious environments is a surefire way to make things look awesome!
The story that unfolds is one of love, trust, feelings and questions that need to be answered; it's about a group of people who somehow got stranded in this mysterious place and are trying to survive. The main texts will be displayed in a green/yellow color, but you'll also discover blue text fragments. These fragments tell a more personal story about a family; a mother, a father and their son. I was immediately fascinated by these story fragments and, lucky for me, the story about the family becomes more and more important as you progress through the game.
N.E.R.O. is a story driven game, set in a first person perspective. Just reading the texts and discovering what happened in the past is an adventure in itself. The world of N.E.R.O. is beautiful and the soothing soundtrack completes the calm yet mysterious character of the game. Apart from the journey through the events of the past, N.E.R.O. also provides you with a number of cool puzzles to solve. Most of the time, it's quite apparent what the game wants you to do and it's only a matter of timing or combining the right pieces to complete a puzzle. And, as in most games, the puzzles become more difficult with every new chapter. The cool thing about the puzzles is that they really support the game's story, so they never feel forced or out of place. N.E.R.O.'s puzzles are not too easy, but they don't require a university student to figure out what to do.
In chapter one, you will meet another floating creature. His cloak is black with red patterns. He will accompany you on your way and he can help you solve puzzles. Besides solving puzzles, always keep an eye out for pieces of photographs. Every chapter offers you the chance to complete one of these photographs, if you manage to find all the pieces. These photo's represent pieces of the family's story. It's not necessary to find them, but they help you to better understand what's going on.
N.E.R.O. is a very beautiful game, featuring a moving story. It's not every day that you encounter a game which is sad and touching all at the same time. Together with an excellent soundtrack and amazing environments, this game is truly enjoyable for everyone who love games like Journey and/or Karma Flow. For fans of story driven/visual novel games (like me), N.E.R.O. is an absolute must!