Yoko Taro, director of the newly announced NieR game has made it clear that the title will not be a sequel.
In an interview with Famitsu, courtesy of gematsu, Taro said that "The setting is connected [to the previous game], but that doesn’t mean the story is connected. This game is set in the future, so it’s okay if you start with this game. Rather, people who played the previous game and come into this thinking it’s a sequel might be confused.”
He also confirmed that characters from the previous games would make an appearance, but wouldn't be core to the story.
The combat system was decribed as "weapon-based action" with the possibility of "some familiar shooting", and the Drakengard "weapon story" system will be in the game.
Development is said to be around 10 percent complete at the moment, while more details have been promised this Autumn.