BANDAI NAMCO knocks it out from the park with Scarlet Nexus, as it is without a doubt probably the most polished titles they have ever released yet. The new anime, punk action-RPG includes a futuristic world with bright colors and lots of sci-fi vibes, alongside busy combat and memorable characters. At first glance, it appears as though your bread-and-butter anime hack-and-slash game, but Scarlet Nexus is a lot more than that. It comes with an overwhelming amount of combat systems and deep mechanics which will satisfy absolutely everyone, even without being a fan of the specific genre or art style. Also, as the story has a certain cheesiness into it, it is actually quite interesting with a lot of twists and mysteries.
The narrative is told from two sides, because you will be tasked with picking among the two different protagonists, Yuito Kusanagi and Kasane Randall. While the major plot focuses around each of them and in the end it is a tale using the two of them at the center of it, the events that unfold from each side will vary. Based on who you picked to experience the game, you'll meet different people, tackle different missions and even have different party members. Additionally, each character plays vastly not the same as one another, so replaying the sport in the side you didn’t pick to see that story as well, isn’t a chore whatsoever. With this particular dual-story available, it easy to understand that Scarlet Nexus is quite plot-rich and as with any other true RPG, expect a lot of dialogue and epic events.
A self-claimed Brain Punk world that lies in the far distant future
A large amount of years have passed from our current timeline and suddenly, psionic hormones put together within the human brain. These gave people around the world extraordinary powers which resulted in a completely different world than we knew to date. Not just that, but otherworldly, mutated creatures started falling in the sky, now referred to as Others. Since humanity couldn’t cope with these monsters with already known means, everyone began to use their psychic powers to cope with this extinction-level threat. Certain individuals with powers stronger than the rest, hence a ‘stronger’ brain, were recruited by OSF (Other Suppression Force) as an elite group with sole purpose being to eradicate almost every other threat available. Which brings us to Scarlet Nexus’s current events, with Yuito and Kasane starting a journey or orgasm.
The story itself begins pretty basic inside a surely interesting, futuristic environment, and keeps going to an upward spiral from that point forward. The succession of events that our characters finish up in, get more mysterious as time goes by there will be plenty of instances that you will have yourself watching with surprise as twists and surprising changes take place. Unfortunately though, this is when the largest disadvantage to the sport lies too. There is lots of reading to complete if you wish to pay attention at every single detail of Scarlet Nexus and it is story, which sometimes remove a lot of the thrill that the remainder of its gameplay brings, considering how intense its combat is. What doesn’t help as well, may be the robotic conversation between certain early character interactions, particularly when you will find the voice language set to English. The sport treats its players and viewers such as this may be the first narrative title they are playing, which as such, results to lots of voice lines being cheesy and boring. Thankfully, this doesn’t last for long so that as you decide to go further in to the game, with more and more characters being introduced, things change for that better. The conversations feel more alive and less brain-dead with some quite interesting moments to boot.
With that said, and fortunately enough, we have to mention that cinematics and story events don’t get the same treatment. Scarlet Nexus brings forth its rich plot having a combination of static images alongside some really well-made cutscenes, as opposed to some of the company’s previous operate in other titles. In fact, some action-heavy cutscenes could be easily mistaken as parts of an actual anime series. Therefore, as the English dub is not really exceptional, the Japanese voice-over actually brings more life to any or all from the characters and makes those already great cutscenes, really awesome to look at.
It looks fantastic, it plays great and its combat is simply fast and exciting
Right off the bat, Scarlet Nexus looks without a doubt beautiful. The aesthetics are totally on par with the game’s theme, with bright colors everywhere, neon lights almost around every corner and also the necessary edgy dose that our characters must have. Taking into consideration the team behind the brand new IP also brought us Code Vein, one of the edgiest anime games of the modern era, it was a given that Scarlet Nexus may have some kind of influence from that as well. And I don’t even mention this as a negative, since characters and locations alike are quite fitting for which Scarlet Nexus should be. A Brain Punk world where holographic street lights and fences are common to see, and 99% from the population has some kind of superpower. Knowing that, how could you not have a town full of people wearing quirky outfits and cosmetics?
In next gen consoles, everything mentioned previously is further highlighted due to the power of the new hardware. Running at 4k and 60fps on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and modern PCs, Scarlet Nexus looks stunning and plays smoothly as butter. Xbox Series S may are as long as 2k 60fps, but that doesn’t diminish at all the beauty of this game. In which you will in fact see some difference, in other words a lot, is within previous gen consoles. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are not optimized for 60fps and also the most you will get from them, is really a locked 30fps game session. As the difference is without a doubt visible, it doesn’t remove the enjoyment you get from the game. Combat will be more sluggish without a doubt, but because of the nature of your combos and attacks, it's still a blast to connect weapon attacks and psychokinetic projectiles.
Speaking which, combat in Scarlet Nexus is the highlight of the new title and if I selected only one word to explain it, it might be ‘satisfying’. You begin by helping cover their just your weapon of preference, depending on the protagonist you picked, and then you proceed by unlocking an array of new abilities, skills, perks and more, along with your already outstanding psychokinesis power. The unique SAS system is also something you'll be using a lot in Scarlet Nexus. What this essentially does, is you borrow a party member’s power for any short time, and also you increase your own abilities with it. You can make your weapon fiery with lots of effects while only at that state, become invisible, teleport, along with a lot of other activities. Eventually this is your go-to way of approaching any battle in Scarlet Nexus, and at some time you'll be also able to combine lots of these powers together.
There is a ton of other features and mechanics you can use while fighting enemies, so it’s difficult to name these here. Which actually, can even turn out to be a little overwhelming, making this the second flaw of an otherwise excellent action system. There is just too much happening while in a battle, and at no more it you may think about, do I actually need many of these? The reply is both yes and no. It’s a given the more that you can do, the greater cool-looking a mob or boss fight can become. However, which means you have to both learn and remember numerous button combinations and skills, which if more simplified, will finish to some more pleasant sequence. It really is subjective, but when you'd ask me, I’d state that the large amount of combat options you've in Scarlet Nexus don’t mind me at all. The sport paces the time in that you simply learn new stuff, so you've enough room to practice and use what you learned to date, resulting to mechanically pressing buttons and taking out huge combos. This may not be for everyone though, and if that’s the case, some players might end up losing themselves within the clustered UI that has button prompts for all the possible actions you should use.
Whatever the situation may be, something is for sure. You will love fighting Others in Scarlet Nexus. Once you get used to everything, gain levels your character and unlock a lot of new moves and abilities, you will seem like an overpowered machine of destruction. Good thing is the fact that enemy levels and difficulty do scale on the good pace with your characters, so it’s nothing like you will break the game making it simpler than it should. Not to mention you can even boost the difficulty settings at any time during your play session, if you think maybe the game has started to become easier than you’d like. Of course smaller enemies will end up tools for grinding levels and materials, or completing quests, but bosses are no joke here. They're tough, with more complex techniques to beat them, other than ‘press the attack button’ and they will without a doubt prove challenging anytime they jump on your screen.
Most of Scarlet Nexus is really a linear experience, in a good way
The amount of sand-boxy games we have right now is ridiculous. Open-worlds, freedom of preference, all of that good stuff has become increasingly popular, for a simple reason. They usually expand a game’s lifespan and provide an epic journey for the player. Having said that, not all games need to be like this. Scarlet Nexus is first a sci-fi story, then an action-RPG. This means that there's a beginning and an end, with not much branching out other than fun features you are able to take advantage of while not progressing the story. You are able to increase your bond with your teammates in various ways, and be assured you will have a lot of party members to meet and communicate with, you can visit older areas to complete side quests, grind materials for creating new gear for your characters along with other things you can do which we won’t spoil here. All this side content could be experienced outside of the main narrative, so you can tackle each activity at the own pace.
After you feel like you did everything you can aside from the story, it’s time to head back to your original destination and continue unveiling the mysteries from the OSF organization and their course of action in Suoh city, the main hub area of Scarlet Nexus. You'll visit loads of different environments, most of them though being inside an industrial biome, and all of options are structured inside a dungeon-crawling pattern. There's usually one entrance and one exit, and locations have their own sub-areas as well. Lobby areas also exist, without any dangers inside them serving as a break from the usual action-heavy instances that take place during the main story.
Overall, Scarlet Nexus is a straightforward, yet great and enjoyable experience for just about any fan from the genre available. You hunt monsters, make yourself and your allies stronger, gather helpful information on making new cosmetics and equipment, constantly unlock new features for inside and outside of combat, all that while you watch a fascinating story materialize before your vision. It really is a modernized, old-school adventure that will satisfy anyone, despite the few drawbacks it's and the rather slow beginning. The featured dual-story adds even more hours to Scarlet Nexus with a high replayability component that isn’t an artificial increase to its lifespan. Fast paced combat, light anime tropes and joyful characters are without a doubt likely to inject a gratifying feeling to anyone who gives this new IP a go.