The more we see of Bandai Namco’s action RPG Scarlet Nexus, the more we’re intrigued by it. Its anime aesthetic, unique setting, and flashy combat are promising to come together in what has the potential to be a great game, and with its release date right around the corner, excitement surrounding the game is beginning to ramp up. In this feature, we’re going to talk about the key points of info that you should know about the game.
Bandai Namco describes Scarlet Nexus as a futuristic brain punk setting- which is another way of saying that it takes place in a near future alternate reality world, where society and humans have developed technologies based on telekinetic powers. A psionic hormone in the human brain has allowed people to develop psychic and extrasensory powers, but at the same time, mutants known as the Others hungry for human brains have also begun dropping out of the sky.
Of course, the people of Scarlet Nexus’ world don’t take kindly to the Others’ appearance and their subsequent attacks on humanity. When regular methods of defense prove to be ineffective, a force of individuals with psionic powers is established. Called the Others Suppression Force (or the OSF), this group is the world’s last line of defense against the Others, and has been tasked with fighting against and eradicating these monstrosities.
Scarlet Nexus’ story will put the spotlight on two protagonists- Kasane Randall and Yuito Sumeragi. Yuito is a young, bright, and kind-hearted man, and a fresh recruit of the OSF. Kasane, meanwhile, is an elite soldier, and incredibly confident in her impressive abilities as a psionic soldier. Both characters will be playable in Scarlet Nexus, and the story will unfurl as it’s told from both their perspectives.
Of course, while Yuito and Kasane are the primary protagonists of Scarlet Nexus, there are going to be plenty of other key characters in the game as well. There’s the fresh OSF recruit Nagi Karman, Yuito’s closes friend who specializies in Aerokinesis; Hanabi Ichijo, another friend of Yuito’s who specializes in Pryokinesis; Fabuki Spring, an OSF veteran and a Cryokinesis expert; the grizzled old Gemma Garrison, who’s approaching retirement from the OSF; the teleportation specialist Luka Travers, who may look like a young child, but has been with the OSF for over two decades; and many more. Clearly, the game is promising to have a vast and varied cast of characters.
The futuristic city of New Himuka will serve as your hub in Scarlet Nexus. Constantly under the threat of the Others, the city is policed by the OSF. Full of skyscrapers, highways, sci-fi city streets, and all the trappings of a cyberpunk setting, New Himuka looks like a promising location ripe for exploration. Meanwhile, there’s other locations in the game that have been teased as well, such as industrial locations, a snowy setting, and more.
Scarlet Nexus’ combat promises to be a fast and frenetic affair, with plenty of focus on combos and mixing and matching moves against various different kinds of enemies. Melee weapons like swords will, of course, be a part of the equation, but psychokinesis will obviously play a huge role in the combat as well. In fact, that’s what combat will put front and center.
Moving things with your brain and using those abilities to attack your enemies will be the name of the game in Scarlet Nexus. Players will be able to lift, move, and throw objects around- but more importantly, the characters you will have fighting alongside you each will have their own unique special set of powers as well, each adhering to different elements or styles of kinetic abilities. With the game’s focus on combos, it seems like mixing and matching these abilities to bring enemies down will be a big part of the experience.
STRUGGLE ARM SYSTEM
The Struggle Arm System (or SAS) is going to be a key component of Scarlet Nexus’ combat. When your SAS gauge is filled up, you will be able to use it to activate various abilities of your party members, from duplication, invisibility, and teleportation to pyrokinesis, cryokinesis, and more. Borrowing these abilities from your party members and combining them with your own weapons or psychokinesis abilities will allow you to approach battles in several unique ways.
Scarlet Nexus is, of course, an action RPG, which means that there will be plenty of powering up and upgrading going on. Primarily, that will be done through the skill tree known as the brain map. Using brain points, here, players will be able to unlock active and passive boost and upgrade for both protagonists. In addition to unlocking psychokinesis abilities, players will also be able to unlock various traits to upgrade both characters in different ways.
It wouldn’t be a JRPG if it didn’t have a mechanic for bonding with party members, and of course, Scarlet Nexus sure has such a mechanic. Throughout the game, players will be able to interact with and form deeper friendships and relationships with the game’s characters. From conversing with them to interacting with them in Brain Messages to gifting them certain items, there will be several ways to learn more about the characters, form deeper friendships with them, and in turn seeing that provide more benefits for them during combat.
Like most other major (and non-major) games coming out these days, Scarlet Nexus is, of course, a cross-gen release. Thankfully, it’s also one of several games that supports free next-gen upgrades. So if you purchase the game on the PS4 or Xbox One, you will be able to upgrade to the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S versions (respectively) for no additional cost. Cross-gen save transfers have also been confirmed on both ecosystems.
PS5 AND XBOX SERIES X
So how exactly is Scarlet Nexus going to run on the PS5 and Xbox Series X? Well, as far as the resolution and frame rate are concerned, you can expect the regular boosts. It will target 4K and 60 FPS on both consoles (as opposed to 1080p and 30 FPS in last-gen versions). Loading times will also be non-existent on both consoles, according to Bandai Namco. Meanwhile, on PS5, the game will also support the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
But what if you’re planning on playing the game on PC? Well, thankfully, the system requirements don’t seem too demanding. On minimum settings, you’ll need either an Intel Core i5-3470 or an AMD FX-8350, either a GeForce GTX 760 or a Radeon HD 7970, and 6 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, recommended requirements stipulate either an Intel Core i7-6600 or an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, either a GeForce GTX 970 or a Radeon R9 290X, and 8 GB of RAM.
If you’re interested in Scarlet Nexus but want to test the waters before jumping in with both feet, a demo of the game is available- but there’s some caveats. For one, it’s exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Additionally, the demo will only be live until May 27. It highlights the combat and features both the protagonists, while playing the demo also gives you a shot at earning DLC in the full game when it releases.
When Scarlet Nexus launches, you will have the option of purchasing a couple of special editions. There’s the Digital Deluxe Edition, which, in addition to the game itself, will also include some in-game cosmetic items, SAS Plug-Ins to use during combat, a digital art book, and the original sound track. Then there’s the Guardians Edition, which will include all of the above, in addition to even more cosmetics, a steelbook case, an OSF sticker, art prints, a hardcover art book, and five in-game weapon sets.