Scarlet Nexus – Review

Release Date
June 25, 2021
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Bandai Namco Studios
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Reviewed on
Review copy provided by
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Scarlet Nexus, the newest hack and slash JRPG from Bandai Namco, is making a name for itself upon its worldwide release on PS4. The game is trendy and has a unique art style that I personally love to watch over and over again. I really enjoyed playing Scarlet Nexus on release and I hope to see either a sequel or more DLC in the future as it really appealed to my creative mind.

Scarlet Nexus takes place in the far distant future where a psionic hormone was discovered in the human brain, granting humans extra-sensory powers, changing the world as we knew it. As humanity grew stronger, unexpected creatures called OTHERS began to appear from out of nowhere and started harvesting human brains to either grow stronger or even evolve further. In order to combat this, the government established a military organization called the OSF.

The game’s main focus is on its two main characters, Yuito Sumeragi and Kasane Randall. Both of their stories and playstyles differ from one another. They do, however, have parts where both stories intertwine. I personally love the idea that we get to choose which route we get to play and know how their interactions affect the other based on their decisions. Not only that, the game’s story is full of plot twists, as well as thrilling moments. This makes for some great storytelling on the part of the game with its unique settings, characters, and many others. Many aspects of the story make it very appealing. One can say that the presentation is truly a work of art.

Scarlet Nexus on PS4.

The gameplay of Scarlet Nexus may look simplistic but it fits well for the game’s setting. The controls were easy enough to understand as well as using PSY abilities to use objects to smash my opponents’ defense. Breaking an enemy is made all the more worthwhile on account of seeing its health bar go critical. I can clearly see when and how to finish them through brain-jacking finishers. The finishing animations for each instance were distinct for each OTHER, making it worth seeing despite performing the move numerous times. Doing so results in that OTHER dropping rare items that can be used to upgrade weapons, equipment, and much more.

I love the fact that the usage of abilities isn’t limited to the character’s own powers. The game actively encourages players to borrow the powers of their allies. Strengthening the bonds between allies increases in proportion to the bond levels that are increased by either giving gifts or playing their bond episodes. This type of feature is interesting as we get to know more about the characters’ origins and traits as well as learning certain truths behind the world of Scarlet Nexus.

The upgrade system is a point distribution system that branches off into 5 sections. Each branch focuses on either melee weapon use, PSY skills, Brain Drive, Brain Field, or Support. Upon leveling up your chosen main character, not only do we get new skills and advantages in defeating opponents, but we also get to branch off more abilities to further increase our PSY abilities. This becomes especially useful when using the Brain Drive.

Scarlet Nexus on PS4.

Another feature that piqued my interest the most was the Brain Field. Using this feature greatly increases the use of one’s PSY skills and the use of objects around them to attack enemies simultaneously. However, using this ability comes with great risk. The longer the user uses the Brain Field, the more health depletes over time. In some instances, it can even lead to death. Using this feature is like handling a double-edged sword that tends to bite back at you.

The final boss and final area was exceptionally challenging since most of the OTHERS that I fought were bigger and harder to defeat. Considering what tactics and powers I need to get through this area, I found myself very entertained and the whole endeavor challenged me. And yet it created a wonderful experience as I faced off against all odds. I needed to use all my SAS abilities and sword skills to make victory possible. And finally, the story’s ending was emotional enough for me to want either an additional DLC episode or have another sequel to the game.

Truly, this new hack and slash game is fitting for those who want to challenge themselves in defeating powerful enemies who are either larger or more agile than ourselves.

Though there are many good points about it, there are also some bad points to it as well. One of the bad points that I noticed while playing the game was the low-resolution textures found in the environment. Also, there were certain parts in the game where the enemy would suddenly appear in between walls, making them hard to reach, or rather attack, thus resulting in either reloading previous checkpoints or using PSY skills to bash them. This unexpected bad point needs to be addressed properly by the developers.

Another issue which I find concerning is the camera controls. With the high octane slashing and use of PSY skills, the camera controls seem to be too overly sensitive thus giving me a hard time targeting my enemies even during boss battles. Though the game should focus on the uniqueness of the setting, the camera should respond accordingly. If not, I fear that this issue might cause a lot of distress to many Bandai Namco fans in the future.

Scarlet Nexus on PS4.

Overall, Scarlet Nexus is worth getting, especially for those who wish to challenge themselves. The story, animation, gameplay, and setting prove that Scarlet Nexus has what it takes to become a new tipping point for Bandai Namco to outdo other JRPG titles. I highly recommend players to play the demo first, then if they are satisfied, get the full version of the game. Scarlet Nexus will definitely open a new way of playing JRPG games and will open up a series of unique challenges that will shatter gamers’ perceptions of how to end a game.

Scarlet Nexus – Review
Score Definition
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest on if you have some spare.
Smooth Hack Slash style of Combat
Storytelling is great
Game animation is unique and has a sense charm
Character Designs has a certain edge to them that appeals gamers and cosplayers
Boss Battles are battles that you can't get enough of.
Camera Controls are too sensitive especially in combat
Low Texture on Landscapes
Maps of the area are a bit confusing