Scarlet Nexus, Bandai Namco’s most recent contribution to the JRPG canon, launches in just under a month. In the meantime, players on Xbox and, as of today PlayStation, can access a multi-hour demo that looks like a solid appetizer for the game. This demo introduces players to the characters, world, and enemies of New Himuka, a city in an alternate reality 90’s Japan where AR overlays and networked brains are omnipresent.
The game, described as a “brainpunk” action RPG featuring two playable main characters: Yuito Sumeragi and Kasane Randall. Similar to a game like Nier Automata, these characters provide different narrative perspectives on the game’s story and have different relationships to the world it is set in. That being said, what both protags have in common are their sword-wielding, gunslinging, and psychokinetic prowess, augmented by customizable “brain map” skill trees that allow for players to achieve a variety of playstyles.
Two central features of Scarlet Nexus’s combat are its psychokinesis, which manifests as powers ranging from invisibility to pyrokinesis (there’s gotta be a brain-storm power right?), and its skill-sharing party system. Members of the player’s party can be called on mid-combat, like in a tag-team fighting game, to grant stat changes and special attacks. It also appears that the strength of these skills will be determined by a Persona-esque social link system.
Scarlet Nexus looks like it will be a fascinating take on the character action genre. Visually, it looks like a color-shifted Astral Chain. Combat-wise, it looks like there’s something in there for Nier, Code Vein, and even DMC fans. And of course, the manga-style cutscene and world-is-ending story scope are sure to grab anyone who likes their animes hype.
Scarlet Nexus is an upcoming game for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. It will be released on June 25th, 2021 for all platforms.