Scarlet Nexus

Last updated

Scarlet Nexus
Scarlet Nexus cover.jpg
Developer(s)
Publisher(s) Bandai Namco Entertainment
Director(s) Kenji Anabuki
Producer(s) Keita Iizuka
Designer(s)
  • Tatsuya Watanuki
  • Kohei Rukugawa
Programmer(s) Kakeru Nakamura
Artist(s) Kota Ochiai
Writer(s)
  • Takumi Miyajima
  • Asana Inoki
  • Yasuyo Takahashi
  • Mio Goto
Composer(s) Hayata Takeda
Engine Unreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
ReleaseJune 25, 2021
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Scarlet Nexus is an action role-playing game developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Tose and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It was released on June 25, 2021, for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Series S. The game received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the combat but criticism for its side missions.

Contents

Gameplay

Scarlet Nexus is an action role-playing game played from a third-person perspective. Players can assume control of either Yuito Sumeragi or Kasane Randall, members of the Other Suppression Force (OSF) who are tasked to defend New Himuka from creatures known as the Others. [1] While they are equipped with short-range weapons like a sword, both Yuito and Kasane possess the ability of psychokinesis, allowing them to hurl objects and debris at hostile enemies. The protagonist's powers can be upgraded through accessing the "brain map", which serves as the game's skill tree. [2] As players progress, they would encounter different party members who would assist them in combat. [3] Each companion has their own unique combat abilities, which can then be acquired by the protagonists through an ability named "brain link". [4]

Story

The game is set in both the near future and an alternate reality where humanity has developed technology and formed a society based on the substances found in human brains. These substances also grant humans extrasensory superpowers. The Other Suppression Force (OSF) recruits members with supernatural abilities to protect humanity from the Others, mindless mutants which descend from the Extinction Belt. [4]

Development

Scarlet Nexus was co-developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Tose. Keita Iizuka is the game's producer while Kenji Anabuki served as the game's director, both of whom have worked on the Tales series. According to Iizuka, the term "Scarlet Nexus" means "red connection" or "red bond". Therefore, "objects or persons connected with red lines represent a big part in the visuals and key art" of the game. Artist Masakazu Yamashiro combined organic lifeforms and mechanical elements together in order to create unique design for the Others, the protagonists' enemies. [5] [6] In the game, while the Others invade merely to consume human brains, humanity has already developed a system to forecast their invasion. Game director Kenji Anabuki compared them to natural disasters that humans need to co-exist with. [7] Given the game's theme, story and setting, Bandai Namco called Scarlet Nexus a "brain punk" game. [8]

It was first announced during Microsoft's "Xbox 20/20" digital event, which took place on May 7, 2020. [9] The game has been released for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on June 25, 2021. [10]

The game was promoted with the release of SN-related apparel on Bandai Namco's online store, which was released on June 25, 2021. [11] The game's theme song is "Dream In Drive" by The Oral Cigarettes, who would later on to perform the TV series' opening theme, "Red Criminal".

On March 18, 2021, an anime television series adaptation produced by Sunrise was announced and licensed by Funimation outside of Asia. Medialink and Madman Entertainment licensed the anime in the Asia-Pacific region. [12] Hiroyuki Nishimura is directing the series and Yōichi Katō, Toshizo Nemoto and Akiko Inoue are writing the series' scripts, with Nishimura and Yuji Ito designing the characters, and Hironori Anazawa composing the series' music. [13] The series premiered on July 1, 2021. [14] [15]

Reception

Scarlet Nexus received "generally favorable reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic. [16] [17] [18] [19]

Particular praise was given to the game's combat systems, particularly the telekinesis powers of the two protagonists. IGN 's Mitchell Saltzman wrote that "what really makes Scarlet Nexus's combat stand out is how the telekinetic moves flow with the weapon-based attacks. At any point of a weapon combo, you can press the right trigger to immediately hop back and throw an object, then follow that with a weapon attack that brings you right back into melee range. The result of the ease of transition between the two is a really exciting and smooth mix of long-range and close-range combat." NME 's Jon Bailes agreed, arguing that the game introduced new gameplay mechanics in an accessible way, and that it "build[s] slowly towards something very special. I took early satisfaction from the pendulum rhythm of sword attacks and telekinesis throws – you can suck a car or girder into your gravitational control while swiping away, step back to launch it, then lunge forward again to continue your assault. That satisfaction bloomed into a deeper thrill when I found I could trigger powers in this sequence without breaking stride, returning to strike with fire on my sword, and began to anticipate enemy responses, mixing in evasive manoeuvres. Complexity here is flexibility and dynamism." [28] Kotaku 's Ari Notis also wrote that "Though I thought I knew what it was all about, Scarlet Nexus has consistently surprised me at every turn. Even though I played the demo—which showcased some of the various powers you could activate in combat—I did not expect combat to be as deep and varied as it is."[ citation needed ]

Critics considered the optional side-quests to be a weak-point for the game overall, not meeting the standard of the main story quests. GamesRadar 's Hirun Cryer criticised them, writing that "Scarlet Nexus has an abundance of side missions, the vast majority of which sadly fall into the "fetch mission" category of "go here, kill this", or "keep an eye out for X amount of an item"." Polygon 's George Yang also criticised the side-quests for failing to take advantage of the game's "rich lore and politics" as "there are themes of classism, ableism, and discrimination in the game that could have been explored even further for more world-building." Yang concurred with Cryer that the game's side-quests were "literally all fetch quests. NPCs will ask you to kill a certain enemy in a specific way, then offer you a reward after you report the task as finished. These rewards aren't really even worthwhile anyway, as you can find, purchase, or exchange materials for many of them in the game's shop." However, he wrote in conclusion that "Scarlet Nexus has a colorful cast of characters and an impressive variety of gameplay mechanics, but for me, the unexpected cherry on top was its story. The chapters are very well-paced, and none of them overstays its welcome."[ citation needed ]

Sales

The PlayStation 4 version of Scarlet Nexus sold 20,160 physical copies during its first week on sale in Japan, making it the fifth bestselling retail game of the week in the country. The PlayStation 5 version sold 11,008 copies throughout the same week in Japan, making the country's ninth bestselling retail game of the week. [29] Scarlet Nexus was the fifth best-selling game of June 2021 in the US, and was also the sixth best-selling game on both the Xbox and PlayStation charts that month. [30]

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References

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