30 Jun 2021
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Game review: Scarlet Nexus (PS4 and PS5)

By Damian Seeto

With the recent release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, it’s also great to see we are also seeing more new IPs. If you have not played your new consoles in a while, it might be worth picking up Bandai Namco’s Scarlet Nexus

When Scarlet Nexus was first announced, I was impressed with its visual style as it is anime based. However, I was scared the game was going to be similar to Code Vein which was Bandai Namco’s take on a Dark Souls game. 

After spending some time with the game, I am happy to say Scarlet Nexus has nothing to do with Dark Souls or Code Vein. Scarlet Nexus stands out on its own two feet and is one of the best new IPs I have played in quite some time. 

At the start of the game, the player has a choice to play as one of two characters. You can either play as a boy named Yuito Sumeragi, or a young girl called Kasane Randall. The choice you make is very important because both characters don’t play the same, and they also don’t share the same storylines either. 

The story for Kasane starts off with her trying to find a way to save her sister who has turned into a monster known as an ‘Other’. Yuito has his own quest as the Earth is also in danger from a cataclysmic event that is about to happen in the far future. There’s more to the story than this, although it’s best not to spoil any more details.  

If you choose to play as Yuito, his combat is a little easier for beginners because he has a trusty sword that can swipe away enemies. Being Kasane you need to be more tactical because she only has some throwing knives. That being said, physical weapons aren’t the only style of offense that both characters can use. 

One of the biggest additions to the combat is the fact that both characters have psychokinetic powers. This essentially means both characters are able to levitate nearby objects and can throw them at their enemies. Throwing objects at enemies and bosses is really effective because it does a lot more damage than your normal attacks. 

While normal psychokinetic powers are triggered with the R2 button on PlayStation consoles, you can also use a more powerful version using L2. The L2 button is only activated if there is a special item that is situated inside the level. After you press L2, you can even do more damage that can severely hurt enemies and bosses. 

Aside from the psychokinetic powers, your main character can also borrow up to four different abilities that the party members have. Some of these skills include duplication, invisibility, electricity and even super speed and more. These skills also help you out in battle if they can exploit a weakness to your opponents. 

The great thing about the combat is that it never feels too boring or repetitive. You will need to use all of the skills in your arsenal in order to effectively come out on top during battles. Not to mention your AI partners are surprisingly helpful most of the time so you never feel overwhelmed if there are too many bad guys attacking you simultaneously.

In terms of level design, Scarlet Nexus features a ton of dungeon style environments. Since this is not an open world video game like Dark Souls, most of the levels are linear and there’s always a clear path to your next objective. The linear level design didn’t bother me at all because it felt nice knowing where you needed to go at all times. You can also fast travel to different regions if you are outside of combat situations too. 

Another great design aspect of the game is the fact this it features constant save points. Save points are common and you get to replenish your health every time you save the game too. It’s also worth mentioning enemies do not respawn so you can have a time to breathe if you are nearing a boss fight soon. 

Graphically, Scarlet Nexus has a unique anime design that will appeal to those that like watching Japanese cartoons and reading manga. Even though the game is also out for the PS4, the PS5 version is where this game truly shines. Not to mention the loading times are super fast if you are playing on PS5 as well! It can also reach 4K and 60fps while playing on PS5 and Xbox Series X. 

One great thing about the game is that you can essentially play it twice and get different storylines. Kasane has her own perspective and you can play the game again as Yuito to experience different missions and storylines. Essentially you can get to play the game up to 40 hours if you plan on doing both campaigns. The game can also be longer if you tackle all the side missions too. 

While Scarlet Nexus is one of the best games I’ve played in 2021, it isn’t without some of its own faults. The only thing that really bothered me about this game is that some of the dialogue scenes drag on for far too long. The beginning of the game can be quite boring, though the story picks up a few hours into it. 

The other thing that might frustrate some people is that some of the enemy types can get repetitive after a while. That being said, the enjoyable combat can still be fun even though you may need to face the same type of bad guys over and over again. 

Overall, Scarlet Nexus is a very fun game to play. Sure the next-gen versions of the game are prettier, but the gameplay is enjoyable no matter what platform you are playing the game on. If you want to try something new, then this game might pique your interest. 

Verdict: 9.0/10

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