Scarlet Nexus does with its futuristic cityscape what Cyberpunk 2077 couldn’t


The best combat systems flow like water. There is perfect rhythm throughout the heat of the battle, with the player back and forth between offensive action, defensive positioning and everything in between. Action games are really successful when they empower the player, never letting enemies become tiring ball sponges, so you don’t feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Scarlet Nexus absolutely nails that balance of power between anomalous abilities and enemies that can be defeated.

Bandai Namco’s latest anime action game takes place in the near future, where cadets are enlisted to protect humanity from ethereal beings, while commanding telekinetic powers with ease. You can pick up and lob bikes, trucks, cement blocks, and countless other items in fast-paced real-time battles, throwing enemies from afar with a huge array of otherworldly abilities. You play with the assortment of close quarters combat moves, where your character can sweep, slash, and slash enemies. It’s a pretty simplistic set of tools, but it works wonders for teaching the player all the moves they need to work with in a very short period of time, and teaching them which move to use in the right situation.

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Scarlet Nexus

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Scarlet Nexus feels like it was inspired in part by PlatinumGames’ Astral Chain. The excellent action game 2019 was led by NieR Automata’s gameplay director Takahisa Taura, sublimely combining the combat moves of your average anime protagonist with your towering mechanical partner. In many ways, Scarlet Nexus follows in Astral Chain’s footsteps by brilliantly combining two main components of the combat system, and the result is two distinct features working in fantastic tandem.

The key here is that Scarlet Nexus provides you with a very limited amount of mystical energy. It only starts recharging after you’ve rushed in to do a few close-range attacks, so it’s never about just sitting around and letting your telekinetic powers take over. But when you cast your eyes around the outskirts of the combat arena to find the next ideally placed building material to knock out your foe, you’ll notice an encapsulating city surrounding you. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something oddly endearing about the anime backdrop that surrounds your adventures in Bandai Namco’s new game. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the near future, and unlike Cyberpunk 2077, humans still function as people, going about their day-to-day business and going to the jobs you and I still do today. .

Scarlet Nexus

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Night City has never given us a good glimpse of the “ordinary” person. There are no sewer workers, no delivery drivers, no corporate lawsuits to and from their offices on the busy city streets. Scarlet Nexus postulates that, for the near future at least, with all of these telekinetic powers being used by the elite forces of humanity and the world being overrun by dark monsters, humanity is still relatable by the mundane nature of their everyday existence still firmly in place, and it makes an incredible effort to build a believable space around you.

Just observe the invading city you’re pushed into following the conclusion of the Scarlet Nexus prologue chapter, and you’ll see some weirdly relatable scenes. There are stressed-out costumes worried about work and tourists strolling through a nearby shrine, reading the history of the area. It might sound overly simplistic, but that’s what Scarlet Nexus’ portrayal of humanity is good at: making anime human beings relatable in a world where monsters fall from the sky by asking them to do the same old tasks. and the same daily routine as us. are used to today. It’s a minor detail, but it works wonders to immerse you in the otherworldly design of Scarlet Nexus, proving there’s more to this action game than hyper-elegant combat. .

Scarlet Nexus launches next month on June 25, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X. From the limited number of hours played so far, it’s shaping up to be a frantically energetic jaunt. in a quite captivating futuristic cityscape.



About Johanna Gooding

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