Scarlet Nexus Review: Although the story of Scarlet Nexus may seem messy, it is filled with great characters and fun activities that makes it worthwhile.
Scarlet Nexus transports us to a world in which humans have developed psionic abilities and can connect their minds with each other. This has radically changed the way we live, opening up a new world of connected consciousness and advanced technology.
The human race is not all roses and sunshine. They are constantly in danger from the Others, brain-consuming, mind-altering monsters that appear randomly from the mysterious belt around the planet. Many areas have been rendered uninhabitable by their destructive impulses.
Humans are forced to gather in cities under the protection and control of the Other Suppression Force, an elite army of psionics who can handle Other attacks.
Two new recruits to OSF Yuito, Kasane, and their skills are quickly tested during attacks. They will have to choose sides when a mission goes wrong and they will be forced into fighting to uncover disturbing truths.
Scarlet Nexus’ setting is a fascinating mix of cyberpunk imagery and dystopian society. It grabs your attention instantly. The feeling that something is wrong with everything is immediately felt.
This sensation only intensifies when you see the Others, a terrifying mix of familiar organic and inorganic items into monsters that feel like living creatures but are disconcertingly alien. The cutscenes are presented primarily in comic-style still panels. This gives the game an episodic, high-stakes manga feel. Scarlet Nexus is a unique and slick game.
Start the game by selecting Yuito or Kasane to be your primary character. Yuito is an action-game swordsman. Kasane, on the other hand, is a more technical fighter with her ranged knives. Both characters can perform combo attacks, jump strikes, dodges, and other 3D combat maneuvers.
They also have the ability to use psychokinetic powers to add an extra element to combat. They can hold R2 and grab a background object to slam directly into an enemy, potentially catching them off-guard and opening the door for more combo attacks.
Combat is not a pleasant experience at first. It can feel a bit sluggish and disjointed when Kasane is playing. In the beginning, it can be difficult to chain attacks together on stronger foes. It quickly improves when you add the SAS to your game.
This system allows your character to connect with other squad members and temporarily use their powers. Hanabi will give you pyrokinetic fire slashes which can set your enemies ablaze if you hook up with her. You can use Kagero’s invisibility for sneak attacks and hide from aggressive foes.
Tsugumi has clairvoyance that will allow you to see hidden enemies and weak points. Gemma also has sclerokinesis which can be used to quickly reduce enemy attacks.
These skills can transform combat from a routine affair to one that is more exciting. Certain abilities are particularly useful in certain situations. However, you must also learn how to manage them as they all have cooldown times.
The more you play the game, the more combat augmentations become available. You can increase your level by filling out Brain Map nodes. These skills unlock new offensive and defense capabilities that you can use in battle.
The Brain Drive is a super-powered mode that activates when you fill a gauge. It increases your combo ability and damage output. The Brain Field is the final state.
It’s an extremely dangerous but powerful condition that can cause you to take massive damage and increase your psychokinesis. There are also more mechanics. Guard meters were added.
You can use the correct skills and attacks to break down enemies and perform a devastating Brain Crush attack to get bonus loot. You can also find unique objects in the environment that enable you to use QTE-powered psychokinesis to attack enemies.
For example, you can pound an enemy with a marble statue or run over a line with a train. You can unlock your teammates’ full potential and new options such as follow-up attacks against downed foes by building a strong relationship.
You can also revisit areas you have already explored for sidequests and experience. These sidequests can be as simple as “kill enemy X” and “collect item Z”, but may also require additional requirements such as defeating enemies with a specific SAS power.
These sidequests don’t contribute much to the story or worldbuilding of the game. They are a great excuse to visit areas and farm items and experience. However, it is important to collect enemy drops and environmental information.
You can trade these items at the shop for exclusive weapons and upgrade plug-ins and, most importantly, items you can give to your team during story breaks.
You can show your crew what you like and increase their love for you. This will unlock “Bond Episodes”, where you can get to know them better and share their backstories. You’ll be able to access enhanced SAS functionality, as well as additional attack and defense options, the more bond they have.
You can also have your presents used to decorate your base. This is a nice touch. Bond Episodes can range from ridiculous to serious, but you will come away with a greater appreciation for your in-game friends.
Because the story is a complete trainwreck, it’s good that Scarlet Nexus’ combat and character interactions are entertaining. After a few chapters, what started as a fascinating sci-fi story about superpowered youths being used by shadowy governments to fight hideous creatures turns into a mess of bizarre plot twists.
You’ll experience the same “WTF was THAT nonsense?” events regardless of which Yuito or Kasane you choose to be your lead. Although I won’t go into spoiler territory, it’s clear how frustrating the plot can be.
Yuito repeatedly requests that everyone sit down and discuss what’s happening instead of trying to kill one another. Even more confusing is the fact that some enemy characters ask for your lead to stay with them while all this is happening.
This creates a strange disconnect between narration and character. There are many plot threads that, even after all of that has been resolved, become extremely weak if you think about them. However, as absurd as the story was, I was curious to see how crazy it could go on.
Although the plot turns into a sludge pit by the end, Scarlet Nexus is still enjoyable. The excitement of combat starts to fade towards the end of Scarlet Nexus’s twenty-hour runtime.
And the final stretch of Scarlet Nexus feels too long. But I still had a lot of fun using my SAS skills, crushing my Brain Field enemies, and watching my team play a video gaming tournament at our base in order to settle a dispute over living space boundaries.
Although Scarlet Nexus may not be the best action-game storytelling experience, it is still a lot of fun.