Bandai Namco is generous in the summer of 2021 by offering us a brand new action / RPG license, Scarlet Nexus. An ambitious first attempt that really deserves to be tried.
If there has been a lot of confusion about the release of Scarlet Nexus, it is because Bandai Namco has mostly communicated about the Xbox release of the game, suggesting some sort of exclusivity on Microsoft console and PC. . Moreover, Scarlet Nexus was revealed for the very first time during the Inside Xbox on May 7, 2020. Finally, it is not, the game is indeed coming out on PS4 and PS5 as well: it would have been very surprising to see a JRPG not making its arrival on Sony media. Available from June 25 on PC, Xbox One, Series X / S, PS4 and PS5, Scarlet Nexus is ultimately much more than what the various trailers presenting it let glimpse: a simple action game satisfying but nothing more, our experience after more than 25 hours of play we will have allowed us to understand that this is a small nugget, and the birth of a potential license on which we will have to rely.
A narrative more impressive than expected
Let’s start with our first surprise: the storytelling. We expected to follow a story that was ultimately quite sloppy, which would only serve as a pretext for a much more advanced gameplay. Finally, it is not: in Scarlet Nexus, the story is very important, and is drawn very well from start to finish. We start by playing a character (among two that we choose at the beginning, with a different point of view) who joins the BEA, a faction dedicated to the destruction of the “Others”, these strange creatures who invade the surroundings of a completely cyberpunk world, anime sauce. Finally, from this simple and a little cliché scenario is born a complex story, with tons of twists and turns over the hours.. We never get bored there, even if we regret a little the lack of staging of the cutscenes, which make more interactive reading to the visual-novel. This is one of the main flaws of the game, but it will in no way prevent us from taking the measure of the proposed scenario.
Action, action, action!
On the gameplay side, we are clearly on the very top of the basket. Tested on PS5, Scarlet Nexus runs at 60 FPS continuously, without any drops even during fights that are sometimes busy with enemies. This allows an incredible fluidity during these clashes clearly more beat-em-all than RPG: there is no doubt that the game development team has been inspired by quite a few Platinum Games games for its fights, since the we find this same intensity, this same sense of excess in the clashes. We still have the right to a skill tree, the possibility of equipping and customizing the characters that we control, but this RPG side is nevertheless largely aside compared to the action offered by the game. So do not expect to get into Scarlet Nexus by being entitled to a Tales of like (remember that one of the game’s creators was responsible for Tales of Vesperia, hence the recurring comparison even if the two games don’t have much to do with it).
Most of the time, the player walks in somewhat devastated areas, attacking hordes of enemies, knowing how to use the support capacities offered by the teammates who accompany us depending on the situation.. Depending on our partner, we will be able to trigger devastating fire attacks, become invisible to deliver a large stealth blow, benefit from clairvoyance allowing us to see enemies located in clouds of sand, or simply improve telekinesis abilities. inherent in our main character. The fights are varied and the encounters against the various bosses of the game particularly epic: it will sometimes take 10 minutes to defeat a single enemy, which allows a real challenge.
The action JRPG of the summer?
Scarlet Nexus is undeniably a surprise. The game was not expected by many, and it was able to offer us a completely crazy experience, with a rare mastery in the combats, which are as nervous as they are fluid for the player, with lots of effects and a direction. dazzling artistic (which probably works much better on next-gen console). We nevertheless regret the lack of side quests (and more generally their lack of interest), but the grandiose story with multiple implications and twists and turns saves the interest of the player over the hours. It will not take more than 25 hours for the player to complete this adventure filled with good times, which is all in all not enough for a JRPG, but more than enough for the concentration of action offered by Scarlet Nexus. Anyway, if you’re looking for an adrenaline-fueled action game with a super cool storyline, this might just be your new game of the summer! While waiting for a certain Tales of Arise …