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Scarlet Nexus review for Xbox Series X, PS5, Xbox One, PS4, PC


Platform: Xbox Series X
Also on: Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

I have zero interest in anime. Even though I’ve played an absurd number of visual novels and other quirky Japanese games for this site, that hasn’t translated into me ever seeking out or watching any Japanese cartoons.

I’m mentioning that right off the bat because it’s relevant to Scarlet Nexus in a couple of ways. First, this is a very anime-heavy game. Yes, there’s action — and I’ll get to that in a moment — but for every bit of monster-fighting you do in this game, you’ll spend just as much time watching lengthy cutscenes. Given my aforementioned lack of interest in anime, you might think that this meant I hated the game — or, at the very least, found it impossible to get into.

Now, I’m not going to lie: I lost interest in those cutscenes very, very quickly. As soon as I realized it was your standard “teens join some weird version of the military, have to save the world” trope, everything went in one ear and out the other, and I didn’t retain a single moment of it.

But here’s the thing (and this would be the second key point related to me not caring about anime): I still loved Scarlet Nexus. Even if I couldn’t tell you a single character’s name, it was still incredibly easy to get engrossed in this game thanks to the fantastic combat. Those militarized teens also happen to have “extra-sensory powers”, which is a fancy way of saying they can move stuff with their mind — and, in combat, use those powers to pick up items from your environment and hurl them at your enemies.

Let me tell you: there’s something insanely satisfying about picking up a truck and smacking a monster in the face with it. Like, if the battles were just your standard hack and slash fights, the game would be okay, but adding in psychokinesis — not to mention being able to mind meld with your teammates and send them on the attack — raises Scarlet Nexus to a whole other level.

Obviously, your enjoyment of Scarlet Nexus will likely be greater if you actually do enjoy anime (or maybe not – or all I know, this game’s story may be horrifically bad!). But if you’re indifferent to the genre, you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying a very fun action game.

Bandai Namco provided us with a Scarlet Nexus Xbox Series X code for review purposes.

Grade: A-