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Scarlet Nexus Preview: More on the JRPG straight from its devs

Scarlet Nexus world, setting and protagonist were recently detailed to Stevivor as part of an online preview event hosted by Bandai Namco.

Over the course of a 50-minute presentation, Producer Keita Iizuka (Code Vein), Director Kenji Anabuki (Tales of series) and Art Director Kouta Ochiai (IdolMaster, SoulCalibur series) detailed Bandai Namco’s next JRPG (or is that JRPG franchise?) providing insight into its world and characters.

Scarlet Nexus is made up of two concepts, where ‘Scarlet’ means ‘red’ and ‘Nexus’ means ‘connection’,” Iizuka-san began. “The visual expression of ‘objects or persons connected with red lines’ represents a big part in the visuals and key art.”

“When the player borrows power from his teammates you will see red tubes stabbed into the character’s back,” added Anabuki-san. “This is one of the main characteristics of the game.”

“Another interpretation for the title Scarlet Nexus can also be ‘red bonds’,” Ochiai-san offered. “When we started making the game, we wanted to show off the concept ‘kizuna’ [bonds] in different ways. That’s why we also used expressions such as ‘red stings,’ ‘lines that connect you with buddies’.”

These bonds form a large portion of Scarlet Nexus, not only visually connecting members of the Other Suppression Force (OSF) but allowing them to work as an efficient team. Players will fill the shoes of protagonist Yuito Sumeragi, who not only is a newcomer to the OSF but a member of the bloodline that created it more than 2,000 years ago. While Yuito and the OSF have advanced powers and skills, the world around them has also tapped into the power of the mind, leading Bandai Namco to classify the game as one in the “brainpunk” genre.

“Just like we are using electricity in our daily lives, the people [of the country of New are using their developed brain power,” Anabuki said. “The people in this world don’t use devices like us but just use their own brains to interact with the world around them. Their brains are connected to this big network called ‘Psynet’ and connect to services like infrastructure or medical services and interact with information.”

“[It’s] the ultimate vision of the Internet of Things,” he asserted.

Yuito begins to question the multi-member brain connections he and his team share alongside the way citizens of New Himuka rely upon the Psynet. The trio said this was meant to function as a parallel to the way in which we in the real-world have an over-reliance on smartphones and social media. Iizuka said that because of his dubious nature, Yuito doesn’t trust some of his memories, nor some of the bonds he shares with the members of the OSF.

Regardless, he’ll have to put those feelings aside when dealing with the Others, the grotesque enemies we saw alongside Scarlet Nexus‘ announcement back in May of this year. The Others were framed by Anabuki as “a threat to humanity,” further described as “mysterious beings that rain from the skies and hunt for human brains. They don’t have any consciousness and just attack humans with their instincts.”

Anabuki continued on to say that the Others were best compared to compared to earthquakes or tsunamis in real-life Japan, instances humanity can’t help but acknowledge and live with. Much like we in the real world have to predict weather patterns, the citizens of New Himuka try to anticipate and adapt to the notion of Other incursions.

As for New Himuka itself, the country began as an interpretation of Japan in the 1990s before evolving to adopt a more cyberpunk-like look and feel. Ochiai said the country is “extremely huge” and so big that “the concept of ‘overseas’ doesn’t exist”. While intentionally keeping quiet about the country, Ochiai confirmed it has two large cities called Suoh and Seiran alongside an opposing power in a location call Togetsu.

I’ll admit that I was overwhelmed by the amount of world-building and detail that the three explained. During a 15-minute gameplay demonstration that followed, my brain almost exploded while struggling to process all of the gameplay mechanics and systems being presented in a wash of spectacle, vibrant colours and, of course, red strings. I’m looking forward to processing all of the information bouncing around in my head — an OSF agent, I would not make — and learning more about Scarlet Nexus in the months to come.

Scarlet Nexus is planned for release on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4 and PS5. A release date is not yet known, though the title has been confirmed as supporting Smart Delivery on Xbox.

Scarlet Nexus

25 June 2021
PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One Xbox Series S & X

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist nearing twenty (TWENTY!?!) years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.