Scarlet Nexus First Impressions - Stylish Anime Action


By Sam Woods

June 23, 2021

Scarlet Nexus’ big reveal during the Xbox “20/20” event back in May last year piqued my interest.

Flashy neon lights and a futuristic, dystopian version of Japan looked right up my street, especially after two playthroughs of Persona 5 Royal in as many years.

However, it turned out to be one of those titles that, after its reveal, fell off my radar. So, when it came to playing the game, the only context and information I had was from a trailer I’d seen 13 months ago.

SCARLET NEXUS – Game Opening Animation

SCARLET NEXUS – Game Opening Animation

Oozing with style

One of the first things that is evident from the get-go with Scarlet Nexus is that the game is designed to be stylish.

Although up until this point I’d only played the first three hours or so, everything looked fantastic and felt equally as cool. Bold colours and neon lights were the main themes of the intro. Despite this though, even the more gritty areas felt well thought out.

The anime art style during the gameplay and conversations was also unique and, while it won’t be for everybody, helped carve Scarlet Nexus’ identity.

Style over substance?

From what I played, this didn’t feel like a trade off.

The gameplay elements were just as flashy but it worked, with the combat being the standout. Slick combos and fun powers endeared me straight away and I was actually disappointed there weren’t more enemies to take on early doors.

Like the style, things just thought well thought out. Save points and shops were located a decent proximity apart, the DualSense functionality never got old and the structure, although lacking a little in combat, felt well-paced.

Too Anime for its own good?

This is a contentious one depending on what you’re looking for, because ultimately, Scarlet Nexus is designed to be an anime-ass game.

For those who are looking for that, great. For those looking for a more grounded story and setting, maybe this isn’t for you. Early on, the story is borderline crazy, with virtual cables modifying people’s brains and evil “Others” raining down from the sky and this is only the beginning.

There were also times when the dialogue sequences, despite being structured in an interesting way, just ran a little too long and this is almost certainly down to the anime style. However, for me, somebody who enjoys anime without being a mega-fan, this was a non-issue.

Systems engage

As you’d expect from an Action RPG, Scarlet Nexus is going to have a big focus on systems.

While I didn’t get to experience too many of them, there’s an expansive skill tree to take advantage of, a range of different items and equipment and a nice way to bind party members together in combat.

Overall Scarlet Nexus Impressions

Historically, this probably isn’t the type of game I’d pick, however, Scarlet Nexus has me excited to go back for more.

An engaging (and weird) story, interesting cast, fluid gameplay and super stylish looks have me gripped and I’m looking forward to defeating the Others and finding out more about this world!

Scarlet Nexus first impressions left me feeling excited and it’s sure to find a market.

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Sam Woods

Sam is the Managing Editor at DualShockers. He's been playing video games for as long as he can remember and you can regularly find him on his Nintendo Switch. When he's not playing games, he'll no doubt be suffering watching his beloved Ipswich Town.

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