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SCARLET NEXUS: REVIEW

Scarlet Nexus developed Bandai Namco Studios, responsible for the  Code Vein, and project managers have become Keita Iizuka (Keita Iizuka) and  Kenji Anabuki (Kenji Anabuki), who previously worked on the series Tales, in particular, many of the beloved Tales of VesperiaIt is clear that expectations from the game were heightened. And in general, they were justified.

Interesting universe

In  Scarlet Nexus, we see a picture familiar to many games. People are attacked by strange alien mutants (they are called Others here), who love to devour brains, and the only defenders from them are the psionic fighters from the Suppression of Others (OPI). Only they, with the help of their psychic abilities, can cope with the aggressors, therefore they constantly recruit talented psionics from all over the world. They all look like teenagers because they take anti-aging pills to help them maintain their skills longer.

They learned to develop such abilities by acting on a special psionic hormone in the human brain. Therefore, almost most people have more or less pronounced extrasensory skills. And those who do not have are called dummies. The authors also added elements of cyberpunk and dystopia - and as a result, seemingly formulaic sci-fi turned into a really interesting setting, which the authors themselves call breakpunk.


Two exciting and different story campaigns

At the start, we choose who to play for - for Yuito Sumeragi, an OPI recruit who is also the son of the head of government and brother of the commander-in-chief, or for the already experienced cadet of the Kasane Randall Squad. These are two different story campaigns. At first, of course, a lot is repeated, but even general scenes (for example, the first attack of the Others, which happened on the streets of the city) we see from different points of view. And in the future, in approximately similar situations, we hear other dialogues and get acquainted with other characters - Yuito and Kasane end up in different OPI detachments to different commanders. Soon, the main characters begin to overlap quite closely in the plot - write letters to each other and go on assignments together.

And, naturally, we also see this in different ways. The authors generally emphasize in every possible way that Yuito and Kasane are not alike. He, despite the hype that immediately swirls around the recruit (of course, relatives of such influential politicians!), Tries to remain modest, kind and attentive. She is mostly emphatically cold, sometimes blunt to the point of rudeness, and seems to only care about her half-sister Naomi.

As a result, the storylines of Yuito and Kasane at some point radically diverge - they find themselves on opposite sides of the barricades, to say the least. But at the same time, the feeling remains that everything should end differently. It's not for nothing that intrigue is set at the very beginning of the game - Yuito recognizes a girl in Kasane who, many years ago, when he was little, saved his life. But they are the same age - how can this be?

In general, in the history of Scarlet Nexus, everything is so famously twisted into a ball of intrigue, unexpected events and questions that you stop paying attention to the stereotyped pattern of some moves and characters. I just want to know how it all ends.

For the same reason, you understand and accept that this is not a game in the open world, but, first of all, a bright, twisted storyline anime. Everything here is subject to history, so there are not so many side tasks (although there are always additional activities), and we are rarely allowed to run along the city streets.



Many different characters communicate

Besides Yuito and Kasane,  Scarlet Nexus is full of other characters. Among them, there are many comrades-in-arms of the main characters, with whom we interact quite closely (including on the Web), building relationships. Here and flirting with the presentation of gifts, and purely practical benefit - the higher the level of connection with this or that character, the more abrupt his psychic abilities can be used in battle.

Yes, as I said, among the characters, there are much stereotypical anime (and not only) images. A merry joker immediately appears; disgruntled mischief that sharpens a grudge against the heroes; cheeky girl with pigtails; a childhood friend whose friendship seems to be about to be reborn into something more (she clearly wants this); secretly in love with Yuito, a quiet girl who speaks with such an anime aspiration (I played with Japanese voice acting, which I advise you too!) that you start to wait for some hentai scene.

And there is a lot of banal pathos in the dialogues. There is also nonsense. For example, according to the plot, Yuito is experiencing a personal tragedy, but at the same time, in scenes and dialogues designed to pump communication with partners, he can freely discuss key rings with fortunes, restaurants and fashion magazines. And even as if nothing had happened, he meets a girl who seems to be in the camp of enemies, drinks tea with her and discusses how good it is that she takes care of him.

This is not entirely the fault of the scriptwriters - in theory, such scenes may not be launched precisely during this difficult period for Yuito. But still, some get out of the general rhythm and mood. From this point of view, Scarlet Nexus is inferior to the same Tales of Vesperia and some other JRPGs - there are both non-trivial characters and better-written dialogues. But the fresh game by Bandai Namco Studios still has its own number of partners, how often we interact with them, how different they are, how many events are associated with them. Keeping track of the relationships between the characters is still interesting, especially if you love anime. Another thing is, what could be even better ...



Challenging and exciting battles

But what definitely succeeded in Scarlet Nexus was the combat system. Fights take place in real-time in the style of slashers, but we do not just beat enemies with melee weapons (Yuito uses a large sword in melee, and Kasane attacks from a distance with throwing daggers), but we actively alternate the psionic abilities of the heroes. Sometimes allies are given out according to the plot, but, as a rule, we ourselves choose the composition of the team and whose talents we will use in battle.

So, you can use the telepathy of little Colonel Luke to instantly teleport around the battlefield. This will help in situations where the monster covers the body with a metal barrier, as soon as we run up to him, he will not have time to react, and we will knock him down with blows into vulnerable places. Other monsters know how to go into the shadows, hiding from the field of vision - then it is better to borrow from that very sweetheart in love her talent of foreboding, which will show all hidden enemies. And if Others are vulnerable to fire, then we take pyrokinesis from a childhood friend.

There are many talented characters - for all occasions. And our task is to alternate these abilities in time, given that they all work only for a limited time, and then recharge. Therefore, it is important to interact with partners, to strengthen communication in order to increase the effectiveness of their skills.

Yuito and Kasane use telekinesis, which allows them to throw objects from boxes and bicycles to cars and buses at Others. The latter sometimes even turn out to be saddled in order to drive the battlefield and crush the evil ones.

There are also special objects that cause increased damage - you can blow up a fuel truck, bring down the ceiling on monsters or hit them with a construction hook, pull out and throw a post or part of a wall. QTEs are often used.

There is also an analog of the rage mode ("brain acceleration"), when all psionic talents work more efficiently and recharge faster. Moreover, one can move into the so-called "thought-field" in order to inflict especially powerful damage. In fact, the psionic in this case is at war in his own head.

We increase the effectiveness of telekinesis, conventional attacks and other actions that help in battle by learning and pumping skills on the so-called brain map - with the receipt of new levels, brain points are allocated for this, respectively.

Plus, of course, no one canceled the equipment, which gives bonuses to strength, health, protection, and so on. Additional cells for them need to be opened - the main characters do this by pumping the corresponding skills, and their partners need to be given special devices. By the way, gifts, consumables, and equipment can not only be bought but also exchanged for the collected resources.

As a result, the battles turn out to be dynamic and difficult even on the usual difficulty level. And bosses generally use unique tactics and change behavior - to win you have to use almost all talents, mechanics and capabilities, which is rare in JRPGs. As well as the fact that it is possible to practice grinding, but not necessarily - the "skill" of the player decides more here.

The game looks like a coolly drawn anime

Yes, the  Scarlet Nexus has a budget. There are no super-sophisticated graphics, and pictures are used instead of cinematic videos. But on the other hand, they are well-drawn - at the level of high-quality anime. It is no coincidence that the series of the same name has already begun to appear in the game.

The design of the Others was especially successful. It is not easy to describe these bouquets of flowers with female legs and other monsters in intelligible words. The authors themselves say that they deliberately mixed organics and mechanics when creating Others. But this obviously did not stop there - the imaginations of local artists would have envied the authors of Silent Hill.

It is clear that Scarlet Nexus is not the best JRPG in the world and it has its own problems. But the game also has enough arguments for me to recommend it to all fans of the genre and anime in general without a doubt. And the main one of those arguments is that  Scarlet Nexus is interesting to follow the story. Not to mention the fact that it is represented by two-story campaigns - this is generally a rarity in the role-playing genre.

Pros: a fascinating plot, divided into two campaigns for different heroes; many characters with whom you can communicate and interact; interesting setting; in many ways a unique combat system; extremely colorful monsters; gorgeous art; expressive voice acting, especially in Japanese; the game is translated into Russian.

Cons: there are a lot of clich├ęs and banal pathos in the plot, characters and dialogues; the camera does not behave quite adequately when moving and in battles.

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