Parents' Guide to

Scarlet Nexus

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Surreal sci-fi anime slowly grows into powerful action game.

Scarlet Nexus Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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The future is going to be filled with neon lights, mind-bending superpowers, and brain-sucking creatures that look like they've escaped from an art exhibit on surrealism. At least, that's the future according to the self-proclaimed "Brain Punk" anime action RPG Scarlet Nexus. Trying to explain the setting is a lot like trying to rationalize a fever dream in the moment. The best option is to just accept what you're given and ride it out until things start to make sense. The good news is that it does actually start to make sense as the story progresses. And the better news is that it's a weird, wild, and mostly fun trip getting to that point. After all, where else are you going to be able to telekinetically toss a TV set at a bloodthirsty flowerpot with legs? Or use an electrically charged sword to stop a cybernetic alligator in its tracks? That barely scratches the surface of the warped and twisted encounters that are commonplace in the game.

Patience is a virtue in Scarlet Nexus, as it's a very slow burn at the start. The plot takes a while before it really starts to gel. And since Yuito and Kasane experience the same events from different perspectives, it's not until players take the reins of both main characters that the complete story comes together. Gameplay is also a slow burn, with new techniques gradually introduced over a lengthy period of time. While this approach keeps players from feeling overwhelmed at the start, it also keeps players from appreciating the fluidity of the combat for some time. Once things open up and players can take advantage of the characters' full range of abilities, though, it's hard not to feel like a force of nature as you swat objects around with ease and carve a swath of destruction through any Others in your way.

Game Details

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