A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Strong themes of self-sacrifice, duty, free will, and identity. The nature of each character's psionic abilities linking together with others also promotes teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Both Yuito and Kasane have their own distinct motivations and goals, with a connection that plays out over time from their individual perspectives. Still, both have strong wills and courage and are willing to selflessly put themselves in the line of fire to protect others while seeking out the hidden truth of their world.
Ease of Play
Lots of complexities to the game's combat, like charging up your telekinesis to throw objects, managing the cooldown of your teammates' abilities, sorting out elemental weaknesses, and simply getting basic timing down. In practice, though, all of this and more comes together in a surprisingly fluid and natural way.
Violence & Scariness
Action is constant, with players using sword attacks and special abilities, as well as tossing environmental objects, to defeat mutants, robots, humans, other enemies. No graphic violence or gore, though, with some blood appearing on-screen mainly during certain cutscenes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some mild profanity, such as "ass" and "bastard," occasionally used in dialogue.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
This is the debut of an original property that's being backed with an anime series that will delve even deeper into the game's plot and the Scarlet Nexus universe as a whole.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Over the course of the game, players can obtain various alcoholic drinks to give as gifts to party members.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Scarlet Nexus is a sci-fi-themed action role-playing game (RPG) available for purchase on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows-based PCs. Players take on the role of dual protagonists in a high-tech future, protecting humanity from strange creatures called Others that hunt humanity to harvest their brains. The game has a colorful anime art style with a lot of flashy neon effects. There's a constant stream of action and combat but little in the way of blood shown on-screen and no graphic violence. The characters' dialogue does include some mild profanity, and players can acquire alcoholic drinks to gift to their party members.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.