Scarlet Nexus made a memorable impression when it was introduced earlier this year. With impressive visuals and stylish combat, this action/RPG seems both familiar and strange; Scarlet Nexus comes from many of the same minds behind Tales of Vesperia, but the unique enemies and sci-fi premise make it feel different from Bandai Namco’s traditional fantasy series.

In this futuristic world, terrifying creatures called Others occasionally rain down from the sky, threatening the citizens of New Himuka. Others are haunting crosses of living creatures and inanimate objects, like horses and elephants integrated with trees and metal cages. They are ferocious and beast-like, but the danger is kept in check by the Other Suppression Force (OSF), which is able to predict these incursions and deploy elite soldiers to keep people safe. Yuito Sumeragi is a member of the OSF and Scarlet Nexus’ protagonist – and we got to see him in action during a recent demo.

Yuito has the power of psychokinesis, which allows him to grab objects in the environment and hurl them at enemies from afar. He also has a sword for short-range attacks, so the combat system depends on players alternating these attacks to keep the pressure on enemies. In one encounter, we see Yuito flinging a car at an Other, going up close for a sword combo, then following up by throwing another piece of debris. Your use of psychokinesis is limited by a gauge, so you can’t just always stay at a safe distance; you need to recharge the meter by scoring some hits with your sword.

Bandai Namco calls Scarlet Nexus a “brainpunk” game, but not only because of Yuito’s power. Other OSF agents also have special abilities, and when they team up with Yuito, he is able to borrow that power to augment his own attacks. For example, one party member named Hanabi seems to be pyrokinetic, because when her support is activated, Yuito’s regular neon-colored attacks turn into a fiery slashes that culminate in a small, flaming tornado. But Hanabi is also able to fight autonomously, and the “battle at will” setting we see under her name in the menu screen implies that you can customize ally behavior to a degree. We also get a brief look at the skill tree, called the brain map, that lets you enhance your powers.

This gameplay demo was the most we’ve seen of Scarlet Nexus since its debut, and it brings the action into sharper focus. However, the story and systems still hold mysteries that we won’t understand until the game releases. Bandai Namco hasn’t announced an exact release date yet, so start your brain exercises now to make sure your mind is prepared when Scarlet Nexus hits.

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