Scarlet Nexus Director Discusses Ideas for Potential Sequel; Greater Combat Freedom, Non-Battle Abilities & More

The director of the Bandai Namco action JRPG Scarlet Nexus, Kenji Anabuki, was recently interviewed by the Japanese outlet denfaminicogamer about the title and tangentially related facets. This interview is lengthy, lasting a whopping two pages of in-depth answers.

One question hesitantly asked about ideas for a Scarlet Nexus sequel, which Anabuki answered extensively. In essence, he’d like to provide players more gameplay freedom, ways to use one’s abilities outside battles, and emphasize the risks of using supernatural powers.

You can read the full question and response below, translated by our team’s Ryuji:

Interviewer: I’m not sure if I should ask this, but…if you were to make Scarlet Nexus 2, what would be your plans for it?

Anabuki: Well…first of all, I will have to expose the fact that I’m currently not making it. (laughs)

[Translator’s Note: In other parts of the interview, Anabuki mentions that he would love to develop Scarlet Nexus 2, but as of the time of writing, there are no plans currently in motion.]

The actual supernatural power element in Scarlet Nexus was intended to be [solely] for battles, but initially, I had the idea of using supernatural power as an adventure element. For example, the Clairvoyant ability has many uses other than battle.

[…] I would like to create a sequel that makes full use of psychic powers in the adventure part as well, making the experience of “becoming a psychic” stand out even more.

Furthermore, I would like to emphasize the risks of using psychic abilities through direction and other means. I was aware of this to some extent in Scarlet Nexus, but I think that “psychic powers” are more “realistic” if they involve some kind of risk or danger.

So, in [a potential sequel], I would like to make the atmosphere of “dealing with dangerous power” stand out more, even if I have to raise the [age] rating a little. Take the Sandevistan power seen in Cyberpunk Edgerunners. It was really cool, but it also came with some risks, and because of that, the coolness of “mastering that power” stood out even more.

Interviewer: Ah, yes. Such expressions are so cool, aren’t they? On the other hand, at the same time, I think that if you try to incorporate this kind of expression in a game, the game experience may not be as tactile as it could be.

Anabuki: Yes. You could say there is a conflict between “what is cool from an artistic point of view” and “what is pleasing from the perspective of the game experience.”

This is a point of discussion about how the game should be expressed. Of course, I think it should be a good compromise for the game, but I would like to incorporate such expressions in order to make the game more unique and sharply differentiated from other titles.

We also want to design games in such a way that there are different strategies for “which supernatural ability to use to attack.” I think that now is when people want to enjoy the game in various ways, and it would be nice if players could get excited and say, “I used this specific ability, but this could also have been used.”

Recently, I have been studying something called cognitive psychology. It seems that there exists a sense of enjoyment and good feeling of “completing a task in the way you find it, which is tied to the “desire for independence.” It is said that humans seek, above all else, to be able to “freely do what they choose.”

This is something that, in my opinion, the recently released [The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom] made a perfect example of. There are various ways to solve the puzzles depending on the player, and it is a title where you can enjoy the feeling of “completing the game in your own way.”

But in contrast, “Scarlet Nexus” was the opposite of that. The game keeps telling the player to fight in a very specific way, so there was no enjoyment or the presence of the “clearing the game in your own way” element. So, I would like to design a game that gives the player that feeling of freedom.

You can view the full interview here.

Scarlet Nexus is set in the distant future, where a psionic hormone has been discovered in the human brain. This leads to people gaining extra-sensory powers and thus changing the world. Humanity entered a new era, but deranged mutants known as Others began to descend from the sky with a hunger for human brains.

These enemies aren’t affected by mortal weapons, and so humanity is forced to rely on those with abilities to save the world. Players take on the role of Yuito Sumeragi or Kasane Randall to uncover the mysteries of a Brain Punk future that is caught between technology and psychic abilities.

Scarlet Nexus is currently available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

In case you missed it, check out our review.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.