Scarlet Nexus Xbox demo preview: An action anime appetizer

Scarlet Nexus Kasane
Scarlet Nexus Kasane (Image credit: Windows Central)

Scarlet Nexus Demo Hero

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The hype continues to build around Scarlet Nexus, the upcoming action RPG from the developers of Code Vein and the Tales of series. Set to the backdrop of a cyberpunk dystopia, Scarlet Nexus promises kinetic combat, psychic powers, and a deep story drive experience. I had previously previewed Scarlet Nexus, so when the demo released on the Xbox Series X, I naturally wanted to check back in with the game ahead of its June 25 release for some final impressions, and to see how it runs on next-gen hardware.

Optimized for the Xbox

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The demo puts you in control of OSF recruits Yuito Sumeragi and Kasane Randall. At the start of the game, you're able to select who you'd like to play as. The early parts of the game are similar for both characters, but there are variations to Yuito and Kasane's fighting style to differentiate them. Both, however, are gifted with telepathy and can use it in battle to toss debris at enemies. Combat is fast, and the game draws inspiration from action games like NieR:Automata.

The combat really starts to get interesting once you start tapping into the powers of your teammates. Using the SAS, or Struggle Arms System, you can use your party's powers in combat. Occasionally, your party member will even jump in for a finishing move using their unique power. Some of the powers, like pyrokinesis, are for offense while others, like teleportation, help you navigate the world. There's quite a few powers to make use of, and there's a good variety of offensive and defensive uses as well, which is always nice to see.

To no one's surprise, the game is running smoothly as butter on the Xbox Series X, clocking in at a full 4K at 60 FPS. The development team has optimized the Series X version of the game as well as the Xbox One X version of the game to both hit 4K, though the Xbox One X version runs at 30 FPS. No matter what system you're playing on though, the game's anime visuals look fantastic, both in motion and during cutscenes.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The last time I saw Scarlet Nexus, all of its audio was in Japanese, but in the demo as well as the final game, you'll have the option to choose the audio you prefer. The jury's out on the dub so far — I thought Kasane's was fine, but I'm not exactly sold on the voice of Yuito yet. While I still prefer subs over dubs when watching anime, there's no denying the quality of dubs these days, so I'll reserve judgment until the final game.

While the demo just previews two short sections of an early section of the campaign, completing the demo will give you a unique cosmetic for each protagonist, though you won't be able to transfer any save data to the final game. You can, however, upgrade the Xbox One version of the game to the Xbox Series X and S version courtesy of Smart Delivery.

Let us know what you think of the demo

The demo for Scarlet Nexus is available for download now, so try it for yourself and let us know what you think. Personally, I'm pretty excited for this game. Xbox's RPG offerings have grown exponentially over the years, and Scarlet Nexus has the potential to be one of the best JRPGs on the Xbox. If you're craving more Scarlet Nexus info, check out our interview with Producer Keita Iizuka and Game Director Kenji Anabuki, where we pick their brains about inspirations, cosplay, and anime.

Zackery Cuevas

Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. I like playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.