When it comes to weird enemy designs, things surely can’t get much weirder than Bandai Namco’s upcoming Scarlet Nexus action RPG. Flowers with ostrich legs and stiletto heels, a tight fitting with human hands – all of this is rather disturbing. Kind of like that horrible spider doll from Toy Story.
Thankfully, the game’s developers are here with some answers as to why these seem so weird, as shown in a recent Scarlet Nexus preview viewed by Eurogamer.
For context, the game is set in a technologically advanced society called New Himika – a country “so big that the concept of overseas doesn’t even exist,” explained art director Kouta Ochiai. This civilization developed on the basis of the technology surrounding the brain, with people using a form of the brain internet called Psynet, while some use advanced brain power in the form of various psykinetic abilities. Not all is glamorous, however, as this world is frequently visited by “the Others”: unconscious alien creatures who feed on human brains. These are the bouquets of flowers, if you hadn’t guessed it.
Those who live in New Himuka have taken steps to deal with this, like developing technology to essentially predict where and when others will appear – and sending the other Suppression Force (OSF) to deal with the pesky things. This is where you come in. As new OSF recruit Yuito Sumeragi, you and your teammates are tasked with taking down monsters from another world. As the story progresses, Sumeragi begins to question whether fighting for the OSF is the right thing to do, and wonders if being constantly connected to the brains of his teammates is healthy. I can’t imagine connecting Twitter directly to your noggin would be a good idea, to be honest.
Anyway, back to the monster design: so why do these creatures look so weird? Well, part of that is because Bandai Namco enlisted the help of a freelance artist. Masakazu yamashiro, who is known for his disturbing illustrations mixing animals, human features and metallic objects.
“When we designed the monsters, we wanted to create something new and unusual, as well as things that people go [take] interest, ”Ochiai explained. “That’s when I thought about finding a freelance artist to design the monsters for us, as we wanted to have a different perspective on the values of the game, in order to help with the weirdness factor.
“We have added grotesque elements to everyday objects such as flowers and appliances. We have a rule on the drawings where we put together organic things and inanimate objects to create the Others. This also applies to the background of the Others. that you can find more [about] in the game. By combining the two things that seem to visually repel each other, we are able to effectively express to players that the Others are the kind of incomprehensible creatures who are conceptually and mentally different from us humans. ”
“When I first saw [the Others] they really looked like animals, ”added producer Keita Lizuka. “But if you look closely, you can see pieces that are combined to build them, like plants, human and metal pieces. We can’t know if [they are] alive or not. “
Okay, that sort of clears it up – but what about how you get rid of the Others? The gameplay centers around the use of both a melee weapon and psychic powers: the protagonist Sumeragi has a sword and telekinesis, for example, while other teammates have combinations such as a staff and pyrokinesia. As Sumeragi is connected to his teammates, it is possible for the player to use the special abilities of other characters, and you can choose the characters in your party for the missions. Sumeragi’s own abilities, on the other hand, can be improved using a “Brain Map” skill tree. Combat allows for a range of combined attacks, including (rather hilariously) the ability to repeatedly throw cars at an enemy when downed, and it looks like Sumeragi can manipulate his surroundings to launch a surprisingly wide range of attacks. ‘objects.
It’s hard to say what it feels like to play, but I’m quite in love with the ’90s Tokyo-inspired cityscape and the little retro touches of the game, like the use of digital numbers for floating damage. And, of course, there’s the allure of waving a sword to leave neon lines across the screen like an electrified sparkler. It’s definitely something to comfort you in the face of a crocodile-bulb-gun thing.