Here’s why Scarlet Nexus has ominous flower bouquet monsters
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 stilettos, a slinky with human hands, it’s kind of unsettling. Kind of like that horrible spider doll from Toy Story.
Luckily, the game’s developers are here with some answers on why this looks so weird, as revealed in a recent Scarlet Nexus preview seen 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 has developed based on the technology surrounding the brain, with the population using a form of brain internet called Psynet, while some use advanced brain power in the form of various psykinetic abilities. However, it’s not all glamorous, as this world is frequently visited by “the Others”: consciousnessless alien creatures that 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, such as developing technology to essentially predict where and when the Others will appear – and sending in the Other Suppression Force (OSF) to deal with the pesky stuff. . That’s where you come in. As OSF’s newest recruit, Yuito Sumeragi, you and your teammates are tasked with defeating otherworldly monsters. As the story progresses, Sumeragi begins to wonder if fighting for the OSF is the right thing to do and wonders if it’s healthy to be constantly wired into the brains of his teammates. I can’t imagine plugging Twitter directly into 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, that’s partly because Bandai Namco tapped freelance artist Masakazu Yamashiro, known for his disturbing illustrations that combine animals with human features and metal objects.
“When we were designing the monsters, we wanted to do something new and unusual, and also things that people would like [take] “, explained Ochiai. “That’s when I thought about finding a freelance artist to design the monsters for us, because we wanted to have a different perspective on the values of the game, in order to contribute to the weirdness factor.”
“We added grotesque elements to everyday objects such as flowers and appliances. We have a design rule where we put together organic things and inanimate objects to create the Others. This also relates to the back- plan of Others that you can find out more [about] in-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 that are conceptually and mentally different from us humans.”
“When I first saw [the Others] they really looked like animals,” producer Keita Lizuka added. “But if you look closely, you can see parts that are combined to build them, like plants, human and metal parts. We can’t know if [they are] alive or not.”
Well, that clears things up – but what about how you get rid of Others? Gameplay centers around the use of both a melee weapon and psychic powers: protagonist Sumeragi has a sword and telekinesis, for example, while other teammates have suits such as a staff and pyrokinesis. As Sumeragi is connected to his teammates, it is possible for the player to use other characters’ special abilities, and you can choose your party characters for missions. Sumeragi’s own abilities, meanwhile, can be upgraded using a “Brain Map” skill tree. Combat allows for a range of combo 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 throw a surprisingly wide range of attacks. ‘objects.
It’s hard to say what all of this looks like to play, but I’m quite in love with the 90s Tokyo-inspired cityscape and the game’s little retro touches, such as the use of numerical 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.