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The Tales of devs have “greater freedom” in Scarlet Nexus

"Because Tales of was a series we had to contain to the sub-policy, for example, using, basically, only sword and magic"

Some of Scarlet Nexus' combat in action

The more games you create in a series, the more you become bound by the rules you set out. Every change you introduce has to make sense in the universe you’ve created. The Tales of series is no different. Bandai Namco’s long-running string of RPGs have been going for 25 years and take part in a world of fantasy and magic.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that when given a chance to do something new, Tales of devs decided to create something entirely different that blends the genre of cyberpunk with a superpower element. Speaking to us, Scarlet Nexus Game director Kenji Anabuki explains that the team had a “greater freedom” to explore things such as superpowers and a more seamless approach to combat.

“There definitely was a certain limitation to the policy,” Anabuki says. “Because Tales of was a series we had to contain to the sub-policy, for example, using, basically, only sword and magic. I think, in that sense, we have much more freedom in Scarlet Nexus as you can really have a variety of different powers. That gave us greater freedom that we were able to realise in the Scarlet Nexus.

“Also, in the Tales of series, the sequence changes as soon as you enter a battle. I think something that I enjoyed in Scarlet Nexus is that you are much closer to the action and the battle gives you, in that sense, a different experience.”

There are things that Anabuki learnt with the Tales of series that he’s applying here, though, such as a “good balance of story and fighting or battle scenes”. He also says that the Tales’ battle system taught him how players connect and team up.

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Scarlet Nexus also boasts some of the developers who worked on Bandai Namco’s Code Vein. While the upcoming PC game’s combat looks like it’s more focused on spectacle with physic powers on show, game producer Keita Iizuka says that there are some elements the team chose to retain from its take on the Dark Souls formula.

“What is definitely drawn from Code Vein is that you do have to adapt to your enemy to a certain extent when trying to fight them,” he says. “But, besides that, it is centred around the Japanese sword that you have as a protagonist and your psychokinetic power. By using those, you are also able to strengthen them both and become better at beating stronger enemies.”

Something similar? Check out these cyberpunk games

We don’t have a Scarlet Nexus release date just yet, but Iizuka does say that the game is in good shape and that the studio isn’t far off where it wants to be – so maybe we’ll hear something soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to hear more about Scarlet Nexus, I also spoke to Iizuka and Anabuki about the game borrows from the cyberpunk genre, and what it tries to add.