Bizarre Scarlet Nexus Shadow Glitch Gets Fixed

Bandai Namco’s hit RPG previously had trouble with certain languages on PC

A line of anime-style characters walks towards the camera on a ruined street.
Screenshot: Bandai Namco

A recent Scarlet Nexus update revealed that Bandai Namco’s stylish action RPG wasn’t rendering character and enemy shadows on PC if it was being played in several non-English languages. Even the biggest video games are technical marvels held together by hopes, dreams, and duct tape, but this takes the cake.


While the patch notes don’t go into specifics about which languages were affected, Scarlet Nexus players have been discussing the issue on the game’s Steam forums since it launched on June 25. Knowledgeable players eventually provided a workaround that got shadows working in French, Italian, and German by adding a simple text string to Scarlet Nexus’ launch options.

Kotaku contacted Bandai Namco for more information but didn’t hear back before publication.

Bandai Namco / Paranoi4k (YouTube)

Looking at Scarlet Nexus videos from the past few weeks, it’s clear the shadow bug not only affected the PC release but also the versions on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X. And from what I can tell, the problem only manifested after a certain point in the game, as shadows can clearly be seen in footage of Scarlet Nexusopening moments. That said, until we get more details from Bandai Namco, it’s hard to pin down the scope and breadth of the issue.

Funnily enough, shadows are definitely intact in the footage Scarlet Nexus uses for in-game tutorial pop-ups, only to return to shadow-less gameplay moments later. It’s one of those things that might not have been immediately noticeable alongside the RPG’s slick, fast-paced combat but now sticks out like a sore thumb.

This graphical oddity also gained traction on Twitter following the update’s July 7 release thanks to French-speaker yaoilowell (great name, by the way), who joked that the bug was accurate since people in France don’t actually cast shadows in real life. The jury’s still out on that one, but at least the problem has been rectified in Scarlet Nexus. No more pretending everyone in the game is a vampire if you’re not playing in English.




I hope it gets a sequel, because that team is getting better by the game (from God Eaters through Code Vein). It’s their best combat system to date, it’s really beautiful (and smartly made: even the static novel segments get a pretty brilliant visual “justification” later on) and it has the best story - while it’s sci-fi pulp it’s still a tight script that’s very character driven.

The one thing they can’t seem to nail though is level design because daaamn it’s bad. Scarlet Nexus is the least offensive because it’s just boring and uninspired - which is a shame when you have such awesome art direction - but God Eater’s maps actively suck the fun out of its fairly brilliant combat and Code Vein has simply the worst level design I’ve seen in a Soulslike, beating even the first Nioh’s fuckfest of random traps and holes leading to water (which they’ve notably fixed in 2, so I have faith in Bandai Namco).