Scorn (Xbox/PC) Preview

It doesn’t happen often, but when a horror game works, it really works. Such is the case for the Kickstarter-funded upcoming horror title, Scorn. Taking inspiration from the works of the mastermind behind the Alien movies, H.R Giger and artist Zdzisław Beksiński, Scorn throws you into a dreamlike world of surreal dystopia; a place where organic matter and bone meet machine and a place where tortured souls reside.

Scorn Looks to be set in Hell

All signs point to Scorn taking in place in one man’s interpretation of Hell itself, à la Dante’s Inferno (both the written work and the game). The sinister creatures that stalk the living corridors seem like they’re living in eternal punishment and damnation for their sins in a previous life.

These grotesque monstrosities, that barely resemble the human form, wander blindly in their perennial agony. Some struggle with distorted, twisted limbs; while others slither and slide across the floor. Aside from their eternal torture, these abominations have one thing in common: they want to feed on the lost. They seek to satiate a limitless hunger, and you’re the perfect prey.

The Weapons of Scorn

Keeping in with the theme, the weapons in Scorn are also masses of skin, flesh and bone (we wonder if they’re ‘arms’). We are told Scorn will pay host to a number of different weapons. However, on the exact details we are still unsure. The trailers shed a slither of light onto the available weapons but we only see a pistol and an organic shotgun.

What we do know is ammo will be as rare as hen’s teeth throughout the game. With such scarcity in ammo drops, the player will be forced to conserve and use it wisely. While we feel this may get annoying at times, it will only add to the challenge and add a little more room and cause for thinking ahead.

Furthermore, it seems that weapon parts can be removed and switched out. Reminiscent of Bethesda’s Doom: Eternal, this heavily suggests alternative fire modes for each of the available weapons. Maybe automatic fire for the pistol, or a concentrated shot for the meaty (literally) shotgun we saw. Either way, we’re confidently excited to see what will transpire.

Scorn – Storyline

With the independent studio, Ebb Software, holding their cards very close to their chest, the storyline surrounding Scorn is still unclear. However, we can safely assume that you’re lost in the beautifully terrifying world and looking for a way out.

The Serbian developers have, however, told us that Scorn will be devoid of cutscenes that can often break the flow of a game. Rather than telling the story in the traditional way, Ebb Software have instead opted to do so alongside the gameplay. Whether this will be through the oft-used disembodied booming voices or through meeting characters – we are still in the dark.

We do know that puzzles will play a prevalent part to Scorn and, judging by the below quote, the kid gloves will be off in terms of difficulty. The quote alone gives us flashbacks of Silent Hill.

“All the storytelling happens in-game, with no cut-scenes to distract you from the grisly reality of the living, breathing world you’re in. But keep your eyes open – the game won’t show you any sympathy if you miss something important on your uneasy travels. Everything has a reason and purpose – you just need to work out what it is.”

Ebb Software, Laptop Magazine
Scorn  (PC/Xbox) review

Platforms and Availability

Scorn is due to be released on the 21st October (2022). Game Pass subscribers will be able to enjoy the game as a ‘Day One’ release.

Sadly, there are no plans yet to release the title on PlayStation or Switch. However, with Ebb Software being an independent studio, there’s always hope.

Summary

With its fleshy, sinew-bound, bony world and weapons to match, Scorn is looking like a truly great addition to the horror games genre. The narrow, organic corridors set the perfect tone for creeping paranoia and suffocating claustrophobia – two fine ingredients in a deliciously gruesome soup.

The game’s inspirations shine throughout the gameplay footage we’ve seen. With the surreal horror setting and its creepy inhabitants, the world of Scorn looks every inch the perfect horror video game experience.

With the snippets of information available to us, we wait with bated breath for the October release. Get ready, because a masterpiece is coming our way.

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