Scorn is a game many people have been waiting for almost a decade, since the first images of the game appeared back in 2014, maybe the most appealing aspect people have been looking forward to, is its visuals and aesthetics, mainly based on the work of the artist H.R. Giger, famous for been the creator and designer of the Alien franchise and that concept for a game has been the selling point for Scorn over the years.
However, the overall unique gameplay design of the game can be divisive depending on personal taste and expectations. For some players can be a great experience, while others can find it frustrating and may simply not like it or enjoy it.
A big part of the concept of Scorn is the fact that it doesn’t have common story elements of modern games, Scorn doesn’t explain its world nor its history, you have no context of what is going on, or why this world is as it is, in reality, is all open to interpretation, all transmitted through visuals with environmental storytelling, design of the world, and gameplay elements, with this you can make your own idea of what the “history” is about, especially because the level design in the end.
For many people, it has even deeper meanings, that go beyond the game itself. The concept of making your own idea of what is about adds something special to the experience, but at the same time, this same element is something some players can dislike, the sense of wondering and never finding proper answers or context can be annoying.
This is the main element that can make you like or dislike Scorn, it has an interesting gameplay design that tests your mind and skills, some would like that kind of experience while others will be frustrated by it.
In the same way, the game doesn’t explain what to do or how to do it, no map, and no indications at all, you have to figure out everything on your own.
This is a game with a big focus on exploration and solving puzzles to advance, most of them are environmental puzzles related to strange bio-mechanical gross machines, the puzzles are meant to make you think and put an effort to understand how to solve them. If you like challenging your mind Scorn can be great to play, if you don’t want to deal with puzzles you could have a hard time.
The other important part of the gameplay is combat, which is in principle quite simple, the game only has four weapons that you will get reaching certain points in the game, and you have very little ammo and resources to survive encounters.
Enemies are tough and you have to be mindful in combat, your weapons take time to reload and are slow compared to the range and damage of the enemies, this aspect is divisive for players as well, for some combat is difficult and unfair, enemies hit hard and if you die the game can be punishing making you replay an area, but if you like a challenge and think about how to deal with enemies you can enjoy combat in the game.
VISUALS AND AUDIO
No doubt the best Scorn can offer is the artistic visual design, every part of the environment communicate something to you, and developers did a great job building this interesting world, especially because your understanding of this world comes from what you see around.
You often find yourself admiring the vistas in the background, or things placed around you, the concept of bio-mechanical machines and surroundings, that look alive instead of just being an object, this add a lot to the atmosphere of the game, Scorn is one of the most interesting and unique looking games around.
Audio complement the overall experience as well, most of the time you hear environmental sounds, offering a mix of organic and industrial atmosphere, in certain moments the game use music to accentuate a scene, the music of Scorn is ethereal with sci-fi sounds, giving an alien and out of world experience to the player.
In general, the concept of the game is very interesting, the sum of its elements makes it a unique experience, it has things that can be improved in the gameplay itself because the gameplay is the thing that is getting bad opinions, it clashes with people expectations and preconceptions of what a modern game should be.
Also being promoted as a terror experience is a bit misleading, in its core Scorn is not a game made to scare you, indeed has horror elements but that is not what it really aims for.
It is a game worth trying, there is no other game like this, is really great in the art department, set in an interesting world with unsettling things going around, however, some aspects of the game can stop players to be invested, and others can just get frustrated leading to even abandon it.
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Scorn - PC Review
- Overall - 7.5/107.5/10
Unique game experience but tied to subjectivity to judge if is good or bad for yourself
Great visuals and world design
Depending on what you are looking for can become a bad game for you
Gameplay can be frustrating for some players
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