Scorn: a feeling of disdain or contempt for something or someone. 

After playing Scorn and entering into the world it has constructed, you’ll be left with a feeling of dirtiness, at times despair. 

I am not saying that is a bad thing, because it feels as if that is what the development team at Ebb Software want you to feel. This isn’t Animal Crossing. This is a world where darkness and visceral horror live; a world which you could only imagine in your worst nightmares. 

But it’s also not the game I was expecting to play. It’s something that has surprised me, put me in a state of wonderment, and at times frustrated me. The best thing? It’s extremely unique. 

scorn review 1

Scorn is a first-person horror adventure set in an H.R. Giger themed nightmare world. The story is one that is delivered through visual storytelling rather than any words or explanations as to why you are there or what you need to do. There is no inner monologue or the protagonist’s thoughts about their condition. It’s very much up to you to interpret events past and present, that is the key to your understanding of the horror that awaits. 

When you load up Scorn you are confronted with an emaciated face, asleep, entombed into some kind of organic matter. But then the eyes open and you realise that the face is that of the character you are playing. It then switches to the first person and the game begins. 

The world you inhabit is one of strange architecture and biomechanical levers and switches. You put your hands into devices that implant painful locks, and weapons straight into your body. What is the objective? Get out of this hell. It’s as simple as that. That’s the story, that’s the focus. 

One of the problems with Scorn – at least for some – is that you won’t know what to do. There is no tutorial at all. There’s no “this button does this” or “follow this marker”. If you want to find out about the controls, press pause and look at the menus. The only guideline you get is when you go up to a device that you can interact with, a white marker appears; press A to interact with it. There is something simple, yet perfect with this choice as it fits with the world that the developers have made. It’s unnerving like the atmosphere, but for some users not having the home comforts of hand-holding might be a step too far.

scorn review 2

Scorn is all about the exploration and trying to find out where to go and what to do. There are very few clues. There are locked doors and ancient machines that need to be activated and switched on. You can go to certain machines and add painful additions to your body, like keys to operate machinery or at one point a gun that is attached to some disgusting bits of your stomach. It’s a horror show. 

There are lots of puzzles included; some big and some small. These are quite obtuse, frustrating at times, especially when there doesn’t feel like any way to reset them when you go wrong. It feels at times like the puzzles from “The Witness”; if you like those puzzles I think you might be fine here. 

Later on in the game there is the option to take in a bit of combat, as you get a gun with limited bullets. You’ll want to use these wisely, but it’s a system I hated and could have done without it entirely. It feels clumsy and at odds with the rest of the how Scorn plays.

The world-building in terms of the visuals is amazing; shocking, and fantastically designed. It’s a feat of unparalleled creativity that comes from a mind that I wouldn’t want to spend too much time in a darkened room with. The lighting is amazing and the level of detail is outstanding. The same can be said of the sound quality; the overall threatening drone of the score that levels a constant feeling of unease and uncertainty. The squelching noises on their own will make you feel very uncomfortable indeed.

scorn review 3

It’s great that the creative vision of the developer is out there in the world of Scorn. The bold choice of not having any hints about what to do and no leading narrative is a courageous one; one that I applaud. What lets Scorn down though is the fact that the puzzles aren’t that inspiring, a bit too bland. The combat sections don’t fit the feel either, but there is an amazing experience on offer here, one that should be tried, if only so you can see if you are going to love or hate it. 

Scorn is on the Xbox Score

Scorn: a feeling of disdain or contempt for something or someone.  After playing Scorn and entering into the world it has constructed, you'll be left with a feeling of dirtiness, at times despair.  I am not saying that is a bad thing, because it feels as if that is what the development team at Ebb Software want you to feel. This isn't Animal Crossing. This is a world where darkness and visceral horror live; a world which you could only imagine in your worst nightmares.  But it's also not the game I was expecting to play. It's something that has…

Pros:

  • Amazing world building
  • Sound score
  • Visual horror

Cons:

  • Puzzles
  • Combat isn't needed

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Ebb Software
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 14 October 2022
  • Launch price from - £33.49
TXH Score

3.5/5

Pros:

  • Amazing world building
  • Sound score
  • Visual horror

Cons:

  • Puzzles
  • Combat isn't needed

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Ebb Software
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 14 October 2022
  • Launch price from - £33.49

User Rating: 3.38 ( 1 votes)
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments