Scorn’s overall setup looks unbelievable, but I wish the story had a simpler setting

ScornfulIts entire purpose seems to be to disgust, annoy, and upset players with its terrifying imagery of flesh-filled corridors and disturbing biomechanical monstrosities. And by that standard, the game seems to be a hit – it’s a game that me and my pretty strong normal gag reflex have struggled to watch since the first trailer. It’s a game that looks crude but enjoys its rawness.

Developer Ebb Software says they drew from the works of Swiss artist HR Giger and Polish painter, photographer and sculptor Zdzisław Beksiński when building part body, part machine world crochet – bringing Giger’s biomechanical art style into Beksiński’s out-of-date surrealism. Composers Billlain Aethek and Brian Williams created Scorn’s soundtrack, which is really the only thing you’ll hear during your run because Scorn isn’t (not) talking about. Instead, the entire story is told through the game’s environment.

Now playing: Scorn Preview – Beautiful, Annoying and No Direction

In Scorn, you play as an unknown person isolated in a terrifying place, where viscous living tissues and spirals have been combined in a strange, seemingly symbiotic relationship. nature. There are some first-person shooter moments and horror elements in Scorn, but the game focuses more on puzzles and exploration rather than action or scares.

Scorn has an amazing visual style – this game has been instantly recognizable to me since it was originally revealed in 2014. The essence is not living but certainly not dead for everyone. which creates a strange feeling that the protagonist is never truly alone. Even the walls give the impression that they might be watching you, directing you towards something strange and terrible. The look and sound of disdain is like my favorite horror game genre: an experience that will truly amaze you, rather than trying to scare you with occasional jump scares. My sick brain that loves such games can’t understand what Scorn looks and sounds like.

The lack of dialogue adds an unsettling feel to Scorn’s visuals, but it seems to largely contribute to Ebb Software’s goal for the game to be an experience built on primarily exploration. explore and discover. There doesn’t seem to be anyone or anything in Scorn that will tell you what to do or give you a detailed explanation of what’s going on – there’s very little in the way of instruction. The narration setup isn’t much, either, so you don’t really understand where you’re at or what you’re supposed to do. You have to discover that for yourself, finding the way forward by finding solutions to puzzles.

Sacrifices must be made.
Sacrifices must be made.

I suppose the goal in Scorn is to get out of the way every now and then – whether it’s Hell, an alien planet, some scary vision or something else entirely – but I can’t really tell you. if that’s the case. The game gives you nothing, relying on your blind curiosity to encourage you to move forward.

This is not a new concept at all. Games from Software’s Soulsborne are perhaps some of the best-known examples of games that show a lot and almost never tell, requiring players to spend dozens of hours piecing together what happened before. start of the story and that relates to what you have to do next. And there are many other examples where the narrative plot is hard to distinguish – especially at the beginning of the story – like Hollow Knight, internaland The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

However, Scorn can be a bit too fuzzy in its storytelling and level design. It is certainly too early to say for sure. GameSpot only gets to show the game’s prologue for this preview, so there’s a good chance the plot of Scorn and what you have to do to beat the game becomes a lot more coherent later on (given that this is the case with a lot of games with ambiguous stories, I assume that’s true here). Regardless, it’s too unfair to judge an entire match based on the first few minutes, so I won’t do that.

But I can critique what I’ve seen, and it’s largely a game where I’m confused as to what players are striving for. And my big problem with that is that it doesn’t exactly convince me to want to see more. Maybe I’m just missing a hidden detail or two, but I don’t understand that Scorn has a story beyond being lost in an unsettling world. Ideally, I’d like a little more, like a mystery to solve or a threat of defeat or a moral to learn. And, okay, Scorn maybe covers any or all of those narrative themes, but the game doesn’t seem to even hint at any of them in the first place.

So instead, Scorn seems like an introduction to the truly unsettling world Ebb Software has created. And while that world is fascinating and seems interesting enough to explore for a while, I don’t believe that level of surface curiosity can pull me to a full game. There might be something really cool about Scorn, and I hope there is, but if it’s there, Ebb Software has done a great job of hiding it, the studio has prevented me from investing in the game. effectively. The visuals and sounds for Scorn are amazing but for now, they just aren’t enough for me. I want to tell you a little more about these crude-looking skeletons.

Scorn slated to launch for Xbox Series X | S and PC on October 21. The game will also launch on day one on Xbox Game Pass.

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