Scorn in Preview: The year’s most disturbing horror

A skinless something rips a kind of umbilical cord from its stomach. A living weapon shoots at oddly disfigured insect critters. Cruelly contorted creatures attempt to escape their bony prisons, mouths twisted as if about to cry out in pain. But not a single sound escapes her lips.

The scenes we’ve seen from Scorn so far have been one thing above all: gross and disturbing. What the horror adventure is about hasn’t really become clear to us, even after several trailers. We were all the happier to finally be able to play the thing ourselves at Gamescom and get an idea of ​​what to expect for the release on October 21st. We didn’t get any smarter from our almost 45-minute hands-on session. But at least we can say with certainty: Scorn (buy now €33.99 ) will be one of the horror highlights of the Halloween month, for which you should bring strong nerves and a strong stomach. Because the developers at Ebb Software are definitely not serving you light fare.

A scary walking simulator?

At the beginning we are thrown into the prologue to get a little familiar with the game. But that works rather moderately. Scorn remains fairly cryptic for the first few minutes of live, too: we wake up somewhere in the middle of nowhere with our character naked, tear free from some sort of growth, crawl towards a tower, and then fall down a crumbling slope. We still don’t really see through it.

Scorn Played: The First-Person Horror-Adventure Preview. (6)

Source: Kepler Interactive

After the short intro, we can at least finally take control ourselves and devote ourselves to the question: What exactly is Scorn now? The title could best be described as a horror action adventure, with a slight inclination to the walking simulator.

In our demo, we walk quite a bit to explore the world and find out what you actually do in it. The developers are very sparing when it comes to basic information.

You get neither mission markers nor a HUD displayed at the top of the screen. When interacting with objects in the environment, you are not even told which button to press.

So we wander aimlessly through the gloomy corridors until we can have a kind of key operated on our arm at a machine. The procedure doesn’t look particularly pleasant, but it does have pleasant consequences for the game: we can finally explore other areas of the world, at least until we eventually stand in front of the next closed gate. Dumb!

So it means: keep roaming around and somehow find your way around the winding level structure. Not that easy without a card. We occasionally felt confused and lost in Scorn, which was probably intentional by the developers.

According to the official description, the idea behind the game is “to be thrown into an alien world”. This can be a bit frustrating at times, but it also forces you to pay more attention to your atmospheric surroundings.

When it comes to the desolate level design, the creators have taken a strong cue from HR Giger. Among other things, the Swiss was responsible for the look of the alien from Ridley Scott’s horror film classic of the same name and is best known for his “biomechanoids”, i.e. morbid fusions of organic and technical elements. We also learned a little bit from the Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński. Among other things, he has such encouraging pictures painted.

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