Scorn : Une descente aux Enfers qui ne nous fait pas de cadeau, mais qui devrait plaire aux fans d'Alien

Preview of the Scorn: A descent into Hell that does not give us a gift, but which should please Alien fans

Preview Scorn: A descent into Hell that does not give us a gift, but which should please Alien fans

In development for years, Scorn is finally on its way to PC and Xbox Series. If you’re fascinated by “organic” horror and the design of the first Alien movie gives you chills, this is a title you should like. We played it for an hour, here are our impressions.

Scorn is almost a title back from the dead and the delivery was apparently very long. Developed by Ebb Software, of which this is the first game, Scorn went through the Kickstarter box in 2017, before going under the fold of Microsoft. Exclusive to Xbox and PC (and therefore in the Gamepass as soon as it is released), Scorn is due out on October 21. During Gamescom in Cologne, we were able to play a demo of around 1 hour, specially created for the show. It integrated the essential phases of gameplay and gave a very good overview of the artistic direction of the title, unique in its kind in the video gamebut which will necessarily speak to you if you like the first Alien film from 1976 and more generally the universe of the artist HR Giger.

When everything seems dead and alive at the same time

Because it is on this point that Scorn stands out from the mass of “atmospheric” first-person horror games that come out every month: the game has a striking look and is both technically ultra-solid and endowed with a very special atmosphere. Here, the organic mixes with the mechanical, the walls are made of bone and flesh, spinal columns rise to the sky, with this impression that everything is alive and dead at the same time. It is in this deadly and fascinating atmosphere that we wake up, an avatar with emaciated hands, and that we begin to explore the place.

In his very own style, Scorn is therefore very beautiful and frankly fascinating. We never got tired of walking through the corridors of this demo, always speechless at the quality of the artistic direction. But, once again, this aesthetic bias is particular and could leave more than one on the floor. But for those who hang on, it’s a real treat.

It’s Myst in the land of pain

We must now remove doubts about what Scorn really is in terms of gameplay. From a distance, we can believe that it is above all a linear exploration game – almost a walking sim – which relies on environmental narration. There is a bit of that, but you realize very quickly that the title of Ebb Sofware is above all a game of reflection and puzzles. This demo specially put together for the occasion was intended to show us a certain range of game mechanics offered in the final version.

Scorn: A descent into Hell that does not give us a gift, but which should please Alien fans

It is therefore a mixture of observation, round trips and environmental puzzles that was offered to us for an hour, with a certain taste for “letting the player do it”, in the sense that the title is extremely stingy with clues. On the screen, no HUD, no superimposed point of interest, no magic path reinforces the progression. All of Scorn’s gameplay mechanics are so-called “intradiegetic”. Here, the decor is king, you have to get your hands dirty – or rather in the flesh – and carefully observe what is happening around you, with no other tool than your eyes and your brain.

Scorn: A descent into Hell that does not give us a gift, but which should please Alien fans

More “niche” than we thought

Impossible, in barely 1 hour of demo, to judge the quality of the puzzles offered in the game of Ebb Software, but they generally seemed to us to be well integrated into the universe and consistent with the horrific aspect of the title. For example, we had to “free” a poor creature from a strange cocoon, before sending it to be crushed (in a particularly successful noise of guts) in order to recover its hand to use it as a “key” to open a specific door. Describe like this, you could imagine yourself in a Monkey Island gone wrong, and that’s kind of what it comes out. The puzzles can be quite tricky and the lack of help may discourage the less persistent.

Scorn: A descent into Hell that does not give us a gift, but which should please Alien fans

On the other hand, we were less convinced by the way in which we had to initially free the creature, since it was necessary to solve a puzzle in the style of the “teaser”, where we painfully moved several cocoons hung on the wall in order to reach the good copy. A moment a little clumsy and which moreover seemed artificial. In short, if the first inspiration of the studio is to find on the side of Giger for the artistic, Myst appears as an important influence in terms of gameplay. And that, we clearly did not expect.

Scorn: A descent into Hell that does not give us a gift, but which should please Alien fans

Our impressions

Scorn will undoubtedly be a unique visual experience in video games, thanks to an atmosphere as horrifying as it is strange. Ebb Software’s game should thus let us loose in a universe that we will have to decipher and of which we will probably have to accept not having all the keys. But where we did not expect it, it is in its desire to offer us fairly tough puzzles, with in addition a total absence of guide or index. Fans of brain challenges will probably be delighted with this orientation, but it also risks closing the door to those who were expecting above all an exploratory and linear trip. This little hour spent in his company, however, made us want to see more. Remember that Scorn will be released on October 21, 2022 on Xbox and PC. The game will automatically be included in the Gamepass.

Editorial review

Promising

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