Scorn – Test of Scorn, a boring game but a mastered work of art

Announced in 2014, Scorn is available today on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. A true tribute to biomechanics and horror, how much is Ebb Software’s game really worth beyond its artistic proposal?

There is one thing that cannot be denied by the developers of Ebb Sofware, it is their deep desire to carry on the development of Contempt. With a failed crowdfunding campaign shortly after its announcement in 2014, there was a lot to throw in the towel. But not for our fellow Serbs. Thanks to a successful new crowdfunding campaign in 2017, Reflow software and Scorn emerged from anonymity and entered into agreements that allowed them to find the resources necessary for the realization of the game.This tenacity could only give life to an intimate work, a real tribute to the master of biomechanics HR Giger, known in particular for the design of the various creatures of Alien or even Prometheus set.

Captured on Xbox Series X

Controller in hand, said tribute does not care about an introduction and immerses the player directly in the dark and nightmare universe of the artist, as if the absence of scenario, objective and dialogue wanted to turn into an allegory of the shock caused by the paintings by Giger. A start all the more confusing as the main protagonist’s grip turns out to be stiff, with a character unable to jump and barely able to run. But more than a tribute to Giger’s work, Scorn literally offers to bring the master’s canvases to life. The blue-gray metallic tone that evokes steel and mechanics is absolutely everywhere, the sun seems to be just a distant memory and the sound environment perfectly conveys the idea we have of a decaying civilization.. And although the game is articulated in a succession of corridors, it is difficult for us to deduce the slightest scale from what is emerging before us. Cyclopean environments push us into a vast universe with meticulous detail, while paradoxically the Design level leads us to question the small size of each area. The combination of the two thus makes it possible to better render on the screen the confusion caused by the artist’s scenes.

We love :

  • The world of human resources Giger;
  • The way his paintings come to life.

We love less :

  • Limited lifespan;
  • Rigidity of character;
  • Redundant game.

However, this artistic pursuit is accompanied by relatively poor gameplay. Halfway between the Puzzle game and the walking simulator, Scorn offers the player the opportunity to move through impressive environments where the discovery of a new area is related to the completion of puzzles. Satisfying for the most part, they are as much a means to enter the imagination of this world as the only way to interact with it. There are a few creatures here and there to vary the gameplay, but the fights never constitute an interesting moment in the proposal. So when the puzzles begin to show a certain redundancy, like flesh trapped in some mechanism, we find ourselves trapped both in the universe and in the gameplay proposal.. Without really being able to breathe, as the backup system does not provide for manual backups.

Captured on Xbox Series X
Captured on Xbox Series X

Ultimately, the player who wishes to discover or expand on Giger’s work, whose cinematic proposals have often been rejected by the studios, will likely find his account in this intrusion into the artist’s universe. Provided he enjoys solving puzzles, he will literally have time to observe his surroundings and become one with this decaying flesh. For others, Scorn is probably a boring game that lacks dynamism and variety. To judge for yourself, you will have to pay the recommended price of € 40 on PC, Xbox One and Xbox S series| X or you have a GamePass offer.

Test by Soviet Suprem from a version provided by the publisher.

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