SCORN opens with you swallowed up in a prison of bones and tendons.
You pull your arm free and a vision flashes before you.
Stood atop a dusty cliff, you see an alien church in the distance. Then it flashes back to the now and you take control.
There is no explanation for how you found yourself in this mess, or even what the mess is.
In fact you don’t even know who or what you are, beyond the fact you’re just a naked body trapped in a maze of organic curiosities and ribcage walkways.
You are human-ish. With arms, legs and a torso as well as something that resembles a face.
However, there are more of whatever you are, heaped in corpse piles spilling out of infernal machines.
It’s much like 1993’s Myst, if it had taken a trip through H.R. Giger’s worst drug addled nightmare.
You wander around without anyone or anything telling you what to do as you push your fingers through fleshy holes in body horror-inspired control panels.
The design of the game feels unknowable. Nothing human is present here, as if it wasn’t even created by human hands.
That means you spend a lot of time wandering aimlessly, lost inside a series of interconnected skin tubes.
In one room you see a wall of eggs, hooked up like the human batteries from The Matrix.
Removing one from the wall, you reveal a human-ish thing inside half fused with the shell.
As the game urges you to continue through a door which requires two people to open it, you know what to do next.
After violently degloving the thing from the egg with your alien ice-cream scoop, blood gushes forth.
You collect the only distinguishable piece, a severed arm, and use it to open the door as the remains are launched down a garbage chute.
Before your next puzzle, you pick up Scorn’s first weapon.
As cool-looking as it is useless, it’s a grappling hook with roughly the same range as nana’s wifi.
The room is filled with bloated fireflies spewing steam. You approach and use the grappling gun, alleviating them of their shells.
This is where the obtuse nature of the game feels a little frustrating.
It’s hard to tell how far from the bugs you need to be, though thankfully the combat section doesn’t last long.
Scorn is disgusting, horrifying, and mysterious in equal measure. If you will excuse the pun, it truly gets under your skin.
With its strong artistic direction, and engaging puzzles, it pulls you into its world of unknown horrors.
The combat is the only questionable part, though it may improve depending on the arsenal.
Scorn will release as a Microsoft exclusive on Windows PC and Xbox Series X|S on October 21.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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