Scorn, one of the many games I sampled during this year''s Gamescom, surprised me the most. For whatever reason, this survival horror adventure was intended to avoid spookiness for kookiness, perhaps rattling my bones with hyper-violence and monsoons.
No, the game was not what I expected at all. At least, not the 45-minute portion I got to play. Rather, my demo was more of a hardcore puzzler with some exploration elements and the teeniest smattering of action. It was still unsettling and grotesque! If the brain-training was for MIT graduates, or the human calculators on University Challenge.
I continued to amble through an eerie facility and, err, take in the. At the start of the demo, my character an unlucky body model woke from his slumber and peeled himself from a prison of tubes and bones. He then crawled forwards toward a large pylon of meat as flashbacks of another less meaty tower sandstorm shook hands.
Scorn''s gross was not all flailing limbs and spurts of gunk from walls of screaming heads. But it was certainly not scatological, as surfaces seemed mercifully cleaned of poo and/or wee. To me, it seemed to be aiming for a more understated body horror, like a splayed open cyborg. It wasn''t scary per se, but its architecture was unsettling, fitting to what I''d imagine if a jar
As I skulked further through the game''s metallic intestines, I became increasingly disturbed by Scorn''s beauty. It''s true that the brown murk has never looked so good. Depending on how you looked up, you might see light plowing into this enormous arena (a rarity), with its intricate hardware stretching upwards into a haze. Whether it''s at a distance or up close, the attention to detail was utterly ludicrous.
As its spaces became larger, the visual design of the game governed exploration and the kinds of things I''d need to prepare for them. For a simpleton like me, the subtle cues were somewhat too subtle for me, and I never quite caught on whenever the game was prompting me to move on or return to something later. For example, I spent an age rewiring some train tracks atop the melted staircase only to get me to go on and explore elsewhere, so I avoided spending more precious demo time.
Although I like to be patient when I''m skipping down the wrong route, Scorn wasn''t good at this, because a lot of its puzzles overlap in its maze-like structure, which itself requires quite a lot of effort to unravel. You''re simultaneously fighting with your bearings and a mechanism that links to another mechanism down one alleyway, which then leads to another another.
The puzzles themselves were a little bit obtuse for their own good. One that sticks in the memory was a hardcore take on a simple playground puzzle, requiring me to remove intact eggs from a grid in the appropriate order so they could all be allowed to work. It was a mixture of sliding obstacles in the correct order, and the devs swooped in to figure it out with me.
Eventually, the egg I cleared from the grid puzzle was intended to form a pram, which I''d then need to guide using the tracks I mentioned earlier. I''m certain it was my own incompetence, as I was certain that some of my older siblings would have clicked things into place once more. Scorn''s early portion certainly didn''t seem to cater for those who weren''t so well at problem-solving.
As I''ve learned about my first monster, I will say that upon completion, their effects on Scorn''s wider landscape reintroduced in a very pleasant way. Pincers sprung to life and snatched pods from crevices. Grates slid upwards with a rumble. I even secured this piston pistol that acted more like a tool. As I walked around, the demo concluded.
It''s a strange experience to dive into the silent basins of pipes and pylons, which looked like ribcages and arteries. Yet, its hardcore, mixed with its maze-like structure and deliberate lack of direction may be too complicated for all but the brainiest of puzzle solvers. However, I''m interested in taking part in more of the game when it launches on October 21st, if only to see if my brain''s neurons can rewire themselves to better handle its