I play horror games every once in a while, Scorn is one of them. An extremely hyped game for me personally and that is based solely on aesthetics. Imagine spending a full day inside the head of H.R Giger, that is the core idea of this game. But if I just wanted nice scenery I could just watch a movie right? This is a game so it will be reviewed on more than just scenery. Did the makers manage to make a game of wonderful body horror? Or did they just end up making a horrible body horror mess? Only one way to find out!
Sometimes you don’t need a story to convey something. This is exactly what Scorn manages to do. I awake as a man without skin, I look around and see mechanical flesh, pulsating walls, and giant industrial machines. Welcome to the world of Scorn, a walking simulator in one of the most interesting worlds I have encountered in a long time. I never feel like I need context since I end up creating one myself. As I wander through passageway after passageway I encounter odd beings that do nothing than exude pain and suffering. This once-alive industrial complex is dying in a literal sense and I am merely trying to get out.
So, this is a walking simulator… WITH GUNS and puzzles. The gunplay ends up being rather stale and it is more about outrunning the occasional enemy rather than fighting it. I love the looks of my meaty weapons fusing together in a pulsating mess of flesh. But I could frankly have done without the gunplay at the end of the day. It added a layer of frustration rather than an enjoyable aspect. But at least there are puzzles to save the day. The puzzles balance difficulty with body horror grossness extremely well and every puzzle makes me feel like I progress rather than stagnating in frustration.
Body horror meets beauty
Scorn is all about body horror. From the grotesque scenery to the mechanical nature of horrible maiming myself and other beings in order to progress. There is no reluctance, there is no emotion, it’s all just mechanical. In a weird wicked way I feel myself drawn into the bizarre hellscape that is Scorn. There is a sense of purity beneath all the blood and guts. This was once a thriving macabre society that is now drawing its last breaths. It is a solemn 8-hour exploration walk I end up doing in one sitting. Taking more screenshots than I ever have before. I truly hope more game makers dare to make more body horror exploration games. Because Scorn was truly a treat to all senses and a thoroughly enjoyable game with a very fitting ending. I hope that this review gets whoever reading this off their arse and into the world of Scorn. You will not regret it, I promise!