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Everything we know about Scorn

Experience the nightmare next month!

Scorn is what happens when you mix DOOM Eternal with I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream. A weird, wild, and downright disturbing world made of flesh, skin, and bones. Since its announcement people have been hungry for this games release, and with opening day on the horizon, mouths are watering. So let’s take a stroll down a path of sinew and muscle, and reminisce on the road that has led us to Scorn.

I love what you’ve done with the place.

Welcome to the nightmare world of Scorn

On November 13, 2014, Ebb Software launched the Kickstarter for Scorn. Shortly after, the project was canceled on December 3, 2014. Unfortunately, the project failed to reach its funding goal.

The following year, Scorn announced on its Twitter that the development team managed to acquire funding for development. Full production would begin the following February. Over the following months Scorn would post concept art and even screenshots of weapons, locations and contraptions within the world of the game.

Scorn Teaser Trailer

On June 29, 2016 the first teaser trailer was posted to YouTube and Twitter, revealing a macabre and twisted world. Self-proclaimed as Bio-Punk, this Giger-esque first-person survival horror looked like a proper spectacle. The trailer showed a world that literally oozed of atmosphere and design, ripping the skin off of what looked familiar and turning it into something alien.

Desolate and grim, structures resembling broken rib cages and pulsating flesh inside. Birthing pods of body horror and architecture where you lose track of where flesh crafting ends and rusted metal begins. Nauseating, moist, and putrid given physical form that was equal parts stomach churning and enticing. And amidst the factory of flesh was a silent and faceless wanderer, holding a weapon made of God-knows-what, looking down at the quivering corpse of God-only-knows.

To date, that trailer surpassed one million views. In the weeks following the teaser, Scorn then received an official Steam page, as well as its own Wiki.

Carving out the gameplay

Scorn is a blend of classic survival horror and surrealist first-person puzzler. Armed with a retractable spike in one arm, players can interact with various consoles and devices, opening doors or manipulating machinery. Some instances require more than one set of hands and you’re tasked to get… creative with how you proceed. You have a weapon that looks like it was pulled from the guts of John Carpenter’s The Thing, rigid and squishy all at the same time and possibly using teeth or bone as ammunition.

The game’s deeper meaning, however, remains mostly abstract. To that end, what we do know is that the world we are exploring is as much a character as the silent avatar we control. We are literally thrown into a world that is visually nightmarish, but holds itself in an almost dreamlike state.

Each location offers a different theme, and the puzzles and characters found within those locations reflect that. This, in turn, weaves a much broader story. The expectation is a non-linear world that will gradually open up as you acquire skills and weapons to help you traverse the bio-labyrinth.

Digging out the Hellish art

Any game can have the ingredients for survival horror. But what sets Scorn apart is the intense flavor in its art style. The visceral—and frankly disgusting—visuals both haunt and enthrall those who delve into it. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, game and level designer Ljubomir Peklar spoke on his inspirations for the art style of Scorn. Notably, Peklar named H.R. Giger for his alien designs. In addition, he listed Polish painter Zdzislaw Beksinski for his twisting of bodies with death and decay.

The sound design is also an integral part of the fleshy soup that is Scorn. Every footfall upon something wet and squishy and every rattle echoing down the corridor invokes the reverence of a chapel. Every wail of wind in the distance incites the fear of a haunted house. There is just as much to be speculated on what you don’t see as there is of what you can.

The hype screams louder as we near launch

Since its initial launch, people clamored for information on the world of Scorn. With locations, NPCs, and weapons showcased on various sites, actual gameplay footage was sparse. Finally, in 2017 there was a gameplay trailer. Three years later, a new trailer launched for the Xbox Series X/S world premiere. In each of these trailers, fans witnessed the grotesque nature of the world on full display, now in a much higher resolution.

It all came to a head in December 2021. The simple yet haunting scene was less than a minute long. It depicted a shrine of some sort, massive statues of anatomical and fertile depictions, and a small silhouette in the foreground, showing the massive scale of the inner sanctum. Finally, it promised the official launch for this October.

Then, last week, an official walkthrough of the prologue dropped on YouTube. The musty chambers of tubes and veins stretched before us with only dim lights illuminating our path. Squeezing through a broken door invokes a feeling of claustrophobia as our silent character enters a room and obtains a wrist mounted spike.

Scorn gameplay

Are we alone? Are we the only living thing here? What is living? A tricky door puzzle stands in our way, and we resort to moving a still living thing to an operating chair to make use of its parts. We don’t see the process, but we cut away to the door puzzle being opened, with only the pained gurgling of our actions being just off screen. As we ascend on an elevator of flesh and bone, our heartbeat quickens. Images of new places, and new entities flicker across our site as the release date is displayed once again.

Since then the Scorn Twitter account received constant updates. These show new weapons and animations to tease and entice us all. As we prepare ourselves for what could be the new bar to reach in video game horror, all we can do now is wait.

Scorn crawls out this October

Scorn official gameplay trailer

This game is not a living nightmare; it’s a prison of the flesh—a slow beating pulse that keeps you grounded in a reality that you have no choice but to accept. It’s a place where concepts of good and evil no longer matter. There is only survival in the Hell that cannot be escaped.

Scorn is developed by Ebb Software and published by Kepler Interactive. It launches on October 21, 2022 for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC.

Are you excited for the nightmares that await in Scorn? As always, share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Words by Isaac Crutchfield

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