Scorn footage has an unbearably elevated level of tension and firm release date.
The Giger ’em up from Ebb Software will indeed be accessible on October 21.
Scorn, which had been announced eight years ago, is a markedly eerie first-person horror game set in a surreal subterranean clearly inspired by HR Giger’s work. It has since been delayed several times and has shifted from a paroxysmal model (what an exquisitely mid-2010s phenomenon!) to a more conventional full-length package. Because the new gameplay footage above confirms an October 21 release date for Scorn, the fruits of Ebb Software’s manual labor will be playable soon.
We’ve been seeing extended gameplay footage of Scorn, but the environment design in this new video appears to be far more ornate than in past videos. The usual Giger trappings are prevalent, such as decor that mimics a byzantine arrangement of mechanical intestines and a mood that walks the knife edge between decrepit grandiosity and intense body horror. It’s an aesthetic we’ve seen before in games, but Scorn has a curious following because it’s the closest to its inspiration. There’s some serious artistic talent at the job here, and even if the game doesn’t turn out great, it’ll always look great.
Remarkably, there is no combat in this new ‘prologue’ video. The game will unquestionably have weapons (earlier video footage shows a peculiar prosthesis-style shotgun), but this new footage would seem to be preparing us for a true survival horror trip: there’s some light puzzle solving, and the focus here is on constantly increasing dread. This is not a first-person shooter.
The first footage of Scorn has been released in 2014 before it had even attained Steam Greenlight (remember that?). It’s fascinating to make comparisons between the old and new videos on youtube. It seems to be of its time, but you can imagine it all being noted in the current debate about graphics in early development games.
In a 2017 interview, program manager Ljubomir Peklar described Scorn’s art as “biomechanical” since it “deals with human anatomy in a utilitarian way, how our organs and flesh work as a cohesive system.” Pekar also asserted that the game will not be “weird just for the sake of becoming weird,” so expect some terrifying internal logic to accommodate the grotesquery on display.