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Scorn: Xbox’s Most-Awaited Horror Game

Filled with eerie labyrinths and terrifying creatures, Scorn is an Xbox Game Pass title many horrorphiles may not want to miss. With its trailer and gameplay revealed, many ask about what the game is all about. It is a non-linear game with many worlds for players to explore. But can it be an avenue for truly unique gameplay? Or is it just another horror title looking for hype?

 

What Is Scorn?

Scorn is an upcoming first-person survival horror game on the Xbox Game Pass designed to scare and terrify. Crowdfunded, it was developed by an independent company for over three years. This game uses meticulous world-building in bringing the horror right into your living room.

 

What Kind of Game Is It?

 

This game is a combination of nightmares and nightmarish fantasies. It throws its players into a world of layered hair-raising fever dreams. To take it up a notch, it leaves you there—isolated, lost, and trying to make sense of everything.

Not much is known about Scorn other than its new and careful approach to horror gaming. With an interconnected world, Scorn provides dynamic horror gameplay: there is more than one thing to do. Each region of its universe has its own culture and theme. Because of this, players are expected to adapt to whatever puzzle, character, or mission there is in that region.

 

Developer

Ebb Software Scorn
Photo from Ebb Software’s Official Facebook Page

Like Phasmophobia, Scorn is from an independent video game company. In fact, it is the first game from Ebb Software, a group of game developers from Serbia.

Ebb Software is relatively new in the industry, debuting in 2013. The company has been trying to get Scorn made since this period, but it had many obstacles on its way. Later on, the company acquired enough money from donors and video game fund Kowloon Knights to make Scorn.

Scorn’s production began with 10 full-time members, but Ebb Software has experienced slow but significant growth since then. As of 2021, Ebb is the only name behind Scorn, acting as both its developer and publisher. While this reels in many benefits for its developers, it has also dampened Scorn’s production process.

 

Scorn Production Delays

Picture from Scorn’s Official Kickstarter

Ebb Software has experienced many challenges in making Scorn. Its first challenge was funding, especially since Scorn had a big, expansive premise.

A detailed universe with unique challenges, themes, and characters is what Scorn is at its very heart. This vision was promising, but it also was admittedly expensive for Ebb Software to make.

Without compromising their vision, Ebb managed to raise the funds they needed in making Scorn. However, with that behind them, there are also a few cracks in the overarching idea of Scorn.

Supposedly made in two parts, the first Scorn game was set for a 2018 release. Ebb Software reported being satisfied with what the game was looking like around this period. Still, it was not a flawless masterpiece.

Working with a small team of developers, Ebb had limited access to resources. Funding was scarce for a game as colossal as Scorn. Because of this, Ebb had to keep pushing back its release date to a few years.

 

Scorn Release Date

Scorn Release Date
Picture from Steam

Things look better for Scorn than they ever have been. Ebb Software slowly but surely released a few trailers and teasers throughout the years. Its biggest release was 14-minute gameplay back in October 2020.

There is no final Scorn release date yet. Its developers say that this is for the best, since “people don’t take delays very well.” They also add that no specific dates would be announced unless they are 100% sure.

This might be a smart move for Ebb Software. Cyberpunk 2077 suffered development delays while marking specific release dates. When its team kept missing its deadlines, many people grew impatient and frustrated. Significant online backlash against the project ensued. This possibly hastened the game’s development. Whatever happened, the game’s hype came to an end with mixed reviews. Some Cyberpunk 2077 reviews even ask if it is a flawed masterpiece.

However, people do not have to wait any longer than they have had. Scorn will be released in 2021, as confirmed by Xbox and Ebb Software. Developments are steady but moving.

 

Platforms

Scorn Platforms
Picture from Scorn’s Official Kickstarter

With the advent of next-generation consoles, many ask if Scorn will be having a PS5 release. It will not. Ebb Software’s Scorn will be available only on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and on PC. It follows the release trajectory of The Medium, another horror title exclusive to Game Pass holders.

There is no word yet on whether Scorn will be available on PS5. Its Xbox exclusive launch is due to game compatibility and graphics presentation. Ebb Software wants players to enjoy Scorn in the best possible light, both technically and visually.

The company deems the Xbox Series X as extremely capable of running Scorn at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. It is also unclear if Scorn will ever be available on PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch.

 

System Requirements

System Requirements
Photo from Andre Tan on Unsplash

Scorn will also be available on PC. It has minimum and recommended system requirements, despite having no final release dates.

If you plan to get Scorn for your PC, make sure you have at least a Windows 7, 8, or 10 operating system. These have to be 64 bit across the board, or else the game will not run.

For the processor, you’ll need at least an Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD FX-6300. It also requires 8 GB of RAM and a powerful graphics card—either the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870. Version 11 of DirectX is also a minimum requirement, as is 50 GB of storage.

Should one want to run Scorn on the most ideal conditions, they will need an Intel Core i5-2500 or an AMD FX-8350 processor. Graphics for the game are also best rendered on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or an AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card.

 

Prices

While Scorn is already on Steam, there are no prices for the game yet. You can add it on your Steam wishlist, though.

Pre-order Scorn on Steam

 

Scorn Game Preview

Gameplay

 

Scorn features an interconnected world that shapes its gameplay. Like many other up-and-coming horror titles, Scorn values its setting, making it somewhat of a main character in the game.

With a complex many-region world, the Scorn gameplay varies. Each location has a life of its own—many rooms and paths with different missions. These regions are labyrinths, and it takes a skillful gamer to work through them.

This game prides itself on immersive storytelling. To make the most out of the game’s horrific regions, there are no cut-scenes in Scorn. Because of this, players are always immersed in the game’s world. There are no pauses and there are fewer loading screens.

In this game, there is only you and the worlds you live in. Traverse across it and face eerie, horrendous creatures in the process. Scorn’s gameplay also makes sure players can interact with virtually anything they want to. Grab, hold, and use any object that comes your way, as long as it is not out to kill you.

Since each region has different challenges, players have to have different play styles. Their resources are limited, which is why mindful gaming is required. Each crevice of Scorn’s world demands different movements. Players have to be wary of how they choose to experience Scorn.

 

Story

Scorn Storytelling
Picture from Steam

As far as fans are concerned, there is no one Scorn storyline. Its regions are characters of their own. Thus, each of these has its own stories, puzzles, and creatures for you to explore. Scorn has a unified theme in this diversity: a dream-like horror game painting a big picture with small stories.

The player is Scorn’s main character. It is in their lonesome experience that the game comes to life. According to Ebb Software, Scorn tells stories using its environment/s. By traversing these worlds alone, you are more in touch with the game.

While it is not cut from the same stone as sandbox games, its open-ended world is similar. There are always new areas and weapons to discover in Scorn. The challenge is to decode what each wall, floor, and object tells you.

 

Graphics

Scorn Graphics
Picture from Steam

Scorn’s aesthetic remains inspired by the work of H.R. Giger. This artist’s work deals with surrealism, man-machine relationships, and fantasy science-fiction.

Players will see this inspiration throughout the game. From the previews, it seems like Scorn will be sinister and otherworldly.

Since the game has no cutscenes, what you see of its graphics now is more or less what it will look like in the final render. Scorn is not hyper-realistic, but that is not what it is going for in the first place.

The game looks surreal and dream-like. Its atmosphere is thick with tension and stillness—making it a more horrific experience.

 

New Features

Not much is known about Scorn’s new features yet. Its gameplay only reveals high interactivity with its world. While this is an impressive feature, it is not unique to Scorn. However, Scorn does deliver these game and horror story tropes effectively.

Unlike most games, Scorn has no cut-scenes. It also adds an extra touch to in-world interactions: objects are not floating as you hold them in the first person. To make the Scorn experience more realistic, grabbing items shows your real hand, moving, as it is a part of your world.

Any other Scorn features will be revealed by its release in October.

Replayability

Scorn Features
Picture from Steam

Like the game’s special features, there is no final word on Scorn’s replayability just yet. However, with an elaborate world filled with various regions, one can imagine that Scorn is replayable.

Other features may deter people from believing so, however. Its slower pace and heavy atmosphere may make it a single-play type of game.

 

Value

Picture from Scorn’s Official Kickstarter

Scorn has the privilege of knowing that it has eager players because it is crowdfunded. Since these names will be included in Scorn’s credits, some players already have a high value.

Moreover, independent horror titles have been at the forefront of the horror genre more recently. Phasmophobia, one of horror’s best indie games, is proof of this. This game was made by one person, under the name of Kinetic Games.

A successful Scorn debut can mean a lot to horror gaming. It shows that small, independent companies are still alive and kicking—that their ideas remain fresh and in touch with what horror gamers want.

 

Scorn and Crowdfunding

Ebb Software
Picture from Ebb Studios

The Scorn title would not exist without the help of crowdfunding. However, it was not an easy process.

Ebb Software began a Kickstarter for the game in 2014 but unfortunately did not meet their goals. This financial instability left Scorn in development hell. It took Ebb three more years to restart their crowdfunding platform—this time to success.

Running for 35 days (from September to October) in 2017, Ebb Studios’ Kickstarter had seven tiers and more than 5,600 backers. Any additional funds could have expedited Scorn’s release date, meeting their 2018 target. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, this was not the case.

Still, crowdfunding made Scorn possible. Since reaching their target, Ebb Software grew its company, partnered with digital storefront Humble Bundle, and garnered a lot of gaming attention.

To this day, Ebb Studios uses its Kickstarter platform to update its backers and enthusiastic following of gamers. This includes launch windows, development updates, and more concept art.

For many independent companies and game developers, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms are great avenues to grow. How does Kickstarter work? Basically, you introduce your idea to people and hope it resonates with them. If it does, they may back it up. Should this not be the case, then your project will have to stay in your back pocket for a while.

Scorn experienced both of these scenarios but managed to pull through by the end.

 

Other Xbox Horror Games

The Medium

The Medium
Picture from Amazon

The Medium joins Scorn as one of Game Pass’s most awaited horror titles. These two games take horror up a notch, using features that work especially with next-generation consoles.

For The Medium, this means dual-reality gameplay. Without getting too technical, playing in dual-reality gives you two game worlds to live in. As a Medium, solving a mystery, you will hop in and out of two worlds—leaving your body in one or the other.

This third-person psychological horror game is in a league of its own. Its dual-reality gameplay is its most special asset, and its developers—Bloober Team—know it. Patenting this gameplay type makes sure that The Medium is a unique experience horror fanatics cannot miss out on.

Join The Medium in exploring a communist resort, saving souls, and solving dual-reality puzzles. Uncover the answer to the world’s darkest mysteries and face the most sinister of spirits. Develop your character’s psychic abilities and see how far you can take them.

Like Scorn, The Medium showcases a specific art style. Inspired by Zdzisław Beksiński, its dark spirit world has the aesthetic of dystopian surrealism. This game’s corners are alive, albeit subtly.

In horror, this is good. What is terrifying is what lives but cannot be seen.

Get The Medium on Amazon

 

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village
Picture from Steam

The Resident Evil franchise is home to seasoned horror game titles. With its first game debuting in the 1990s, Resident Evil has become a household name in horror gaming.

Resident Evil Village is the latest installment of the franchise and the 8th major title in the series. Released in May 2021, this game was making waves months before its release. Its characters spread like wildfire across the internet, particularly Lady Dimitrescu.

Previews for the game revealed further worldbuilding. The game’s developers, Capcom, created a character out of the game’s setting. Explore a living, breathing village: one that reacts to your actions and haunts you as you play. Survive its thorns and torments; play as Resident Evil 7’s Ethan Winters.

Resident Evil Village is a return to form for the series. Here, players can enjoy first-person survival gameplay again. Reunite with Chris Redfield, the series’ first protagonist, and see what this village is all about. Resident Evil Village review articles have had positive feedback so far.

Get Resident Evil Village on Amazon

 

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares
Picture from Amazon

Released on April 28, 2017, Little Nightmares is a horror game filled with whimsy and child-like imagination. In this game, you traverse a world unlike any other; a vessel shrouded by mystery and many souls.

Play as Six, a little girl that resembles Gaiman’s Coraline, and fight off souls that want you as their next meal. Explore the vessel you are on—The Maw—and see where this journey takes you.

Little Nightmares is not for the faint of heart. Players will find themselves inside their darkest childhood fantasies, like exploring a prison of a dollhouse and devouring pests for survival. These features make Little Nightmares one of the most immersive horror games that can scare you senseless.

Developed by Tarsier Studios, the company behind Little Big Planet, this game presents a charming, dismal world that can only be imagined by children. In solving its mysteries, one must set their inner child, free.

Get Little Nightmares on Amazon

 

Little Nightmares II

Little Nightmares II
Picture from Amazon

Another horror game that can be played on Xbox is Little Nightmares II. In this sequel to Little Nightmares, players will now assume the role of Mono. He is a young boy trapped in a demoralized world, controlled by an evil transmission tower.

Joined by the previous game’s protagonist, Six, they travel toward the transmission tower. They follow its whispers, hums. Lead them in solving its mysteries and restoring the peaceful lives the world once had.

This suspense horror game was released in February 2021. Since then, many have marveled at the unique world-building and storytelling of the series. Little Nightmares II presents children’s horror in a whole new light. Meet a cold and twisted teacher, addicted television viewers, and a doctor with not much to live for.

Confront ghastly bullies and finish other nightmarish fantasies. Such features (and more) are run down in Little Nightmares II review titles online.

Get Little Nightmares II on Amazon

 

Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight
Picture from Amazon

A multiplayer game, Dead by Daylight is a 4 vs 1 affair. Like many horror movies, it features an ensemble cast against a vile villain. For Dead by Daylight, this antagonist comes with a simple name—The Killer.

Developed by Behaviour Interactive, this game has one person playing as The Killer and four people playing as Survivors. The premise is simple: survive the Killing ground by outsmarting your enemy. Working together is an advantage too, but how cooperative can your team, on the edge of survival, really be?

Similar to Resident Evil 8, Dead by Daylight uses its setting to its benefit. More than just aesthetic value, the Killing Ground changes per round. This keeps the game leveled—all players including the killer are at a disadvantage.

Accommodating both third-and first-person play, this game uses horror tropes well. Killers have the freedom to be as Slasher or as paranormal as they want. Survivors can strategize together, or leave every person for themself.

Get Dead by Daylight on Amazon

 

Final Word

From everything we know so far, Scorn looks like a promising new horror title. As seen above, there are not a lot of new horror games that are like Scorn. The Medium and Resident Evil Village are the closest games you can get, but it is still not close enough.

Inspired by H.R. Giger’s art style, Scorn delivers a distinct experience for the horror (and sci-fi) genre. Its regions are characters of their own, making the game truly immersive. Scorn is also unafraid to take its time, making sure you take your time in appreciating it once it is out.

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