Imagine searching for a mystery’s solution by dipping your hands into a sink filled with foul-smelling, filthy water. You keep removing more and more perplexing objects, and you really don’t want to step inside again. However, what you’ve discovered so far has you incredibly interested about what additional secrets might be concealed inside. The overall experience of playing Scorn, a first-person puzzle game about discovering the ruins of a long-dead civilization, can best be summed up in that way. It’s more weird and unnerving than scary, with a fascinating, biomechanical style influenced by works by H.R. Giger and Harlan Ellison, such as I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. However, the energy it generates can be incredibly strong.
Scorn makes me think a lot of what Agony tried to do when it came out: a novel experience in a terrifying environment. In contrast to the tragedy we went through with Agony, Scorn arrived very playable with only a few bugs. Fans of horror should try Scorn without a doubt. Every fan of the genre should support Scorn since it offers a unique horror gaming experience.
The most impressive part of this twisted skeleton is the macabre visual direction. Despite the fact that each of Scorn’s hubs is unique in its terrifying grandeur. Yet manages to create a cohesive experience for the player. The architecture and bizarre puzzle devices are situated in a setting. That more closely resembles the blending of artificial and organic elements than the actual merger of flesh and machinery. This is because the actual merger of flesh and machinery would result in the destruction of the organic and artificial elements. The foreboding caves create the strong impression that you are being consumed in its entirety. While the soaring, alien spires imitate the contours of bone and viscera.
You must meticulously examine all of this fascinatingly terrible images. In order to deduce why the environment is so chaotic and largely deserted. Because there is no conversation or text of any type to explain why you are here or what occurred. I think I put everything together at the end of my seven-and-a-half-hour voyage to hell. There are no definite explanations in this cosmos, but I enjoyed that it trusted me to arrive to my conclusions.
Scorn trusted me to make my own deductions and provided me with sufficient indications
The strange machines, which resemble Myst, aren’t quite Mensa-level brainteasers, but some of them were challenging enough that I was happy when I eventually understood how they worked. They all have mechanical components that fit together and have an exam-like feel to them. To align with a central hub, you occasionally need to acquire a number of separate wheels that can rotate either jointly or independently. When your perspective partially obscure, you may need to count the rotations of a spinning disc in order to lock it into place. Some of the more complex ones occupy a full level and require you to dash back and forth while a huge, crane game-style claw arm moves walkable platforms.
With no explicit goal other than to keep moving forward, the equally mysterious protagonist of Scorn wakes up in the middle of this mess and begins about solving some somewhat difficult puzzles. So, the only thing driving me to keep going was curiosity. I wonder the same thing as the vastness around this unnamed homunculus, or whatever he is: Is any of this even worth saving? And an early, unskippable cutscene seems to imply that, no, he’s not. I therefore never truly felt the need to preserve myself or hold out hope for salvation. Most likely, this location and this person received their just desserts. Simply put, I was curious about what was beyond the next rib cage door.
Scorn is consistently, mercilessly gloomy
And that brings up yet another problem with scorn: how dismal it is all the time. Better horror games, like Amnesia or Resident Evil, alternate islands of peace with stressful and unsettling times in order to more effectively evoke dread when they take those islands away or force you to leave them behind. There simply isn’t anything like that in Scorn’s world.
There are some darkly beautiful aspects of it but once you buckle up, you’re in for a voyage that won’t stop attempting to surprise and unnerve you. This ultimately had the opposite effect on me, as I gradually became somewhat numb to the relentless psychological suffering. It loses meaning when there is nothing worth fighting for, nothing to look forward to, and nothing valuable to be taken from us.
But I must salute the single, unmistakable vision that underlies each and every sight and sound. Scorn doesn’t really have a soundtrack, more of a subtle, electronic ambient that sounds best when heard over some great, surround-sound headphones with strong bass. It’s also fascinating how everything you may touch with has moving components that fit together, including the tower-sized puzzles and the strange, organic artifacts that make up your inventory. Each bullet that goes into one of your guns must manually load, and visiting a replenishment station to collect more requires a separate animation. I felt much more rooted in the world as a result.
The act of fighting is horrible. I don’t mean that in a positive manner, either
Unfortunately, the actual battle is horrible. I don’t mean that in a positive manner, either. Your strafing speed is agonizingly slow, the majority of adversaries have incredibly precise ranged attacks. And the only weapons that provide respectable damage have relatively little ammo. Some of the hitboxes are absurd; for example, you should be able to fire through the bars on a revolving platform that resembles a cage. But you can’t, which negates the tactile effect Scorn is trying to achieve. In some areas, both healing supplies and checkpoints can be quite few. The fact that combat only plays a significant role in one of the game’s five chapters is the only reason. It didn’t completely spoil my enjoyment.
None of this, in my opinion, was a coincidence. Contrarily, it appears that battle was designed to be a pain in the ass. In order to persuade you to stay away from it whenever possible. However, there is also no real cover or stealth system. So I forced to use a variety of tedious but ineffective tactics. Like running around a pillar like a cartoon character and squeezing in hits. Whenever I could or trying to run past all the enemies while crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t take too much damage. Give me better tools for evading them if you don’t want me to battle them. Scorn would be improved if the combat-heavy Act 3 had less foes. If not none at all, as it severely detracts from the exploring and puzzle-solving elements. Combat was probably not necessary at all, let alone in this manner.
If it were significantly longer than it is, Scorn would have gone on for too long and worn out its welcome. But since it is such a brief race through the awful and odd, it sticks out and is gratifying. Thankfully, the tedious battle only eats a small percentage of your playtime. The fantastic and sinisterly unsettling visual direction and ambient soundtrack, on the other hand, pervade the entire geometry dash game in the same way that rotting blood gives a creaking corpse new life. From beginning to finale, it’s a stressful, occasionally baffling meeting. Nevertheless, I do not regret taking that first step into it.