Despite introducing us to a distorted world of flesh and machinery back in 2014, Microsoft’s exclusive first-person horror adventure game Scorn has yet to release — but we won't have to wait much longer.
Developed and published by Serbian game development studio Ebb Software, Scorn aims to throw gamers into a nightmarish world brimming with disturbing, yet fascinating creatures and locations from the minds of Polish painter Zdzisław Beksiński and Swiss artist H.R. Giger — the man behind Ridley Scott’s Alien. That’s a big indication of how creepy this game will be.
Ebb Software may have gone through a number of development issues, as shown in a recent “hostile” post over on Kickstarter that even called out Cyberpunk 2077 and developers CD Projekt Red. The Scorn developers have since apologized for the post in a number of recent updates, and we now have a release date and more gameplay thanks to the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022.
Here’s everything we know so far about Scorn, from the release date to its PC requirements.
Scorn release date
Despite being officially announced back in 2014 with pre-alpha footage included, the game has yet to launch due to delays and funding. Scorn was initially meant to release in autumn 2021, but had been pushed back to October 21, 2021. This news originally came from Ebb Software's CEO, Ljubomir Peklar, stating the game is now "75 percent" complete and will officially launch in October this year. The full release date was announced at the Xbox and Bethesda event.
In better news, Scorn's launch date has now moved forward! In a video titled "You’ve waited long enough," Ebb Software announced it will be released a week earlier than previously claimed. Scorn will launch on October 14, 2022.
Scorn price and availability
With Scorn being available on Xbox Game Pass from day one, those with a membership will be able to play it on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC for as little as $9.99/£7.99. Xbox has been releasing highly anticipated games such as Halo Infinite and Back 4 Blood on its subscription service without any extra cost, and Scorn is getting the same treatment.
We have yet to see an official price, but Scorn is likely to be a $60 title. Ebb Software partnered up with Microsoft to release the creepy horror adventure exclusively on Xbox platforms, which means Scorn won’t be coming to PS5 or Nintendo anytime soon, if at all. It will also be available on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and GOG.
In their Kickstarter campaign, the developers stated: “Before deciding to partner with Microsoft we made sure that they will not have any influence over the game's concept and development process. They were more than cooperative in that regard. The only thing they were interested in was exclusivity rights. Once all that was agreed upon it was a no-brainer decision when you look at all the benefits Scorn will get from this partnership, from additional resources to much bigger exposure (marketing).”
Aside from the living, breathing world our nameless main character is thrown into, not much is known about the main storyline of Scorn. What we do know is that our character is lost in a dream-like world, and must traverse different interconnected (and creepy) regions in a non-linear fashion.
From what we can tell, Scorn may be more lore-driven with gamers sole goal being to try to escape from the nightmare. For now, this is just speculation, but the developers have stated that each location players visit in the “open-ended” world will have its own theme and story, with puzzles and characters that play a big role in the world. We also know Scorn’s regions will be set up like a maze with different rooms and paths to discover.
This is what Ebb Software had to say about how the story will play out: “All the storytelling happens in-game, with no cut-scenes to distract you from the grisly reality of the living, breathing world you’re in. But keep your eyes open — the game won’t show you any sympathy if you miss something important on your uneasy travels. Everything has a reason and purpose — you just need to work out what it is.”
Thanks to a developer update in March, we also know that puzzles are an integral part of the story, and even the maze-like structures throughout the player's creepy surroundings tell their own story. Plus, the developers made a note that while it could be a walking simulator by just atmosphere alone, it's a lot more thanks to the creatures and puzzles players will have to come across.
This is similar to how games like Dark Souls tell stories, leaving gamers to pick up pieces of the story as they play through the game. Still, since Scorn has been delayed, this structure may change when it comes out in 2022.
Scorn might have been disregarded as yet another first-person horror title you can find in Steam’s massive collection of horror games. However, as soon as Ebb Software showed off its twisted version of symbiotic weaponry, the game went from horror experience to survival horror.
Players will be exploring multiple maze-like regions filled with creepy puzzles to solve and grotesque enemies to fight off. Scorn is expected to have a multitude of weaponry, and we already know of two weapons players can shoot off and be grossed out by: a six-shot pistol and a three-barrel rifle that fires off organic spikes. Check out the 8-minute gameplay trailer below, which takes us through the game's prologue.
As the trailer points out, Scorn doesn't have any dialogue, as the environment will do a majority of the storytelling. What's more, while there are guns in Scorn, it "is not a shooter."
Puzzles, inventory, and ammo management will also be a major part of gameplay. Resources will be limited, so players will have to decide on whether hiding is the best option or taking on one of the many creatures is the way forward. Scorn may take cues from other survival-horror classics such as Dead Space and Resident Evil, mixing combat with puzzles. Combat appears slower than in these games, as seen with the pistol reloading sequence in the gameplay footage. This is sure to build tension in combat, but players will also acquire different skill sets, weapons, and various items that may increase different stats.
In the March developer update, we caught a quick glimpse of two aspects of gameplay: the puzzles and machinery involved in accessing areas. It's as fascinating and grotesque as you expect it to be.
As the update states: "Scorn has a very distinct style woven into every piece of the game, so puzzles need to be a continuation of that experience. While solving puzzles, the player is still exposed to the same environment and risks, keeping them immersed in the world."
Scorn PC Requirements
Scorn’s beautifully grotesque atmosphere and fleshy details may not require powerful GPUs to run smoothly, but seeing as Ebb Software’s first-person adventure still doesn’t have an official release date, the current recommended PC specs may change. Still, the best cheap gaming laptops will be able to run Scorn without a hitch according to its system requirements on Steam.
The minimum requirements for Scorn are an Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD FX-6300 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870 GPU, at least 8GB of RAM and 50GB of storage.
As for the recommended requirements, this includes an Intel Core i5-2500 or AMD FX-8350 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 GPU, along with the same 8GB of RAM and 50GB of storage. In comparison, Resident Evil Village requires an Intel Core i7-8700 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX 5700 GPU and 16GB of RAM for recommended performance.
These settings are likely to change seeing as Scorn has been in the works before RTX 30 Series GPUs and next-gen consoles were announced. The game will also arrive on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, which means we can expect quality graphics and effects to make everything all the more delightfully gruesome to look at.
Scorn is gearing up to be the strangest game to launch in 2022, melding together flesh and technology in a way only artists H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński could dream up. It’s a biomechanical world gaming has yet to explore, and is sure to pique the interest of anyone who enjoyed games along the lines of System Shock 2 or the atmosphere of Agony (again, not a game we’d recommend).
With a nightmarish world to explore in a nonlinear fashion, misshapen beings creeping out of crevices and an array of organic weaponry that are equally repulsive and fascinating, Scorn is looking to be a unique horror experience worth your time — especially seeing as its coming to Xbox Game Pass as soon as it launches. Speaking of, check out the best Xbox Game Pass games to play right now.
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Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.