First-person horror game Scorn has been turning heads since it was first revealed in 2014, but it didn’t land on many horror fans’ radars until 2020 when it was given the spotlight at the Xbox Series X showcase event. It was then that a wider audience was introduced to Scorn’s disgustingly detailed body horror and distinct fleshy art style, and it quickly became one of the most-anticipated horror games for many. Unfortunately for those intrigued by the game and hoping for Scorn to serve as a solid new horror game to play this Halloween season, it’s a massive disappointment.
GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Scorn’s obsession with body horror and H.R. Giger-inspired architecture does lead to some interesting sights at least. There are a few moments in Scorn that deliver impressive visual spectacle, almost making the slog through the game worthwhile. Scorn’s animations in particular look great and are sufficiently gross, whether it’s players sticking their fingers in wet flesh holes to activate an elevator or reloading their weapon by pushing yellow growths into the back of a meaty gun.
The problem is players are exposed to Scorn’s disturbing animations so much over the course of the game that they’ll become numb to it all. For the first couple of Acts, Scorn’s gross-out body horror is admittedly effective, but it’s something that has serious diminishing returns. By the end of the game, Scorn’s body horror tricks become dull, predictable, and downright tiresome.
A big part of the problem is Scorn doesn’t give players any way to really empathize with or relate to the main character. Scorn’s main character doesn’t appear to be a human being and players have no idea what their motives are. It’s not even entirely clear that what’s happening to them is out of the ordinary for their species. After all, the objects and machines players interact with throughout Scorn appear designed to specifically carry out the things that are happening to the main character, and…