There's something entirely stunning and, at the same time, stunningly drab about Scorn. It may be one of the first games coming out exclusively for next-gen systems—well, for Xbox Series X and Windows PC, not PS5—that made me sit up and take notice of the stunning visuals. That was the first time I watched this 14-minute gameplay trailer.
But the second time I watched it, the copy-paste environment started to leave a filmy layer over my eyes. I'm going to level with you: H.R. Giger is an artist I respect more than I admire. I mean, I get the appeal. It's just that having everything look like it's made out of xenomorph exoskeletons, punctuated with maybe meat sacks here and there, doesn't craft a compelling world for me.
And then there's the do-nothing gameplay. Shoot a shotgun at a meat sack crawling towards you. Shove your bone gun into a meat hole and open up the next door. Shoot at another misshapen hunk of flesh. Okay, okay, it's only 14 minutes of gameplay. And while its closest analog might be DOOM, Scorn appears to have none of the blistering chainsaws and computer-punching action that make that series so beloved.
Don't get me wrong: I love me some thoughtful pacing. I'm the last guy that's going to ask you for breakneck gameplay to keep me entranced. But if Scorn is going to craft a mysterious, horrific vibe, I'm going to need to see some more mystery and horror to convince me of all that.
You don't have to take my word for it, however. Our own Sean Colleli has his finger on the pulse of Scorn, certainly more than I do. And if I sound like I'm all hating on Scorn, I don't mean to, because I like it enough to want to talk about it here. Which is to say, there's definitely something here. I'm just confused that after 14 full minutes, I don't think I've found what I'm looking for just yet.