While games from May 7's Xbox Series X presentation like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and The Medium stood out, the cerebral horror of Scorn probably turned the most heads. This disturbing horror game came out of nowhere with H.R. Giger-esque visuals as if Hideo Kojima was allowed to make a video game set in the Alien universe.
There was only a vague cinematic trailer teased during the Xbox Series X showcase without any gameplay, but for anyone who can't get some of that imagery out of their heads, here's everything you need to know about Scorn.
When is the Scorn release date?
An exact release date for Scorn has not been revealed yet, but the press release that came out following the Inside Xbox trailer gives a bit more insight into when to expect it. "The game is planned for release during the Xbox Series X launch period," it says. This window is not referenced in the game's latest trailer.
The developers avoided saying "Holiday 2020" like many Xbox Series X launch titles, so it is possible that Scorn's release will slip back into the first half of 2021. At the very least, it seems possible that it'll be released after the Series X. Ebb Software also explained in a Kickstarter update that won't share a date until the developer is "100 percent sure [they] can deliver." Barring any delays, we should expect the game to come out early in the new console's lifespan.
Who is developing Scorn?
Scorn is the first game from Ebb Software, a Serbian team formed in 2013. Scorn first emerged in 2014 and sought crowdfunding through Kickstarter. While its first attempt at crowdfunding failed, the game returned to Kickstarter in 2017 and was successfully funded. Video game fund Kowloon Knights have also invested in Scorn, though the game itself is still being self-published by Ebb Software.
Will Scorn be released for PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, or PC?
In addition to Xbox Series X, Scorn will also be released on the PC. This platform has been confirmed since the game's 2014 announcement, and a Steam page for Scorn already exists. The PC version of Scorn appears to be on track right alongside the Xbox Series X version of the game.
PS5 will be disappointed though, as Ebb Software has confirmed that Scorn will be an Xbox Series X console exclusive. "For us as developers, it's imperative to present Scorn in the best way possible. The distinctive art style is only half the story — the other half is having all the technical parts of the game running smoothly," Director Ljubomir Peklar explains in a press release.
"Xbox Series X is an extremely capable piece of hardware that will enable us to run Scorn at 4k 60fps with all the graphical bells and whistles," he said. "Ease of development and raw processing power are the primary reasons we chose to go exclusively with Xbox Series X." This statement makes it clear that you shouldn't expect Scorn on current-gen consoles like PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch ever, and not on Google Stadia or PS5 at release.
What is Scorn's story about?
Scorn puts an emphasis on world-building and will be non-linear. There won't be any cinematic cutscenes, according to its Steam Page. The Inside Xbox trailer is full of procreative imagery, so that appears to be a topic that Scorn addresses. There is a focus on environmental storytelling, and Ebb Software describes the environment as "dreamlike" and "a character itself" in an Xbox Wire post about Scorn.
That post also admits that, yes this game is inspired by H.R. Giger, which is why it looks so much like Alien at first glance. Other notable influences pointed out by the developers include painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, writers Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Ligotti, and J.G. Ballard, along with film directors like David Cronenberg and David Lynch.
What is Scorn gameplay like?
The Xbox Series X trailer does not feature any gameplay, but we do know what Scorn plays like. It is a first-person atmospheric horror adventure game that will have players traveling around its mysterious world to solve puzzles and fight enemies. While players can fight off enemies with weapons, inventory space is limited so players will have to use what they have to adapt to any given situation.
If you still need a better idea of what exactly Scorn looks like, you can check out its gameplay video. An incredibly detailed one showing everything mentioned above was shown off back in 2017, and the game has likely only improved since then. If you adore first-person horror games like Agony, Alien: Isolation, and Outlast 2, then Scorn should definitely be on your radar.
Is Scorn a two-part game?
When Scorn was initially pitched and crowdfunded, it was as the first part of a two-part game. The first part was going to be called Scorn Part 1 of 2: Dasein and was going to be released in 2018. Ebb Software's plans changed though, so this is no longer the case. As the developers explained on Twitter in March 2020, "once we received the proper funding we decide to do the whole game, not just part 1."
Since this change, Ebb Software has "reconstructed, redesigned and fixed a lot of things from part 1 that we felt were lacking," and are now working "predominantly on the second part." So no, you don't have to worry about Scorn telling an incomplete story or just being the first entry in an episodic game series.
Scorn will be released for PC and Xbox Series X "during the Xbox Series X launch period."