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Scorn - What We Know So Far

Microsoft and Sony are neck and neck in the race for the next console generation. When one company reveals hardware specs for their console, the other follows suit. However, nothing gets potential customers invested quite like a trailer for a console's launch lineup. After all, a game system that doesn't feature a strong roster of titles to demonstrate its capabilities isn't going to last long.


On May 7, 2020, Microsoft revealed a gameplay trailer for the first titles coming to the Xbox Series X, which featured less gameplay than advertised. Perhaps the most visually striking of these titles was Scorn. This atmospheric, first-person horror experience is set in a world that blurs the line between technology and biology. From elevators to guns, everything is formed from organic matrices of skin and sinew stretched over lattices of bone and cartilage. The result is a Giger-esque experience that sets the game apart from the rest of the Series X's offerings.

If you want to know more about Scorn — including when you can play it and how the mechanics will work — you've come to the right place.


Is there a trailer for Scorn?

In a word, yes, but the real question is which trailer do you want to see? Since the game has been in development for over half of a decade, the team at Ebb Software has had more than enough time to put together videos that show off the game's macabre, pulsating world.


On one hand, there's the Xbox Series X trailer, which displays canned cinematic footage of what the game should look like on Microsoft's big black box. The video doesn't show how the game will play, but it demonstrates the kind of vibe the developers are going for in all its disturbing glory. 

If you want a taste of what the game was like before it received a hearty Xbox upgrade, check out the 2016 teaser trailer. While this video serves the same purpose as the more recent trailer, it demonstrates what the game would have been if it had stuck to the original release schedule.

The most important Scorn trailer has to be the gameplay trailer, which shows off some honest to Giger gameplay. The video is moody and dripping with atmosphere (as well as some bodily fluids). More importantly, it demonstrates the general progression loop players can expect from Scorn. The video might be around eight minutes long, but the gameplay trailer is worth your time if you're interested in what Scorn will actually be like.


When will Scorn release?

While the latest Scorn trailer looks extremely promising and impressive, it lacks one crucial detail: a release date. Unfortunately, nobody knows when the game will launch. While it's safe to assume Scorn will arrive alongside the Xbox Series X, even that date is up in the air since all we have is a vague "Holiday 2020" promise.


To be fair, Scorn has been through development hell, experiencing delay after delay. Work began in 2014 and it was supposed to release in 2016, but then the launch was pushed back to 2018. The game's release was obviously delayed once again, but with the new trailer and promise of an Xbox Series X version, Scorn could possibly have a concrete launch target. If only we knew what that date was.

What is the gameplay like in Scorn?

Atmosphere is the name of the game in Scorn, and judging by the gameplay trailer (and alpha build demo videos posted by streamers like PewDiePie and John Wolfe), the game is slow. Slower than Resident Evil slow.


Scorn will primarily consist of three activities: exploring winding, organic corridors; using a key to open colored doors; and shooting enemies. Guns in Scorn — which are modular, biologic creatures that use teeth as bullets — will take a while to aim. And, while enemies aren't bullet sponges, ammo will be scarce. Plus, the game won't feature a HUD, so the only way to know how much ammo you have left is to disassemble a gun and visually check how many teeth are in the chamber. As for exploration, it will primarily consist of opening doors of a specific color, changing the key to open other colored doors, and swapping between various colors while also solving environmental puzzles.

Of course, the available gameplay clips are based on early builds of the game, so who knows how much Scorn has changed, if at all? The original design ideas cataloged in Ebb's Kickstarter campaigns promise features such as environmental storytelling, adaptive enemy AI, and limited inventory space, but nobody knows how many of these ideas the game has retained.


Which platforms will Scorn be on?

Originally, Scorn was supposed to be a PC exclusive. The developers at Ebb started their Kickstarter campaign with the goal of making a PC game that could eventually make the leap to consoles — namely Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — if it did well enough. However, with the recent announcement, Ebb's priorities have taken a 180.


Now, Scorn will launch on the Xbox Series X, but the developers haven't forgotten their original PC gamer backers. The title will also release on PC via Steam, GOG, and the Windows Store. However, Ebb Software has yet to say if the different versions will launch on the same or separate days, but you can probably rule out any possibility of a PlayStation 5 version. Additionally, because of quantum leaps in the game's graphical fidelity, it looks like it won't launch on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. A Nintendo Switch port is also unlikely.