Scorn is an upcoming first-person shooter horror game developed by Ebb Software for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X. The game is directly inspired by the works of H. R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński.

Scorn Gameplay

The player Controls one skinless humanoid, lost in a nightmarish world filled with odd creatures and macabre tapestry, resembling a living techno-organic structure composed of steel, flesh, and bone. The player will explore different interconnected regions in a non-linear fashion, searching for answers that will explain more about the game’s world.

The game, thus far, presents two main weapons: a pistol and a shotgun. The player starts with the pistol, a 6-shot weapon dealing mild damage to the in-game enemies. It appears to be completely organic, beginning with the mouth-looking base for the weapon which can be opened to let the pistol itself be removed and exchanged for the shotgun. The shotgun is a 3-shot weapon that deals considerable damage to enemies close-up, but the damage drops at long distances. The shotgun is composed of the same materials as the pistol, appearing to be made from organic matter.

Scorn Development

Ebb Software is a Serbian game development studio founded in 2013. The developers have claimed to design the game around the idea of “being thrown into the world”, and as such, very little context is given about the game’s setting. The developers have explained that they want the unsettling environment to be a character in itself.

The game was first announced on the 12th of November 2014, with a trailer showing pre-alpha footage, followed by an unsuccessful campaign on Kickstarter in December 2014, but despite this, the game remained in development with a planned two-part release. In January 2015, Scorn received private funding from an investor and began into full production in February 2015. The game was planned to be released in two parts, the first is called Dasein (German pronunciation: [ˈdaːzaɪn]), a German word that means “being there” in vernacular German (German: da “there”; sein “being”), and “being-in-the-world” in Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. Later, the production team announced to launch the game as a whole, instead of parts, although the release date was yet unannounced.

In 2017 Ebb Software launched a second Kickstarter, reaching its goal of €150,000 in September of that year.

On May 7th, 2020, was announced that the video game will be published in exclusivity for Xbox Series X running in 4k and 60fps, and will not be released on the previous generation of consoles because the developer team didn’t want to spend development time on what would be a sub-par version of the game and overall experience. Scorn will be released also on Steam, Windows Store, and GOG.

Scorn is the kind of gross that you can’t look away from. It’s an FPS horror adventure that you might remember from a haunting trailer released nearly three years ago. A Kickstarter followed but never got off the ground. Now developer Ebb Software is back with a new, much more successful Kickstarter, thanks to a beefy gameplay video that sells Scorn’s vision as part shooter, part Myst, but really fucked up.

To get a better sense of Scorn’s delightfully disgusting aesthetic and its troubled history, I spoke with project lead Ljubomir Peklar, who tells me he had a hard time finding artists who understood his vision.

“It’s kind of funny, we never managed to find another concept artist besides [Filip Acovic] because most people have a hard time understanding what I want and have very limited ideas when it comes to design,” he says. “When [other artists] ran out of ideas, every one of them started doing big teeth, big eyes and some form of bugs. That’s when I know we hit a wall and the artist is scraping from the bottom of the barrel creatively. Most people think it just needs to be weird and that’s it.”

Scorn brings new meaning to the idea of a game world feeling alive. A hallway is a ribbed esophagus, a door is a toothy maw, a wall is thickly matted with moss-like viscera, a pillar looks to have been carved from muscle and bone. There are very few straight lines, and if you look hard enough you can find faces in everything. The playable character looks practically inside-out, and equipment and puzzle contraptions seem almost hungry in the way they latch onto you. Even the gun—a living weapon with interchangeable barrels connected to a writhing parasite—is positively wretched, which is very much on purpose.

“For everyone who asked, yes, the gun sounds like a gun because its ammunition is similar to gunpowder-based ammo,” Pekar says. “The gun mechanism has an organic component but it still works on the same principle as a regular gun.

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