Scorn – test, action-adventure

What are these machines doing?!  The first rooms are production halls, straight out of a fever nightmare.

Welcome to the Bizarro Dimension

Scorn’s first riddle sets the tone for the chillingly gross biomechanical adventure that could have come straight from HR Giger’s pen. After falling into a pit, I find myself a deformed alien humanoid in an abandoned factory building. The monumental architecture looks like it has sprung from the backbone of a giant, bone-like structures encircled by fossilized muscles. Machines stick out of the ground, waiting for their prey like insects while I look for a way out.

What are these machines doing?! The first rooms are production halls, straight out of a fever nightmare.

With an elevator and its biomechanical control unit, I reach a platform from which I solve a sliding puzzle. Petrified, egg-like structures are stored in a network of oversized bones, the only intact form of which I hand over after a little back and forth to a gripper arm, which transports the container down one level. One level down I become aware: embedded in the stone egg is an unfortunate, misshapen alien that desperately shakes at its prison as I relentlessly push it towards its end over a rail system. The same is then more than inglorious: A sharp-edged, gnarled scraping device cuts the unfortunate creature out of its stone home and carelessly disposes of its lifeless body through a hole in the ground. I grab the severed arm, which I immediately give an implanted control unit via a living console on the wall to open the main gate of the workshop.

What the hell is going on in here?

And that’s just the start of a hell of bio-tech abominations, bodily fluids and mutations. Scorn is intriguing and repulsive at the same time. The world is relentless, disgusting and incredibly exciting. Because absolutely nothing is explained here. I do not know what’s up. Who I am. And what it has to do with this strange, crumbling biomechanics factory infested with a strange red overgrowth that keeps hatching nasty alien mutants. The six hours of this adventure are a bizarre, feverish nightmare from which there is simply no escape.

Don’t worry: that’s all I’ll tell you about the content of Scorn, because the unbiased exploration of this inhospitable, unforgiving setting is the greatest treasure of one of the most disgusting video games I’ve ever experienced. Rarely have I asked the question “what the hell is going on here?!” so often without ever getting even the slightest hint of an answer. This, too, makes Scorn feel like a playable work by legendary artist HR Giger. Not only did he immortalize himself with the xenomorph design of the Alien films, but also shaped the bizarre biomechanical, sexually charged cyber nightmare fetish in general, which this alien adventure serves at every turn. Others will have to decide whether this still counts as a homage or whether it actually requires official licensing. It is clear that Giger’s art is the great model for this survival horror.