Scorn looks grotesque and beautiful

Upcoming shooter Scorn looks like an HR Giger painting come to life. The grotesque biomechanical aesthetic is gruesome, yet fascinating.

Swiss artist HR Giger was a prolific artist of macabre biomechanical designs. Perhaps best known for creating Ridley Scott’s terrifying xenomorph Extraterrestrial, Giger has produced some of the most disturbing works of art on the planet. His attention to detail and the subtext of his images evoked wonder and horror. The biomechanical artwork that drips with gruesome and erotic suggestions has now inspired an equally disturbing game, Scorn.

Release scheduled for October 21, Contempt is a horror and survival shooter that looks every bit as grotesque and beautiful as its inspiration. The game sees the player controlling a nameless, skinless character in a world ripped straight from Giger’s surreal works. The world of Contempt is filled with winding blackened corridors, desolate ruins of a fallen society, and massive structures woven of flesh, bone, and metal. The level design is such that Contempt asks players to pay close attention to all the little details for clues as to what’s going on.

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The hellish landscape of Contempt contains many types of creatures that the player must get rid of or ignore as they go deeper into this twisted maze of horror. All gear like elevators and bridge controls as well as weapons are also biomechanically designed. To use a gun or activate a command, the skinless does not simply interact with it, but rather connects to it. Weapons are literally attached to the player’s arm. It seems that this grotesque world never lets the player forget that flesh and machines share a symbiotic relationship, as if they depend on each other for survival.

The soundtrack is absolutely nightmarish and unnerving as the game is filled with disturbing sounds of pain and torment in the distance. Surreal and industrial, the music rhythmically suggests an omnipresent feeling of dread. Nothing seems at peace in the world of Contempt and, therefore, the soundtrack signals the player to always keep moving. In this way, Contempt seems to use its soundtrack as an effective method of achieving total immersion.

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Running on Unreal Engine 4, Contempt looks breathtaking and terrifying at the same time. The biomechanical world is shrouded in darkness and obscuring mist, suggesting that every little nook could hold an enemy or a secret. Dim lighting and claustrophobic rooms mean players must explore this world with great care.

Serbian development studio Ebb Software has yet to reveal much about the title. However, the gameplay trailer, narrated by legendary horror actor, Doug Bradley, reveals key information about the game: “Contempt has no dialogue, so most of the narration comes from the environment.” This is a most intriguing concept because it allows each player to interpret what they want from their environment. It also suggests that the environment of Contempt is as much a character as the skinless one controlled by the player. By lending the story to players’ interpretation, the folks at Ebb Software are showing they truly understand and appreciate the artist who inspired this macabre horror game.

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