Scars Above Review
Scars Above honestly wasn’t even on my radar until the opportunity to review the game became available to me. After watching a trailer for it I was certainly intrigued. While we have gotten a few games that are similar such as Dead Space Remake and The Callisto Protocol as far as the space disaster exploration games are concerned. What does Scars Above do differently to try to stand out from the competition? To me blending more of a Returnal meets Dead Space vibes with a dash of Souls Like games makes for a fun and unique romp through space.
The player controls Kate Ward, a mission specialist and astrobiologist with a background in engineering. She’s a part of the SCAR team (Sentient Contact Assessment and Response) in the game. It is a third person exploration game, as you traverse the different areas you are tasked with figuring out just exactly what happened to cause your ship to crash and your team to disappear. You will have to solve some puzzle aspects as well as investigate the areas to figure out the clues to put the story together.
While exploring of course you are going to run into some unique and horrifying creatures to deal with because why not? Many of the beasts are disfigured and twisted with A LOT of teeth. But because of your engineering background, you are able to utilize what you discover on your journey to craft some unique weapons to help you tackle the creatures and environments. Using guns you craft that utilizes electricity, fire, cryogenics, and acid as well as some gadgets you create that can create holographic distractions or can distort gravity.
To bring back my analogy at the start of being a Souls Like, I don’t want to scare anyone off, I just mean that the game can punish you for making some poor decisions. You must approach each scenario with care and planning of use with your guns and gadgets effectively. The use of environments also comes into play a lot here. For instance, are you being chased by a big creature? Well if you are crossing the ice, use your flame gun to break the ice causing the creature to fall into the water and freeze allowing you to unleash your attacks on them safely and targeting their weak points. With enough trial and error you can figure out what needs to be done. Once you unlock all the upgrades and weapons, you can seem a little overpowered as long as you are planning. This is not a run and gun type of game, you will die, quickly at that. The combat can be challenging at times.
Graphically the game looks pretty good, while the environments can get a little bland and “Samey” with only a few different types of areas to explore. The voice actor for your main character however does a great job conveying her part unfortunately the cut scenes don’t do the voice justice as far as being expressive or emotional. I did really enjoy my time with this game and I think while it’s not necessarily a AAA level game it is a solid AA game. I did see some of the other reviews out there and I think some other folks who reviewed the game were a bit too harsh. The story for me was interesting, the gameplay felt good, and it challenged me to think in ways I normally wouldn’t have to in gaming. The game takes around 10 hours to complete so it’s not a massive time investment and I didn’t think it overstayed it’s welcome. I will say overall I was pleasantly surprised by this game I knew nothing about going into. I am definitely interested to see more from this team, especially if they continue with this series as well.