Scorn Review

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Scorn reviewed by Leana Hafer on PC. Also available on Xbox. If Scorn were much longer than it is, I think it would have overstayed its welcome. But the fact that it's such a bite-sized sprint through the grisly and surreal made it memorable and satisfying. The frustrating combat, mercifully, only haunts a fraction of that playtime. But the superb, darkly mystifying art direction and ambient soundtrack suffuse the whole thing like rancid blood bringing a creaky corpse back to life. It's an uneasy, sometimes disorienting experience from end-to-end. Yet, it's one I don't regret plunging into.

Scorn - Before You Buy

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Scorn - Before You BuyScorn (PC, Xbox Series X/S) is a flawed first person adventure in an artistically creepy world. Is it worth playing? Let's talk. Subscribe for more: http://youtube.com/gameranxtv ▼▼ Watch more 'Before You Buy': https://bit.ly/2kfdxI6 #scorn

Scorn Review - Pound Of Flesh

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Scorn is designed to be disgusting. The walls of its labyrinthine halls are constructed with twisting contortions of flesh, and its mechanically complex contraptions are drenched in the blood of discarded carcasses that lay decaying without care. The inspirations of Scorn's aesthetic are familiar but well-implemented, creating an atmosphere of languish and disgust that is maintained throughout. However, disappointingly, Scorn's infuriatingly unbalanced combat, uneven puzzle design, and severely restricted checkpointing make its setting the least off-putting part about it.

Scorn's most immediate impression comes from its aesthetic. This is textbook H.R. Giger, with the artist's flair for biomechanical structures influencing every biome you visit in Scorn. If you've watched Prometheus recently, you'll be quite familiar with the types of interweaving, fleshy layouts that Scorn has in store, with some variety in each new area preventing the presentation from feeling stale. The gratuitous violence and frequent body horror is less impactful, however. There is some initial shock value in seeing your arm mangled as a new key item is seared into it or watching as a parasite latches onto your body to slowly rip out your intestines, but many of these actions are repeated frequently enough that their impact diminishes over Scorn's seven-hour runtime. Scorn's violence isn't memorable; instead it's a disappointing departure from the well-crafted horror of its inspirations, wasting the potential of its alluring aesthetic.

Exploration and puzzles are at the core of Scorn's gameplay loop. You'll explore a handful of different constrained biomes during each of the game's five acts, all of which are large, multi-step puzzles made up of small ones that must be solved in a specific order. Most solutions come about through simple exploration; each space has multiple areas for you to poke around in but usually only one correct path to follow, meaning you'll regularly come across multiple dead ends before arriving at the correct route to take. Interactive consoles often let you manipulate the space, too, moving around large objects to complete other routes that let you progress further into the biome you're currently in. Each of these spaces is like one big Rube Goldberg machine that you're slowly activating one piece at a time, and it's satisfying to see levels fold in on themselves and click into place once you've got everything down. This is crucial given Scorn's purposeful lack of storytelling, with only two short cutscenes at its start and end tasking you with making any sense of everything in-between.

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PGA Tour 2K23 Review - Links To The Future

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From a pure golfing perspective, PGA Tour 2K23 is the best simulation golf game ever made. With realistic ball physics, precise shot-shaping, and an emphasis on rhythm and swing path, 2K23 delivers on the many idiosyncrasies of the beautiful game that is golf. Combine the refined golfing mechanics with deeper levels of customization, and I can safely say that PGA Tour 2K23 is a meaningful upgrade over its predecessor. And hey, it also marks the return of Tiger Woods to the virtual links, which is a big deal for those who grew up playing Tiger Woods golf games.

PGA Tour 2K23 is the first new entry in the series in two years. That's unusual for sports games, as most have annual entries. After spending more than a dozen hours with 2K23, I'm starting to feel like this release model--where developers have more time to make improvements--would go a long way toward fixing many of the issues that plague long-running sports series. It doesn't offer minor, iterative changes. Instead, PGA 2K23 is a marked improvement on its predecessor–a rarity in the sports sim genre.

The PGA 2K series--previously called The Golf Club before 2K acquired HB Studios--has always done a remarkable job with swing mechanics. Emphasizing timing and rhythm more than popular golf games of yesteryear, the series makes each swing feel critical--just like the real sport. PGA Tour 2K23 follows that tradition and improves on it with a couple of new core features: a revamped swing meter and a three-click swing system.

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Lego Bricktales Review: Build Brick Better

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Lego games are not usually centered around their actual construction toy namesake. A massive library of Traveller's Tales games have been built on crossovers with many licensed franchises, turning properties like Lord of the Rings and Marvel superheroes into slapstick action-platformers, and Lego A Builder's Journey used the brick-building toys to tell a heartfelt story. Lego games don't often capture the feeling of actually playing with Lego bricks, but Lego Bricktales actually does with incredible accuracy.

Bricktales is all about building, transporting you to five Lego-themed worlds and presenting you with a series of physics-based building puzzles. The physics system underlying the whole thing is impressive, as the Lego bricks actually perform the way any experienced brick-builder would expect. Whenever you finish a project that requires weight-bearing, you'll need to test it with a falling object or a little robot crossing your construction to make sure it holds up. If you didn't reinforce it with support struts, the pieces will just fall apart. Even elements like a step being one spacer too high could create enough fall momentum to break the structure.

In that way, Lego Bricktales functions like a STEM toy, teaching some basic engineering principles in a fun and engaging way, just like actual Lego bricks. Putting it into a virtual space like this means you get to stress test the results of your hard work in a way that feels personal and tactile. You can sense the physicality of the interlocking brick system in a way that other games haven't quite captured. It's very satisfying to walk up a set of stairs that you designed yourself, recognizing your own patterns and even your mistakes. And once you've completed the building challenge, you unlock a free play mode that lets you use additional decorative elements to make the structures look great. As you progress through a biome, you'll be surrounded by your own works of brick-built functional art, using them to traverse the environments.

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