SCARS ABOVE preview game review (10) (age rating 16+)
Against the odds, will you survive?
I’m so excited to be covering a preview of the newly announced Scars Above. Thank you so much to Luisa from Plaion for letting me cover this amazing game.
Like always, this will be a spoiler free review, giving you a brief insight into this mysterious game. Developed by Mad Head Games and published by Prime Matter.
What is Scars Above about?
Scars Above is a challenging sci-fi third-person action adventure shooter game, which reminds me of Returnal, Tomb Raider and Detroit: Become Human all rolled up into one.
Without really going into the plot too much, Scars Above centres around an astronaut and scientist called Kate Ward, who finds herself stranded on a dangerous exoplanet surrounded by ferocious creatures. Whilst, she may not be much of a fighter by nature, she’s determined to survive no matter what and find the rest of her crewmates.
Elemental weapons galore!
In Scars Above, Kate is equipped with an array of different weapons and gadgets at her disposal. From an elemental blaster that has a toxic, electric, frost and fire mode. Players must use a combination of the blaster’s elements in order to deal extra damage to enemy creatures. Worst comes to worst (Or if you prefer to be up close and personal with the creatures), Kate also has an electric baton that she can use for close combat attacks.
Furthermore, Kate (like the scientist she is) can craft different gadgets that can aid her in battle. From spheres that can slow enemies down, to fuel liquid bombs that you can ignite, using your fire gun to defeat a whole horde of enemies, players will definitely need to utilise them if they wish to beat certain creatures.
Kate also has the ability to scan enemies to spot their weaknesses, and often the colour of their weak spots indicate which elemental gun to use.
Also, your weapons can be used to help you against the fierce environment that constantly changes around Kate. For example, the temperature can get so cold that Kate can suffer from hypothermia and die if you don’t find a heat source, which is where your fire gun comes in handy. You can also use your ice gun to cross dangerous waters and more.
Knowledge is power
Each time you defeat a new alien you will be able to scan it to learn more about it, and increase Kate’s knowledge of the world. Knowledge is XP in Scars Above, so the more knowledge Kate acquires the faster it’ll be to level her up, and there are a lot of skills to learn and choose from.
Around the planet you’ll also find small purple cubes, which also increases Kate’s knowledge as well as alien tech machines that will scan info scrolls you find.
Also, your weapons can be used to help you against the fierce environment that constantly changes. For example, you can use your ice gun to cross dangerous water, and your fire gun to warm you up and prevent hypothermia.
And similar to Detroit: Become Human, in Scars Above, you also have to play detective and figure out what’s happened in the story by finding clues and piecing together an AI construct scene to figure out what happened.
Side note: Creatures often drop resources and there are plants for blaster ammo. So, be on the lookout!
Only the pillars will save you
As I said before this game very much reminds me of Returnal too. Your “lives” are referred to as “runs” and the only way to save the game is by finding these tall artifacts known as pillars. So, if you get far in the game, and get taken out, you’ll return to the last pillar you touched, no matter how far back it was.
Thankfully, I’ve found that the pillars are spaced out well, and you can also unlock shortcuts back to pillars, if you’re vigilant. So if you die, rather than having to redo the whole area again, you can use the shortcut to get back to where you were. Trust me, they will definitely came in handy.
I’m really enjoying Scars Above so far. The action and gameplay is gritty and the boss fights are epic. I love that it’s not a hack and slash, and you can’t go in all guns blazing. You have to be methodical in your actions or you’ll die every time. You also have to combine all of Kate’s weapons and gadgets and normally (for me at least) I need to die once against a boss before I fully understand how they move and attack.
The AI construct/detective mode are much welcomed additions and I already know I’m gonna have a blast when the full game comes out. The story is intriguing so far, but I can’t fully comment on it as this is just a preview, but I’d definitely say this game is worth giving a go if you’re a seasoned gamer. I wouldn’t say this game is for beginners, but like with any game, practice makes perfect and you need to be determined to succeed.