The road to Scorn’s release has been long and arduous. The game has gone through two Kickstarter campaigns, private funding, and a partnership with Microsoft, but now Ebb Software’s love letter to everything H.R. Giger is finally available. Even better, the game offers a decently-sized adventure, albeit one tailored to a specific gamer demographic.
How long will it take you to beat Scorn? Most early estimates suggest you can expect to spend about 3 to 15 hours with the new horror game. As with many games, this estimate falls squarely within “your mileage may vary” territory. Sites such as Cultured Vultures and Attack of the Fanboy have reported slightly different playtime, while early walkthrough videos of the game all fall within that time range. You’re probably looking at something closer to the median (about 5-6 hours), but that really depends on a few factors.
After all, while Scorn is mechanically simple, but it is by no means “easy.” Quite a few puzzles are reportedly stumping gamers, and a significant chunk of players have already gotten lost, both in the “admiring the view” and the “unsure of where to go” senses. Moreover, Scorn is intentionally slow. The protagonist plods through the game’s biomechanical halls and is slow to aim and reload his weapons. This pace is deliberate and helps with the atmosphere, but it also prevents players from speeding through the game. Scorn might look like a survival horror title on the surface, but some online critics, such as ACG, attest that it’s more akin to a walking simulator with guns and puzzles. And that’s to say nothing of time lost to combat and death by enemies.
Still, those looking to dive into the title via Game Pass (or simply purchase it straight-up) should expect to be able to beat Scorn over the course of a weekend (or one longer playthrough). It’s obviously significantly shorter than the average Triple-A game, but who wants to play a 30-hour journey into hell anyway?
For a bit of additional context, Scorn began life in 2014, when Ebb Software tried to launch the project via an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. The game was initially supposed to be released in two parts (the first being Scorn: Dasein). That vision lasted through the project’s second Kickstarter campaign, which actually surpassed its funding goals. In 2018, Ebb Software secured even more funding from Kowloon Nights, though that deal required them to combine Dasein and Scorn’s unnamed second act into one big game. Since Ebb Software wanted to split Scorn into two parts, and the release version is essentially those two slices of a bigger game combined into one project, you’d think that the final release would be significantly longer than early reports suggest. However, that assumption ignores an important development.
Several months ago, Ebb Software posted an update on Scorn’s steam page regarding important factors such as the game’s ESRB rating and system requirements. One important bit of info included an estimated total playtime. At the time, they estimated that gamers can expect to spend anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to finish Scorn, depending on their puzzle-solving prowess. To ensure that everyone was on the same page about the game’s expected completion time, the team later posted that predicted playthrough length on their Twitter account.
Ultimately, Scorn is a decently-sized game, but most of a player’s experience will consist of wandering around, solving puzzles, and soaking in the scenery. There’s nothing wrong with that design philosophy, mind you, but it’s understandable if some gamers simply don’t feel like that’s quite enough game for them. Others may simply not want to spend even that much time in Scorn‘s twisted, gory world.