SCUM (Early Access) Review – Hardcore Survival Redefined

SCUM
Gamepires, Croteam/Devolver Digital

During our first game of SCUM, my buddy and I decided we’d try checking out one of the larger points of interest on the game’s gigantic map. We were easing up on what we thought was a city, but in fact turned out to be some sort of military base. We heard some mechanized sounds and heaving stomping noises and soon enough we saw some huge mechs guarding the interior of the base.

“You want to go for it?” my friend asked.

“Let’s do it. Might find some good gear in there,” I replied.

I think I should have read a little more about the game because things quickly went downhill from there.

We entered the base clandestinely, or so we thought. My buddy tried to run into a hanger and got spotted by one of the mechs. He dashed into the building and tried try to hide by closing the hanger door behind him. Then, I watched in horror as the mech proceeded to approach the hanger, loudly announce that intruders were not allowed in the area, and opened the hanger door.

My buddy screamed and hollered over our Discord VOIP as the dark interior of the hanger suddenly flashed yellow and white. Yep, he was a goner; perforated like some sort of fancy European cheese by the mech’s dual miniguns.

After he respawned about ten miles away, we met up again and decided to try to find an easier point of interest. We came across a small town with several large buildings and a police station in its center. We immediately descended on the police station since we guessed that there’d be weapons within it. We guessed right; we found a shotgun and a couple of pistols which was great since all we possessed up to that point were wooden spears.

Unfortunately, we also attracted the attention from something outside. We heard some creepy moaning sounds and looked out of a second story window and down at a drooling zombie. It likewise noticed us and began sprinting for one of the police station’s doors. Several other zombies nearby followed suit. From there, we holed up in one of the station’s bathrooms and let the zombies rush us. We picked them off one by one. Soon, an entire horde was drawn to the building, and things went from bad to worse.

SCUM is not an easy game—it certainly has a lot more going on under its hood than comparable survival titles such as Miscreated or Rust. That’s because in SCUM, not only do you have the typical hunting, gathering of resources, and maintenance of food and water; you also have to worry about your character’s metabolism and many other vital stats.

One important factor has to do with what you eat. SCUM features all manner of foods that have specific vitamins and minerals—and when you eat too many, or not enough of—certain foods (and drinks), your body will react accordingly. You have to make sure that you carefully maintain a good balance with regards to your food intake or you could very well find yourself getting fat, running out of stamina in battles, and other unfavorable things.

There are a multitude of wild animals that dwell within SCUM’s huge map. You can hunt everything from deer and rabbits to larger game such as wild pigs and even donkeys. When it comes to processing any game you’ve killed, each of the animals body sections may be chopped up and divided into smaller subsections. The same goes for zombies or other players that you’ve managed to kill as well. Yes, full-on cannibalism is present in SCUM.

Even though SCUM’s map is indeed very large, there isn’t really a sense of permanence with regards to the players who adventure through it. In other words, there’s no real base-building aspect that has been fleshed out yet. You can build a small set-to to spawn at, but that’s about it. Hopefully, the devs will not only add a full-on base-building system, but also some vehicles with which to traverse the map’s sprawling environs.

SCUM is shaping up to possibly be the next big thing in the new wave of hardcore survival games. Let’s just hope that it’s cared for and looked after by developers who shepherd its development cycle properly.

SCORE: 90%

SCUM features great graphics that make its hardcore survival gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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