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SCUM (PC) – Gameplay

Scum aims to evolve the MMO survival scene with insane levels of customisation, where your knowledge of the environment and efficiency with survival will be the difference between life and death. So how long will you survive?

Gamepires and Croteam are the studios behind Scum, released on 29th August 2018 this Early Access game has received some very mixed reviews on steam. Published by Devolver Digital, who have an impressive list of games behind them, I was very keen to get stuck in.

Just like in any MMO, you can customise your character before you jump in, although since this game is still in early access, there are some options yet to be added. Currently, you have complete control over your characters age, size and ‘flaws’ that all play a part in how well your character will survive in the wild. Made them too heavy? You’re going to struggle to outrun threats. Did you make them skinny? They’re probably going to get over encumbered quickly.

I didn’t encounter any controller support so far, but on keyboard and mouse you have the familiar set up of WASD to move, space to jump, LMB to attack RMB to block and so on. Most of it is standard if you’re used to this setup, except for the running speed being mapped to the scroll wheel, that was a new one for me!

I struggled a bit with the UI. When it came to the crafting menu, it was really overwhelming at first, particularly when it came to figuring out what was in my inventory, how I can equip new items and so on. A small tutorial wouldn’t have gone amiss here, but after enough trial and error, you're able to work it out.

After bringing up your inventory you’ll be met with another curious tab- the metabolism. That’s right, you have to keep an eye on your hunger, but not just feed your little criminal, they give you the detail on everything; bladder capacity, calory intake, vitamin break down. There’s even an EKG! In my short run through I’ve found that food is scarce, so you’re going to have to resort to cannibalism… yes, that's a thing in this game too.

Scum is being built with Unreal Engine 4 and I think it shows, it looks great. Only a few times did I notice any lag when I loaded into a new area, There’s an ample amount of visual options you can tweak to suit the power of your PC, but in all, I think this has the very early makings of a great game.

Despite some of my struggles and the learning curve I did really enjoy SCUM, but that is coming from someone who enjoys games that often have a huge time investment (Monster Hunter springs to mind). In other words, SCUM is right up my street. This is definitely not for you if you’re looking for a pickup and play title, it’s pretty obvious that you’re going to want to spend quite a bit of time to learn all the mechanics, crafting and environments to really get the best out of the experience. The dev’s are still very much active on the steam page, posting every few days with community updates, patch notes and bug reports.

You can find SCUM on Steam Early Access, here.

KitGuru Says: At the very reasonable price point of £15.49, you certainly going to get your money's worth if you are into survival games. SCUM might be in Early Access but the potential is already high. What do you think of the insane levels of customisation? Too much? or an interesting gameplay element?

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