In the splendid setting of the Lucca Comics & Games 2022, in one of the typical buildings that adorn the walls of the ancient city, we were guests of Plaion to get your hands on the new one Scars above, a very particular action game that has - at least for now - confirmed a mixture of genres as it was already presented in Cologne. Third person game Mad head games it has left us positive sensations, recalling many of the characteristics of known games of the same genre, but which with these premises could have its say in a completely new way. Let's take a closer look at it.
Close encounters of different kinds
In contrast with the location that hosted us, catapulting us totally into another world, Scars Above opens onto an unknown alien planet and obscure, but which we will soon discover is not uninhabited. Our protagonist Kate she is a scientist, sent to this narrow place to study its characteristics, from plants, to creatures, to the conformation of the land, energy sources and so on. Of course, we find the trick of the loss of memories, but also increasingly clear indications that we have probably been haunting this planet for some time (and not just us).
The basic game system is one third person shooter with strong narrative elements and a good dose of exploration (we don't know how far it is extended, given the brevity of the test, but for the first few minutes it was something very linear). One of the features of Scars Above is about columns, sort of obelisks through which we will be able to implement resets e cure ourselves of altered status, the HP and so on, but it will also do bring deleted threats back to life. Furthermore, if we die we will also have to clear the road again of the obstacles we had overcome.
Put like this, the game could seem like a sort of sci-fi soulslike, or even could be compared to the highly appreciated Returnal; however, the comparison is actually not very fitting, if not for the "cliché" of the unknown planet to be discovered.
In terms of action, it's nice to see that Scars Above is a lot simple to play, at least in learning mechanics: the shooting system is precise and not complicated at all, but that doesn't mean it will be a walk in the park, since the creatures that attack you will certainly not stand by and watch. You will have at your disposal different weapons with some elemental ammo, which you can find as a drop or from local flora. However, do not think that you are dealing with a superheroine, nor do we know if there will be any gadgets available to increase speed or physical abilities: the movement and shooting system they are not frantic at all – but not slow either – and it will be indispensable files rounds, magazines, and dodge, all with the right timing (if you don't, 4 or 5 enemies charging at you at the same time will be enough to kill you).
The package, at least for the first few minutes we tried, concludes with the analysis of objects, between lore and plot that we will not anticipate, and with some puzzles environmental issues to be resolved in some cases to clear the way and beyond. In short, the action is present but it is not the only thing that Scars Above will offer us. Ours First impressions were more than positive, also because on a technical level the game seemed to us free of problems or imperfections of any kind. Keep an eye on it.