Scorn’s Body Horror could renew the horror genre


Scorn’s Body Horror could renew the horror genre

Every once in a while, a new game will come onto the scene that deviates so completely from the norm that it reinvents the rules, and Disdain looks like it’s going to be one of those games. Despite the long time spent in development and through funding from Kickstarter, Disdain was seen once again at Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase this year and given an official release date.

Launching just in time for Halloween, Disdain has promised its fans and backers a macabre and morbid odyssey through a biomechanical hell that puts its horror front and center. Unlike other horror games of its kind, it’s not just an alien world and its symbiotic creatures that will unsettle players, but the quintessential body horror experience that Disdain surrender, where the true horror is the perversion and corruption of the human form until it becomes so unrecognizable that it is more inhuman than anything else.


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Body horror in games

Body horror has its earliest roots in Gothic literature through the aberration, mutilation, or corruption of the human body. To that end, it has always been one of the least viewed horror subgenres due to the graphic nature when depicted, making it difficult to market and “show” to the public. But that hasn’t stopped the public’s morbid fascination with him, and thanks to the likes of David Cronenberg The thing Y The fly Popularizing it on a Hollywood level, a variety of body horror movies are thriving today. Since film and games share a hand-in-hand relationship when it comes to defining their genres, body horror made its way into the gaming scene.

Fortunately, gaming has a much more relaxed and welcoming attitude when it comes to body horror, as some of the biggest and most iconic franchises in gaming Silent Hill a demonic resident incorporates body horror. Although the degrees to which games have employed body horror vary, it’s an inescapable fact that most if not all horror games will include it in some way. Traditionally, however, body horror applies less to the protagonist and more to the antagonists of games. So while scenes like Dead Space 2’s infamous “eye poke” scene are truly gruesome to the player themselves, even when it goes well, it’s just one example of a fleeting few among all other horror games.

Speaking of demonic residentyour most recent posts with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Y Resident Evil Village have approached body horror in a more nuanced way. The main character, Ethan, is subject to all kinds of injuries during his wanderings from the swamps of the southern US to the villages of Eastern Europe. Chief among them is Ethan constantly getting his hands bitten in half or just cut off, but as players learned from Capcom, there’s a good reason for this. The developer confirmed that since Ethan himself isn’t always visible to the player, but his hands are, they’re what players will see the most “sore” and why healing causes him to splash his hands with meds in the first place. aid. In order to convey the pain and trauma, the game had moments in the script where Ethan’s hand is amputated by the shock factor, ultimately also influencing the overall story.

body horror in contempt

Though his body horror isn’t as overtly explicit, Resident Evil Village and the reasons behind Ethan’s amputated hand is what may help clarify why Disdain goes further into the body horror genre and how it is going to outperform its competition. For Resident Evil Villagebody horror was a small part of a larger whole and was not the focus of the game. Disdain, on the other hand, doubles down on its grotesqueness and presents a truer, fuller body horror experience. The world, its inhabitants, and the player himself have just emerged from an HR Giger fever dream, and Disdain he unashamedly delights in that fact.

While alien worlds and hideous inhuman creatures are common in games, body horror becomes infinitely more horrific and pronounced when forced upon the player, which Disdain absolutely does. Its initial premise is that as the protagonist, the player wakes up in this strange techno-organic world and can only explore its labyrinthine biomes to discover the secrets and stories that are hidden in the depths. The way of navigating takes a leaf from Metroidvanias, where interaction with the world’s machine-turned-creatures opens new paths or unlocks doors, all done through bodily implants and biomechanical tools that function as an extension of the player’s body.

Comparing trailer snippets against each other, it’s clear that these implants and tools will be earned along the way, meaning the player will at some point have to willingly undergo mutilation and augmentation, fulfilling that spirit of body horror. Though Disdain adopts a first-person perspective as Resident Evil Villagethe horror feels more pronounced, as while Ethan may still have a human aspect, it is clear that the player in Disdain it is something completely different.

At this stage, it is unknown for sure what contempt The story is how the player came to find themselves in the flesh-filled nightmare, or if they would even be able to escape, but there is a final sense of unease and dread as the player changes more and more the deeper they go. contempt world. That uneasy feeling that these changes are irreversible is a core tenet of body horror, and its utterly unique application by Disdain is what will differentiate it from the likes of Silent Hill, demonic resident, Dead spaceand beyond.

Disdain It will be released on October 21, 2022 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

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