I have attempted to write this review multiple times since Scum came out of closed beta on the 30th, it seems every time I try a new patch gets released and I have to go back and nearly start over. To say this game has a responsive and attentive development team would undersell how quickly they sniff out issues and patch them. This leaves me optimistic for future content and continued support, all of that aside let's jump in and talk about the game itself.
Scum really is a new level of survival game, It takes the brutality of survival and managing the crazy machine that is the human body to a whole new level. From the things you can see on the surface like the importance of a balanced diet to everyone's favorite meme, pooping in the woods. There is a very impressive layer that you see, but may not notice, the physics. Although not completely polished, it is one of the most innovative attempts at realism I have experienced. Every aspect of your skills and body type play a role in how you interact with the environment, from how fast you accelerate to how hard you take a blow.
That's a lot of stats!
The game continues to impress with its well polished graphics and small dynamic features that bring a lot to the experience as a whole. A favorite of mine is the hunting experience. We all know that food can be an issue in survival games and hunting can prove to be a challenge. In Scum we see a thought out tracking system that resembles stand alone hunting games like Hunter: Call of The Wild. In true Scum fashion that was not far enough, once you hunt down and kill your prey you then take a multi-step process to break down and process your game. With every part of the animal usable and in some cases granting the ability to craft hilarious life saving gear.
For this next part I really want you to keep in mind what I started this review out with. Scum is backed by what seems to be one of the most dedicated and responsive dev teams I have seen on a game in some time. So as I go over some of these issue realize that some may have already been fixed between writing and publishing, and other may be slated to be fixed. With the disclaimer out of the way it's time to talk about the hard parts.
As a whole the game is a lot of fun but currently aside from gathering loot and surviving there is no real balance to what is currently considered end game content. Now there are rumors in the mill currently of new PvE endgame encounters and they have made some attempts to add difficulty to gather end game loot like the airfield. Which brings me to my biggest gripe, the way they have decided to attempt to balance endgame loot they have buffed the damage and accuracy of the sentry robots guarding them. The problem with this type of “balance” is it encourages running in those areas naked and hoping for great loot as the punishment for failure and the chance of success for a geared and un-geared player are exactly the same. So why risk your fully geared self to go into a hot area when you can do it at the beginning and just re-roll until you are successful?
I come in peace? Pieces?
The only other “major” issue I have is how hard it is to party up and play with friends, I understand that this is supposed to add to the realism but in all honesty it's kind of a pain. Then once you are in a party there is no way to share shelters or way-points making it only useful in highly populated servers or if you have trouble keeping track of your friends in the woods. I find myself forgetting to party up most of the time until someone gets lost.
Overall I have found this game to be very enjoyable with friends and I'm excited to see where it is headed; so much so I have even purchased my own server to play with friends. So if you are a huge fan of games like Escape from Tarkov or Just Survive you will probably fall in love with Scum much like I have. For others looking for a little more, add this to your wish list and keep an eye on it because it may be exactly what you’re looking for sooner than you think.