SCUM is a crazy take on open-world survival games because there is so much (almost too much) to take into consideration when playing it. A lot of games have things like hunger meters, thirst meters, the ability to get sick, basic human functions like that. This game, however, tracks tons of crazy shit, like your heart rate, your temperature, your vitamin and food intake, the need to go to the bathroom, and way, way more. Like, you need to be a medical student to understand most of this stuff because it was so above my head when I played.
Fortunately for big dummies like me, it’s not completely necessary to keep track of all of this stuff. However, for those that do keep track of it, and know what they’re doing, can improve how the game works for them. Not having enough of a particular vitamin, eating a lot of junk food, etc. will make you unhealthy eventually, and can even make you fat. Fatter characters will have a harder time getting around and will expend more energy trying to do basically anything. It’s a pretty interesting mechanic that can make the game very different for everyone! The game doesn’t give you much, to start you can barely carry any items, and if I could offer any advice, it would be to say screw crafting to start and get your ass to a town. Find better clothes, find guns, find ammo, a melee weapon, and then start stocking up on food. You can also hunt animals and cook their meat for more food, or find vegetables or fruits.
There are also locked down sections of the map that are heavily guarded by GIANT ROBOTS. Seriously, the first time that you come across one of these heavily guarded areas is pretty scary, and when I did, I died pretty damn fast at the hands of another player. If you can find a good sniper spot in one of these areas, and have plenty of ammo and food, it’s a great place to hang out. You’re protected on most sides by the giant killer robots (as long as they can’t see you), and can pick off hapless prisoners as they come along. It’s a pretty neat little power trip, and finding ways to kill people, trap them, mess with them, etc. SCUM really puts you in its world, you feel hapless, hopeless, like you really gotta get your sh*t together and fast or else you’ll be at the mercy of someone else.
The game looks pretty good and sounds great, though there are definitely still some issues that come with big games like this. The game has pop-in issues from time to time, I had the game crash a couple times, connections drop suddenly, but it never heavily influenced anything I was doing. My character data wasn’t deleted or anything, and I just hopped right back in the game! I didn’t encounter any other real big problems with the game.
Oh, except for the part where I couldn’t swim up out of water, and every time I reached the surface, I would sink back down the bottom, to slowly inch my way back out of the water and try to hit land. I took off all of my gear to try to get back to the top thinking that it was weighing me down, but it wasn’t, it just didn’t work. That was probably the greatest offense I experienced in the game so far. It’s in Early Access, though, so assuming that the devs aren’t completely awful, they’ll fix all of these issues for the full release.
OH, and your dead body might turn into a zombie, just FYI.
I had a great time with the game, it’s fun, there’s a whole hell of a lot to learn, and a massive island to explore. I love the dynamic weather in the game, the day/night cycle, and all of the little tiny intricacies that are going on in this game. Having to actually make yourself go to the bathroom is… just a liberating experience in a video game nowadays.
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