Developed by Mad Head Games, published by Prime Matter and announced for February 28th 2023, Scars Above seems to be an interesting third person shooter with action-adventure elements. 

Scars Above - Reveal Trailer

We still don’t have too many elements to judge Scars Above. Only a few gameplay trailers and developers interviews will help us understand what the game will be like.

The game director Ivan Zorkic told us his personal point of view about the game, its development and the core idea on which it was built. So let’s go deeper and analyze what we have.

The Beginning

An unidentified object orbits the earth, and a team called Scar was sent to investigate. Suddenly something happened and the team is teleported to a strange alien world.

Kate Ward, a scientist with an astrobiological and engineering background, is the protagonist. Stranded alone in this alien world, she has to understand what happened, find the other team members and of course, survive.

Reason vs Terror

One of the topics that developers wanted to emphasize was the dichotomy between different mindsets. Kate is a scientist, she’s not trained as a soldier and she is alone in an unknown world full of hostile creatures.

The will to create a credible world and storytelling passes through Kate’s behavior and attitude.

As I said she’s not a soldier, she’s scared and distressed, but in this situation she finds true courage.

Sometimes her voice is broken, she’s forced to fight and she has to use her intelligence and know-how to overcome enemies and adversity. The victory of knowledge over the darkest unknown.

Biomes and Architecture

The world building seems to be complex and varied. There are many biomes like swamps, plains, desert zones, underground caves and even areas with a dense biological component.

One area in particular has a strong Sci-Fi inspiration: a colossal fortress made of black and squared stones that reminds of an extinct alien civilization.

Every area seems to bring environmental challenges and specific creatures with strong and weak spots.

Gameplay and Weapons

As said before Scars Above is an action-adventure third person shooter. The protagonist can explore the world, analyze the environment and shoot the enemies. She can even roll to evade attacks, consuming a stamina gauge. Obviously we have a weapon: V.E.R.A. (Vectorized Energy Rail Accelerator) that uses electric ammo. 

Finding blueprints and analyzing the surrounding creatures will allow us to craft new types of weapons and ammo like Thermite Charger (fire weapon) or Cryo Launcher (ice weapon). 

Elemental ammos will help us against different enemies: thunder against wet monsters, fire will deal damage over time and ice will freeze and slow monsters.

The player can use weapons to solve environmental puzzles and go on the adventure.

Last thing is the loot: every killed monster has a loot, useful for other craftings.

What do I Expect

February 28th is near and Scars Above seems to be an interesting product. Although announced as an AA project I have high expectations for this game. The story, the direction and atmosphere are promising and bring me some Returnal’s vibes.

See you on the other side!

Useful links:

Mad Head Games page

Scars Above pre-alpha gameplay

I'm a musician (pianist), a nerd and a longtime manga lover. My gamer life started with a copy of Pitfall (1982) for Atari 2600, and so I grew up hand to hand with this medium until now. Later I started to look for what's behind the final product, its design and what happens behind the scenes of the video game world.