Our Score: 8/10
In Scathe, quick reactions are essential for surviving the bullet Hell maze that lies between you and your ascent in the dramatic, bloody first-person shooter. Drop-in drop-out online co-op gameplay lets you rip through the fiercest demons in the underworld while collecting the Hellstones.
Scathe is a stressful, traditional FPS with powerful weapons and much more powerful demons. You were fashioned from the soil by the Divine Creator himself. And you are Scathe, Enforcer of the Legions of Hell. And you must demonstrate your value by traversing a cunningly designed maze that is impregnated with demonic evil at every turn, just like your fallen family did before you. So prepare to unleash your deadly anger by grabbing your Hell Hammer! In your quest to find the Hellstones and vanquish the omnipotent Guardians that guard them, Scathe’s raw strength and lightning-quick reflexes will let you slice through Hell’s most horrifying creatures.
Scathe’s harsh, dynamic gameplay is actually its biggest selling feature, thus few people will likely buy it for the story. Thankfully, the creators are aware of this as well and avoid inserting clunky cutscenes into the action. The plot components are kept more in the background and the game is allowed to run.
Having said that, the game does nonetheless have some intriguing story components. Scathe’s narrative is straightforward: you play a guy who is trapped in a terrible maze and must escape. Really, that is all one needs to know. And it gives me more than enough motivation to lock and load some enormous weapons and use them to exterminate a large number of bad demons.
Because the player character is a being of few words, the environment plays a large role in the game’s narrative. The player’s imagination may fill in their own personal background by just exploring this hellish labyrinth of death and pain. Even if we are never given a clear explanation of how it came to be.
Gunning To Win
The gameplay of Scathe first reminds me a lot of older, iconic FPS games like DOOM and Unreal Tournament. That seems to be the extent of Scathe’s gaming for the first several hours. Thankfully, new mechanics are gradually added to keep players interested just when they start to feel like they have experienced everything before.
The bullet-hell gameplay element may be found right away in the game. Although there was a time during my review playthrough of Scathe that I felt like things increased in difficulty before rapidly snowballing to become a far more significant role in how I handled the game’s gameplay loop.
Scathe’s gunplay is already entertaining, but when it’s combined with the later-introduced supernatural talents, a world of new fighting possibilities emerges. Once armed with a plethora of tools, it is a delight to go on to the next space.
Scathe is quite remarkable. It is exciting, fast-paced, and demanding, but never to the point of becoming frustrating. Given that Damage State, which consists of just three individuals, has produced its first game, I am quite interested in learning what they have planned for their next project. Scathe also seems to have a promising future in the FPS community.