Scorch Review: The Wasteland of a Glitch-Filled Apocalypse
January 3, 2017
Scorch can be looked to as a good example of a missed opportunity. As a whole, the sidescroller post-apocalyptic shooter shows a ton of potential. That potential, however, is not displayed in the game itself. It is full of glitches and gameplay mechanics that are aggravating and just make you not want to play.
You are a survivor in a desert-like apocalypse where multiple holes in the ozone layer have wiped out most organic life. Essentially, you just need to survive.
The sidescroller genre is given a huge disservice with this game in its midst. The frame rate is smooth and consistent, it falls flat in just about every other facet. Enemies will attack you before you get the opportunity to react and can ruin an otherwise good run instantly when you’re overwhelmed. There’s no depth to the main character and the enemies feel stale as well and their script seems to boil down a total of five lines.
While running from left-to-right you will likely encounter a number of bugs: getting stuck in a crouched position, not being able to jump over obstacles or pick up items gets old quickly to the consistency in which it occurs. The weapons are decent enough, but sometimes I’m not entirely convinced that the shotgun even works. Sometimes it hits, and other times it passes right through. It would make more sense if the gun jammed, but no, the round just goes through a bad guy without taking damage.
The shooting feels like an arcade, as expected. You rarely have a chance to accurately aim like the game recommends.
On top of all of this, there is no failsafe if you die at some point in a level, as you’re sent right back to the beginning of that level. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t mean having to trudge the same level with the same glitches over and over again.
Oh, and there’s a glaring typo in the opening segment (above.) I had to Google it to make sure it wasn’t a legitimately different way to spell it. I am by no means a perfect writer, but that’s literally staring you right in the face. You really couldn’t have been bothered to Google it?
The best thing about Scorch is its graphics. In fact, it may be the main selling point for this title. The art style, as put by YouTuber Kyle Kidd, is reminiscent of This War of Mine.
The use of warm colors and the sun’s rays almost constantly on you help sell the feeling that you are in a hot and unforgiving land. Little things are taken into account, like the satisfying smoke that radiates from the barrel of your rifle.
Your character and the enemies are constantly shadowed in some way, possibly adding more depth than intended. Intentional or not, the feeling of being a “shadow of your former self” works well to this games advantage. In terms of bang for your buck, Scorch delivers on its ascetics.
However, unlike the aforementioned title, Scorch lacks quality in every other way.
For the most part, the levels are pretty generic. Sometimes you’re thrown into darkness with a flashlight. Sometimes you have to jump or crouch. Besides this there just isn’t much variety. As I mentioned earlier, glitches run rampant, and a lot of them are due to the level design. If you’re moving forward and up against a car or other obstacle, don’t expect to be able to jump over it.
Enemies are scattered around to appear in front of you and behind you. This leads to some annoying instances where if a bug happens at that moment, you are monumentally screwed. Then, when you die, you’re sent right back to the beginning to endure it all again. Sometimes they can even shoot through solid flooring, making the combat interesting, to say the least.
Scorch has very little replay value. It’s essentially the gaming equivalent of Circus Peanut candy. On the surface, it seems like something you can get behind, but once you dig in you think to yourself “This kinda sucks, and it’s probably bad for my health.”
Let me be clear, this game has tons of potential. Unfortunately, that potential is dragged down by a variety of glitches and general annoyances. I can’t see myself continuing my venture in this game, mostly because the glitches ruin the experience for me. If the developer were to release a massive overhaul patch, I would reconsider giving it another shot and maybe even updating this review. But as it stands, I cannot justify the bugs present in this game.
- Beautiful visuals
- Interesting backstory
- Bugged movement
- Lack of depth
- Spelling/grammar errors galore