Scum Hands On - Staying Alive Isn't Easy
Just barely a week after launch, SCUM has succeeded in bringing players the DayZ we've always wanted, to an extent. SCUM is a survival multiplayer/single player first person shooter. While in multiplayer you deal with not only zombies called "Puppets," and badass Mechs that want nothing more than to destroy you, but also other players and the environment. You have to eat and drink, you also have to urinate and do number 2 every now and then. Staying alive isn't always easy, but hey, what fun would it be if it were easy?
Let's start of by stating the map is simply enormous. This is both a good and bad thing. It's good because there is plenty of real estate to adventure around. Plenty of sceneries to find and enjoy, and even more places to explore to find that good loot. Yet at the stage the game currently resides in, this isn't always a good thing. In fact, it's probably more detrimental to the game more than anything right now. Yes, having a huge map is great, finding other players is even better.
The map is so vast that I've spent the entire weekend playing around and have only seen 2 other players. I've had to deal with Mechs and Zombies, those being hard enough to deal with, have yet to have a good PVP encounter. I enjoyed DayZ, the mod, not the standalone, I enjoyed the PVP most of all. Scrounging up weapons and vehicles and then just murdering people I came across was more of a thrill than simply the zombies. Never knowing if a person was friendly or a "bandit," you really never knew if it was safe or not. In SCUM, I feel completely safe...except for the rampaging murderous giant Mechs, those scare me.
When it comes to finding guns, I'm a bit disappointed. In a multiplayer survival game that at its core is about killing other players and taking their stuff, I seriously expect guns to be fairly scarce in comparison. I don't expect everyone I come across to have a fully decked out AK or SVD Sniper rifle.
Due to the world size, the devs decided to place in several "military" loot zones. Whether they are "military" or otherwise marked on the map, They're all over, they're guarded by mechs, and they almost always have 3~5 guns. The Mechs aren't hard to sneak by. Yeah, you can die easily to them, but they got nerfed right away and had their accuracy dumbed down. Even still, they are stupidly easy to bypass, allowing you to simply hide and run and snag something from a box. Rinse and repeat. Better yet, run past them and inside the building, even better loot.
Put simply, I've been to the Dam 10 or so times, each time I have come across at least two SVD Sniper rifles each time, several magazines for it, a couple different AK variants, scopes, and attachments for all of them. Ammunition is the only somewhat hard thing to come by. I say somewhat because while you don't find much of it just laying around, if you find gunpowder, which by the way can come off of zombies, you can sit and craft whatever ammunition you need. By the time I left I had two cans of gunpowder, had enough lead plates and metal to make 60~ rounds, which imo was plenty for the SVD. So far I feel that aspect of the game is entirely too easy and hope it changes in time.
The survival aspect is strange. It’s more in depth than any other game before it that I can recall. You don’t have to just eat, you have to meta your food intake. You need carbs, sugars, fats, proteins, basically you need a “balanced” diet. You have an energy intake and output. More intake than output leads to a morbidly obese character that gets tired easily. Eating a proper diet, according to the game, leads you to have a lean, fit character that in turn can run a lot longer. Let me tell you, this is the difficulty of the game. Best of luck to anyone who tries to balance their diet. You will have a hard time finding anything to eat, at all, let alone proper balance. You can hunt deer, boar, and bears, sure, or you could just go kill a zombie and butcher it for meat. That will fend off starvation, but won’t really help your metabolism.
Did I mention you have to void as well? If you fail to urinate or sit down to poo, eventually you will be forced to do so. This means if you’re running from a mech, your guy can stop in place and start to urinate or take a poo…not fun.
They need to really work on the food / nutrition system, it’s pretty brutal right now. Maybe it’s working as intended, but as a game it shouldn’t be this hard to balance the diet.
All in all the game is really fun. While it’s early access and most of the game has yet to be implemented, this is indeed the DayZ of yore we all wanted. This has the potential to be THE survival game.
The gunplay is fantastic, the stat mechanic has so much potential, just hammer out the survival aspects and put more stuff in like vehicles and boom, make a great game better. The best part about SCUM is the fact that it’s $19.99.
If you’re looking for a fun survival game where basically everything matters, check SCUM out. Just keep an open mind and understand this is barely a game at this stage. Think about that for a moment, Barely A Game, I’m giving high praise for a game that is “barely” a game right now. That says a lot. Give it a shot or let it fully launch, your choice. Either way, SCUM is shaping up to be a fantastic survival game.