New third-person sci-fi shooter Scars Above is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, meaning early reviews are starting to appear across the web.
Initial impressions of Mad Head Games' latest title seem mixed, although the game's core shooting mechanics have garnered plenty of praise so far. Here's what the critics are saying in early reviews of Scars Above:
"Scars Above offers a great shooter experience that's a bit rough around the edges in some areas when it comes to realizing its vision and potential. While these problems are noticeable, I don't feel like it takes too much from the full product while offering a haunting survival horror experience with a unique gimmick that makes players think about the best approach to the way they face the environment around the enemies."
The Sixth Axis (7/10)
"Scars Above is a great addition to the library of single player adventures and it tells an engaging sci-fi story that interrogates ideas of genetic manipulation, free will, and sacrifice. While it loses momentum a little towards the end, it serves as a fantastic advertisement for smaller budget games and is well worth picking up."
The Gamer (7/10)
"Despite its flaws, Scars Above's engaging combat and expansive toolkit keep it interesting for its entire 10-hour campaign. Though its world is gray and the story leading you through its levels is a let down, the moment-to-moment gameplay makes the journey worth taking. This space adventure isn't the final frontier of third-person action games, but it manages to offer roughly the same thrills as a pretty good SyFy Original movie. It isn't the cutting edge, but it's sharp in its own right."
"While Scars Above has a predictable story, it’s nevertheless an engaging, interesting sci-fi title that would have benefited as a shooter/exploration hybrid rather than the Soulslike it wants to be. Your experience will definitely vary, though if you’re intrigued by its premise at all, don’t be afraid to drop down to its lowest difficulty in order to try to experience it."
Push Square (5/10)
"Scars Above is a more appealing prospect than it is a final product - an interesting premise that's ultimately lost amidst repetitive gameplay and mundane design. Some aspects of it are genuinely intriguing, if underexplored, but simply reaching for the stars alone is no guarantee of ever actually leaving orbit, let alone getting off the ground - and recommending this experience over any other is a bit rich, even for the lower asking price."
"Scars Above shows a lot of potential in its third-person shooting, fun elemental reactions, and a good number of creatures to experiment with. The thrill of setting out to discover a new alien world is short-lived, however, due to the weapons and gadgets in your arsenal quickly growing so powerful that nothing poses a threat. And while there are a few excellent environments to explore, everything within them – the characters, story, and universe – feel weak and underdeveloped, giving you few reasons to stop and smell the alien roses once you’ve blasted your way through."
"There are some foundational bright spots in Scars Above, such as some interesting puzzle-solving and a story that, while somewhat predictable, was well told, but it isn’t enough to justify the criminally stiff movement, huge technical issues and the ugly, lifeless animations. At the end of the day, even the best parts of Scars Above have been done far better, almost two years ago."
Scars Above on Xbox Series X and S sits at 69 on Metacritic at the time of writing, which is a respectable if unremarkable score, all told. This one sounds like it could be worth a crack if you're really into your tough third-person action games - just maybe temper your expectations accordingly!