Scars Above – PS5 Review

0 0
Read Time:5 Minute, 10 Second

From the Developer’s Mad Head Games, Scars Above is a fairly challenging sci-fi third-person action-adventure shooter with an interesting story and very mysterious lore. Mad Head Games also brought us games such as the Nevertales franchise and Rite of Passage. I haven’t seen many of the titles they have made before, but it seems to me that they are more of a mobile games developer and this seems to be their first major console-related title.

Scars Above, monsters, and science below

The game caught my attention because of what it had on offer. It had survival elements, stranded on a planet and a mysterious alien race. What more could you ask for? Did you know about Scars Above before reading this? Are you excited to get stuck in and play it? Let us know in the comments!


Scars Above Introduce us to our protagonist, Kate Ward. She’s a mission specialist and astrobiologist with a background in engineering. Not only this but she forms part of the SCAR team (Sentient Contact Assessment and Response), sounds pretty important. Her mission is to investigate an enigmatic alien structure that’s orbiting the earth, which puts you on track to accidentally discovering a forgotten colony.

Playable character looking over the horizon with grey clouds and multiple moons with forestry and rock pillars scattered throughout the horizon.
We aren’t in Kansas anymore

You get introduced to some of the mechanics in the game within a tutorial which is always a big plus in my opinion. This includes things like opening a box for a welding tool. With a number of interactive elements which increases immersion during gameplay. Upgrading your equipment is done via the crafting table. It is also worth mentioning that when upgrading a number of actions are required to complete them. And to finalise the upgrade, there is a satisfying action you have to perform to complete the process.

Shocking Ammo Types to get you Fired up and looking Cool!

So the part we want to know is, how does the rest of the gameplay fare? The shooting and combat are smooth, using traditional third person mechanics. The ability later on to use different types of ammo such as Shock, Incendiary, and even Frost adds added elemental effects. That isn’t even all the ammo types! Various types of wildlife want your juicy alien (alien to them) flesh, and each different species has its own combat style to go with their creepy looks.

Playable character looking up at a tall horned beast with large sharp teeth in its chest hiding a large mouth. Large orange boils on the arms of the beast in a swamp environment.
C’mon love, give us a cuddle

The game takes an always-loved and welcomed souls-like game element. Get to a monolith and activate it as your checkpoint and if you die, you return to the monolith. When it comes to ammunition and health, these can also be restored at the monoliths. However, mobs will respawn too. I’m not complaining about taking on more enemies and squishing the little spider mobs. If I could relate this title to anything else it would be Returnal meets Metroid. The souls like element, squashing alien monsters, awesome looking sci-fi weaponry, with an ancient alien society give Scars Above a perfect spot amongst these greats.

Following on from the above where I mentioned mobs. When you’ve defended yourself from the enemies you can then scan them. This gives you some information about the species of alien you have removed from the gene pool. These snippets of information are interesting to listen to and give a great bit of insight into the environment and the species living in it.

Graphics & Audio

So we had the privilege to play Scars Above on PS5, It looked beautiful, with No visual or notable glitches for me on my playthrough, and the only bugs seen were the ones crawling after you for a nibble. I couldn’t find any fault in the visuals at all. No frame drops or skips/screen tearing either.

The planet you roam on looks beautiful throughout, from ruins to grassy-like plains and even the swampy areas looked great. The art for Scars Above is imaginative and at some points would remind you of parts of Prometheus.

Over the shoulder view of the playable character shooting an Incendiary rounds at a large rock covered golem shaped like a gorilla.
Burn Baby Burn!

I couldn’t see any issues with the visuals or audio for that fact, it just worked and worked well. Speaking of audio, the music and ambient sounds give you a traditional sci-fi horror movie feel, but even the music in combat worked extremely well. Aside from the sound effects and the soundtrack, we have the voice-over audio. Not only have the scripts for this been well written, but the voice actors did an astounding job drawing you into the story and dialogue at hand.


I didn’t see any additional game modes for Scars Above and honestly, I don’t think it needs it. This title is perfect with the single-player experience and does not need anything else to overcomplicate an already brilliant recipe for a beautiful story. I will most certainly be jumping back into it once I have finished my review write-up.

Final Thoughts

Overall Scars Above shows large promise in being a story that will be remembered and enjoyed by various types of gamers. For the price it is going for on the PlayStation Store (£36.97 at the time of writing this), it is a steal for an immersive and beautiful experience with plenty to shoot, investigate, and discover.

For me, it checks a lot of boxes that I look for in a game. I look forward to seeing what is in the future at Mad Head Games, especially as they have an unrevealed title in the works. So, where does Scars Above rank on the Thumb Culture award chart? I was over the moon (space pun) when writing this review, being reminded of the great experience I had whilst playing. It is a title you will want to experience yourself. It’s well-written, engaging, and really draws you in. I am pleased to award Scars Above a Thumb Culture Platinum Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received to write this review.

Thumb Culture

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Discord | Podcast


About Author