Scars Above Review (PlayStation 5)

For our Scars Above Review, we play a challenging sci-fi third-person action-adventure shooter combining the rewarding feel of overcoming difficulty with a compelling and intricate story, set in a mysterious alien world to explore.

Scars Above Review Pros:

  • Decent graphics.
  • 12.19GB download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • You get the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 versions of the game.
  • Three difficulties – rookie, specialist, and commander.
  • Full adaptive trigger support.
  • Uses the controller speaker.
  • Subtitles settings – on/off, size, and opacity.
  • Controller settings – Invert axis and sensitivity sliders, and Aim assist (off/weak/strong)
  • Sci-Fi adventure survival gameplay.
  • Third-person perspective.
  • Button icons appear.
  • Full camera control.
  • Crafting is done via a 3D printer and you assemble the items together and at times use a PC to tune and change them.
  • Mission markers.
  • FMV cutscenes.
  • Tutorial pop-ups as you play.
  • Areas like a table can be looked at closely by zooming in and clicking on parts.
  • Excellent voice work.
  • Fast loading times.
  • Stunning vistas, usually have a hold X to view promptly.
  • You can examine anything and everything.
  • Scan enemies and vegetation to learn about them and what they can do.
  • Enemies drop loot/resources.
  • Pillars act as a save point, you refill health, get some ammo replenished and enemies respawn.
  • Quick weapon swapping via the D-pad.
  • You are on an alien planet, you have no idea how you got there.
  • Audio logs are everywhere.
  • Jump scares are a thing.
  • Instantly grabs you as the story is really good and full of mystery and intrigue.
  • Plants can grant certain materials for your ammo like red plants give incendiary and blue give electric.
  • Ability tree where you put points into either Xenobiology or engineering trees. Unlock new abilities.
  • Knowledge cubes, scanning objects and enemies will give you some exp that levels up to grant an ability point.
  • Your log keeps track of tutorials, recordings, enemies encountered, the environment, and progress.
  • Uses the Mecha is whereby electricity travels faster and wider over wet areas.
  • Feels like a living world.
  • Unlock shortcuts.
  • Examination zones – find the data/clues to reconstruct and Watch an AR of events.
  • Has Dark Souls mechanics bedded within?
  • Puzzle elements throughout.
  • Weak points are enemies are color coded so if it’s red, use fire.
  • Stamina-based system for combat and dodging.
  • You can reset your ability points whenever you want from the menu.
  • You get to science the shit out of everything and it’s a brilliant mix of science and brutal combat.
  • Combine elements for even more damage like freezing an enemy then electrify them!
  • Craft/earn new gadgets. You get sent to a practice area when one is acquired.
  • Pulse scan allows you to quickly scan the area for threats, interactions, and weak points.
  • The atmosphere is an isolating one but man it nails tension.
  • When you start getting used to the combat and unlock new abilities it really comes together.
  • Craft on the go using materials you find in the world.
  • Find caches that allow you to craft and upgrade your weapons and tools.
  • The weather plays a big part so in the snow you need to keep warm or die of hypothermia.
  • The way the story is told is very engaging.
  • When you finally solve a puzzle or beat a boss it’s very satisfying.

Scars Above Review Cons:

  • Cannot rebind controls.
  • No graphics settings.
  • Subtitles are still small.
  • The combat early on is tough as you are weak, they use a lot of poison and it’s all jump-out attacks.
  • A lot of scanning.
  • The scanning of creatures or set elements can be a tricky pixel hunt of finding the prompt.
  • It’s not always clear at giving direction or help.
  • Melee combat is very mashy and aimless.
  • Boss battles are just not fun, small areas, with little in the way of mobility.
  • The setup of crafting wears off and it’s just a button press.
  • Not always clear where to go.
  • Boss fights are tricky as you never know what to do and the materials around are ammo and know what is needed for crafting the necessary gadgets.

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Scars Above:

Official website.

Developer: Mad Head Games

Publisher: PLAION

Store Links – 


  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10


Scars Above is a fantastic Sci-Fi game that has a lot going on. It surprised me with how it tried to add Dark souls mechanics into a space Odyssey but not really, it has the whole elements mechanics where you use fire against ice and ice against fire, etc. One particular highlight of the combat is how in a boss fight you are on an iced-over lake and to beat the boss you melt parts of the lake and the boss will step into the lake and freeze in place momentarily, its that sort of stuff that really elevates the gameplay. You can also do the tried and tested method of freezing an enemy and then shooting fire at them. The game does have slight puzzle elements within it and whilst they are not taxing they feel like it all fits into the narrative and is not tacked on. Combat took some getting used to purely because it’s a lot rougher than you expect in today’s world from targeting to how the guns work in themselves. I mention dark souls purely because the game gives off those vibes and has the whole hit a checkpoint and respawn enemies trick. One thing that took some real work to get to grips with is you earn knowledge (exp) from cubes that you find and bosses you beat, this means you don’t get exp or not as much when fighting enemies over and over so the progress of the skill tree felt very stilted and is more controlled than you would like. But man the world and story they create really are fantastic, I didn’t like the frequency of the boss fights but that’s more because it stopped my exploring. As you go through the skill tree you get cool abilities and gadgets which make the combat better, more varied, and fun. For a Sci-fi action RPG it is an absolute riot, look over a few weird choices and you have yourself a great time.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!