The survival genre has been exploding lately thanks to the popularity of battle royale-style games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. But a brand new survival game, titled SCUM, is currently the third most popular game on Twitch. Developed by a small team at Gamepires with the help of Croteam, creators of the Serious Sam franchise, it’s a profoundly hardcore experience and a throwback to the earliest days of the survival genre.
In the fiction of SCUM, players take on the role of inmates in a supermax prison. Those prisoners are also contestants on a reality-style TV program produced by the fictional TEC1 megacorp, who have pit them against against each other in a high-stakes, 64-player fight to the death.
Where SCUM departs from the current crop of battle royale games is in its pacing. In addition to the smaller player count, it also lacks a shrinking map. That means SCUM is being designed as a much more leisurely experience reminiscent of DayZ.
The game map itself is fairly large at 144 square kilometers. That’s roughly in-between the size of DayZ’s original map, which was 225 square kilometers, while still a lot bigger than Battlegrounds’ original map, which was 16 square kilometers. Expect to go long distances before seeing any other players.
Where SCUM really heads off in new directions is with its multiple, layered survival systems that are constantly churning in the backgrounds. How exactly they all work together will be up to the community to find out.
For instance, the game includes a sophisticated wetness and drying system that players will have to learn to use to manage their internal body temperature. Players have to eat and drink to stay healthy, of course. But in SCUM, they also need to manage their metabolism in order to keep their energy high while not taking on too many calories and becoming obese.
They’ll also need to take care of normal, everyday human needs… like defecation.
Publisher Devolver Digital has lifted the streaming embargo just this morning. That allowed folks like Sacriel42, shown above, to play the game live for their audiences ahead of the Aug. 29 Steam early access release. SCUM will go on sale for $19.99. You can watch streamers learning about the game in real time by heading to Twitch and searching for SCUM.