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Scanner Sombre Review

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Graphics:

The graphics look quite good and the game ran very well for me. This should hardly be surprising as the system requirements are quite low, at least as far as the graphics are concerned. All you need to beat for processing power are a Radeon HD 2000 or GeForce 8 GPU with an Intel Core i5-2500K, AMD Phenom II x4 940, or FX-8350. You do also need a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or newer with 4 GB of RAM. This requirement I suspect is because of the unusual method of building out the map.

The game is set in a cave where there is no light, at all. The only reason you are able to see anything is because of a head mounted display (HMD) you have put on and the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) scanner it is connected to. LIDAR uses light, including laser light to measure the distance to a target, and in Scanner Sombre these distances are rendered as dots, building a 3D map for you and your character to explore. The color of these dots change based on your distance, which is one way depth is provided. Another is by the shadows the sensor can cast, and honestly, I really enjoyed looking at these shadows.

 

 

Because the sensor has to project light to make its measurements, objects can block the light, causing shadows to be cast, just like any video game flashlight. Two things that make these shadows easier to see, and enjoy, is that the illumination remains in space as the dots I mentioned above, and because the sensor is offset from the character's eyes. This means the sensor has different blocking than your vision, causing the shadows to be visible even without moving. While I do want to scan every surface, these shadows are pretty valuable and I honestly like the look of the dots without complete coverage.

There really is not much else to talk about with the graphics than that. I like the look and am enjoying this style. It really sets the surrealism of the experience very well and makes the exploration interesting in a way other styles cannot. If you do not scan something, you cannot see it, period, and there were a number of times that I would turn, activate the sensor and suddenly discover something I had no idea was there. Also moving around to see the other side of something is interesting.

 

 

One thing I will fault the game for, but is not actually graphics related, is how quiet it can be. I decided to play with headphones on, since my expectation was for an atmospheric game, and that seemed appropriate. For a lot of it, the noises the scanner makes were all there was. There is some music at times, and sundry sounds, but I would describe the game as almost silent.

 




  1. Scanner Sombre - Introduction
  2. Scanner Sombre - Graphics
  3. Scanner Sombre - Gameplay
  4. Scanner Sombre - Additional Gameplay Media
  5. Scanner Sombre - Conclusion
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