Is Scum, Worth Playing?
Scum is an M-Rated title, and this review may contain screenshots that some readers may find offensive/disturbing.
After a promising start, a disastrous few years, and a return to glory, the world’s most realistic survival game is about to leave early access, and for better or worse, the survival genre will never be the same.

Points of Interest.

Product Details
Genre: Survival
Developer: Gamepires
Publisher: Gamepires
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 29 Aug, 2018
Supported Modes:


Scum is a survival game like no other; while games like Deadside focus more on instant gratification and DayZ combines survival with high-end PvP combat, Scum has found a niche for itself to the far left of DayZ, focusing on the experience of survival by offering players one of the most comprehensive metabolism simulators in existence.

Eating too fast, too much, or too little food can result in your player becoming sickly, and while many survival games have a mechanic to flag spoiled or raw food, Scum takes this even further by requiring players to consume the correct amounts of vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy.

While eating a dozen candy bars a day may fill you up, it will also increase your character’s physical weight, reduce your agility, make you more prone to certain illnesses, and increase your hitbox, making you an easy target for other players and the undead.

In addition, Scum is one of the few survival games to allow for cannibalism, and a hungry survivor may not think twice about making you their lunch.


Ugly Characters.

While the world has been lovingly created, and some truly stunning locations exist to explore, character models are hideous.

Even the best-looking character models are aptly described as “Butterface Bob and Friends”.

While I do not expect hardened prisoners to look like catwalk models, I feel that characters having some semblance of facial muscle control and having their heads firmly attached to their necks isn’t asking too much of the developers, especially when other titles using the same engine manage to create characters which at least look human, if not attractive.



When killing a puppet (zombie) in Scum, the loot drops are constant with what the puppet was seen to be wearing or carrying. This is a step above most survival games where you are pantless and must walk past perfectly acceptable-looking zombie pants only to loot a tin of tuna or a pair of sunglasses.

This design philosophy extends to the game world; clicking a pile of logs will allow you to gather logs, fridges containing food, cars containing car parts, scrap metal, etc.

This is great, unlike games such as Population Zero, where you would be required to walk past a mountain of stones while looking for a single stone that is lootable.



While Scum launched without female characters, this lack of diversity was eventually addressed in what could be described as the most cringe-inducing display of unintentional misogyny by an established developer I have yet to encounter.

The announcement of player-base female characters came as part of a short video that showed a barely clothed female character dancing suggestively with censor bars over sensitive areas; while this is undoubtedly all meant in good fun, it’s demeaning to female gamers and borders on offensive.

While the censor bars were eventually removed, it did little to improve things, revealing bare buttocks and a naughty catholic girl shirt that displayed ample flesh, and an inappropriate amount of detail was visible through the material.

While in-game clothing options are suitable for a survival game, many will struggle to look past the cringe-inducing video and its outdated and offensive portrayal of women.

While some may dismiss this as a non-issue, I feel strongly that making content purely to titillate is wrong, and while there is a time and place for nudity in games, making every female character eye candy is offensive, and for those who are prone to acting on their lust, dangerous.

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. - Matthew 5:28-30

Picture: Screenshot from the original censored trailer.

Nudity for Nudity Sake.

There is nothing wrong with nudity that is tastefully used in a video game; in the case of a survival game like Scum, where clothing can get wet and lead to hyperthermia, removing clothing at times is a necessity.

Unfortunately, not everyone is so mature, and when playing on less mature servers, you will see plenty of exposed male and female “private parts” and large breasts.

While it’s obvious that the developers have a cheeky sense of humour,  allowing users to create comically large “body parts” does nothing but encourage vulgarity and immaturity.

The character used in official screenshots is Ben Dover, a euphemism for non-consensual anal intercourse. 

Fickle Community.

Survival gamers continually ask for depth, complexity, immersion, stunning visuals, and realistic survival mechanisms. However, when Scum came along ticking all those boxes, players abandoned it en masse because it was not the gank fest murder hobo simulator they secretly wanted.

Adversely,  Deadside launched as a murder hobo simulator. The same group migrated to it, leaving it en masse upon discovering it was not the deep and immersive survival experience they hoped for.

Fortunately for Gamepires, enough survival gamers are willing to weather out the storms and stick with titles through the good and bad times.

This core community is an essential catalyst for the long-term health of any game. The importance of the nucleus community is made clear by the continued renewed success of titles such as DayZ, Conan Exiles, Ark Survival Evolved and Scum, all of which were declared as failed projects during the darkest times of their early access journeys, yet now enjoy healthy grow and player engagement.

Scum has weathered the storm, presuming Gamespire retains its community’s goodwill; its best days are yet to come.


Danny Trejo DLC.

For some unknown reason, a Danny Trejo DLC was released on 30 June 2022,  giving players with $14.99 to spare the chance to turn their character into Danny Trejo.

While more customisation options are nice, I would hate to see Scum turn into a crossover sandbox, despite my generally favourable view of crossover and celebrity skins in lobby-based titles.


Scum FAQ

Scum is a survival video game developed and published by Gamepires, it will be released on 29 Aug, 2018 and retails for $34.99.

Platform Availability.

Scum is available exclusively on PC.

Are The Developers Active?

Scum remains in active development, and its early access journey is almost complete, with the developers confirming that update 0.95 (December 2023) is the last major update before the launch of version 1.0 in 2024.

How Many People Play Scum?

As of April 2024, around 200,000 people play Scum on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Scum Playerbase?

Scum is very active, meaning that very short matchmaking times and even instant matchmaking are possible in populated regions, while less popular regions enjoy stable but less instantaneous matchmaking.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Scum offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Server Browser

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Scum is unrated and contains the following:

  • Drug Use
  • Gore
  • Mature Themes
  • Nudity
  • Partial Nudity
  • Sexual Content
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Scum is a fantastic game for those looking for a more immersive post-apocalyptic role-playing game; however, for those seeking more instant thrills and a less intense survival experience, Deadside or DayZ would be more suitable.

Scum enjoys the benefits of a large, engaged community and active and transparent developers and is reasonably priced; at this point, Scum is well worth a purchase despite being in Steam Early Access.

Scum is a great game mechanically, and much of the in-game content is suitable for mature gamers. Still, potential buyers need to be aware of the developers’ crass sense of humour and unintentionally offensive portrayal of female characters, which, to some, maybe dealbreakers.

Is Scum Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Scum" a rating of 7/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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