SCUM is going a bit Robin Hood with its impressive archery system

SCUM, the multiplayer survival sandbox, takes archery very seriously. Sure, the latest development video describes an arrow as looking like a "big pink dildo", but the level of detail in its archery system honestly seems astounding. It's definitely a lot more complicated than pointing and shooting. 

First off, there are different kinds of bows. There's the improvised bow, essentially a crafted longbow; a recurve bow, smaller but more powerful; and a compound bow, a modern bow that is easier to use and possible to customise. Depending on your bow, you'll need to change where you're aiming, and you might be more likely to break your string. 

In the video, you can see how physics affects the weapon, as well as its projectiles. When you fire an arrow, for instance, all of its pent up energy is released, making it wobble as it cuts through the air. This mimics the 'archer's paradox', a real archery phenomenon where it looks like the arrow would not be able to hit its target because the bow is in the way. Logically, it should veer off in another direction, but because arrows don't actually fly straight, it bends around the bow and hits a rabbit or convict or whatever else you're trying to kill. 

Different arrow types can also be found and crafted, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, like how stiff or bendy they are. The arrow's spine stiffness is simulated, though it's been turned off until the devs finish the arrow tuning feature, which let you do your best Robin Hood impression, pulling off trick shots and firing around corners. 

I once hit a stationary (wooden) deer with a bow and arrow, but frankly I'm learning a lot more from this video. Just like real life, however, archery in SCUM requires a bit of skill. Thankfully the archery skill is easier to learn in-game, but you'll also want to make sure you're strong and dexterous, too. Like all the game's other weapons, you can half-arse it, firing arrows without any skill at all—just expect to miss a lot.

SCUM is currently in Early Access. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.