Old school RPG horror.
I can already tell readers that this was going to be a hard game to review. Released originally back in 2005, it grew a cult following over the years. Pathologic is a game I attempted to play back when it was re-released due to some of the critical praise, and while I clearly missed out on the excitement for when it released, I totally understand why it has a following. It’s extremely weird, but is it any good – and that’s a really tough question to answer, especially today.
World of decay
The premise of Pathologic is a world in decay. A virus or some sort of plague is ravaging the world, and players start as one of three folks investigating the world and trying to solve the issues at hand.
Price I’d Pay: $12.99
How long to beat: 10+ hours
Immediately after players start, they are introduced to a long intro discussing the issues in the world and setting up the foundation for the game. Then once players leave the first building, they immediately realize they are not in Kansas anymore. Seeing weird people with masks on, the odd designs and shapes of the architecture, a sense of being uncomfortable and unsettling begins to creep in, even if players are not exactly sure why. It’s an odd world and one never exactly feels comfortable in or at ease.
Exploring a world gone mad
Exploration is a huge aspect here, and it’s unfortunate that the character cannot run, as it makes traversal a tad more taxing then it should be. Luckily, there is always something odd or creepy to see when exploring and progressing in the story, albeit dated graphically. That said, the HD version looks cleaner and nicer than the original release, but don’t confuse this with the more recently Kickstarted remake version.
This is the same game that released in 2005, just with a few things cleaned up. That said, it’s a game still held back by its 2005 roots. Don’t expect a heavy emphasis on the game hand holding players as most of today’s games do, and expect to get lost or just confused on what to do at times. There is also a ton of text to read, and with an era where VO wasn’t as common place, it would be a lot to record all the lines of dialog.
The reason this is such a hard title to review is because it’s by and large the exact same game as the original 2005 release. It’s not exactly the easiest game to get into, and it still retains all the faults and issues it had upon release. Someone jumping into this game now and expecting something more refined or suitable to today’s standards will be disappointed. Yet for players familiar with the game or those willing to explore the dark world it presents, there is plenty of story and interesting moments to appreciate. Just go in knowing that it’s a relic of the past, and that it plays as such. Those ok with that will find that an interesting world awaits.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.