I still haven’t played Ice-Pick Lodge’s rather unsettling survival horror game Pathologic 2 other than a demo from a few years back, but I want to eventually. The first game was quite good, but woefully depressing as its three playable characters each with their own aims, tried to figure out the dealing with the deadly plague that had taken over a small town with only 12 days to find some sort of resolution. That the game initially came out in 2005 makes it suddenly timely in some respects, but if you’re going to go pick it up on PC, don’t expect to be much of a “feel good” experience.
The stylized visuals and very methodical gameplay featured a mechanic where quests disappeared once a day was complete, so fast work was required in some areas lest a character integral to the overall plot expire. The interesting thing was it seemed impossible to do everything that was tasked, so the replay value was in maximizing one’s efforts and trying the figure the most efficient means to work through problems that arose. The tensions that arose from doing certain tasks while the Sand Plague crept inexorably forward made the game compelling, especially when one didn’t use any walkthroughs and took each day as a challenging survival puzzle of sorts.
Anyway, the sequel is now on PS4 and yes, I guess I need to play it because the first game was brilliant and downbeat, but I hear the sequel is much more so. I like publisher tinyBuild’s take on it a lot:
Ladies and gentlemen! The most bizarre game of 2019 has finally arrived to PlayStation 4!
Here’s what to expect:
- Theatrical narrative
- Finding fun in suffering
- Facing difficult moral dilemmas
- Then beating up some thugs to sell their organs for some food
- Ending up watching 2.5 hour long video essays on the game
About Pathologic 2
Pathologic 2 is an open world survival horror game set in a town that’s being consumed by a deadly plague. Face the realities of a collapsing society as you make difficult choices in seemingly lose-lose situations. The plague isn’t just a disease. You can’t save everyone.
Get to know it, winning the affection of the locals and gaining allies, or try to carve your own path alone. Explore the Town, its inhabitants, and their traditions; fight both the plague itself and its victims; try to make a difference before the time runs out.
Well, my brain is ready (I hope), so we’ll have to get on this eventually.