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Pathologic 2

Developer: Ice-Pick Lodge Publisher: tinyBuild Games
23 May 2019
Pathologic 2 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.28 / 5.0
0.5
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549 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#23 All-time
#4 for 2019
Remake and in the same time revision of Haruspex company from Pathologic [Мор. Утопия]. Commit in the curing of Town-on-Gorkhon from Steppe Plague as Artemy Burah, the heir of the only doctor in town and a leader of the indigenous people of the Steppe.
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"Such is our town. You know it yourself: It's a very good village. Beautiful people live here, infusing it with a very spiritual dream. There's no real, villainous crime here. Even the rats and the thieves are softer."
Certain stories are so deep and strange that you just can't get them off your mind. When I played Yume Nikki as a teenager, I waited with baited breath every day to get off school and reenter that world of dreams. I've watched movies like Jacob's Ladder, Possession, and The Master many times each, trying to peel back their layers of mystery. Books like The Ark Sakura by Kobo Abe, Unclay by T.F. Powys, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews have kept my eyes stapled to the page in wonder, dying to know what happens next. As I get older, fewer and fewer things manage to provoke this level of awe in me. So, I'm grateful Pathologic 2 summoned those feelings in me once again.

This isn't a game you can multitask-- there is no podcast that's appropriate to listen to in the background, no movie you can play in another window and commit half your attention to. Pathologic demands your full attention, so you can concentrate on the beautiful poetry of the dialogue (when a character informs you that they've "been to the river, spoken with the Changeling, seen the soldiers in the fog," my mind went to W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, and Dylan Thomas) bathe in the immersive atmosphere, and fully acquaint yourself with the many empathetically-sketched characters. Everyone will walk away from this game with a favorite character. For some it will be Murky, the lovable orphan girl, for some it'll be Daniil Dankovsky, the effete, cosmopolitan physician, for some it'll be gravel-hearted Lara Ravel, the prickly and beautiful childhood companion who dreams of establishing a sanctuary for the sick. But, whoever your favorite ends up being, you'll know it when it happens, even if you never could've predicted that it was going to be them. I like Murky, Lara, Aspity, Oyun, and Aglaya. This game has fantastic writing, in both its dialogue and its plot beats/quests, and the abundance of good words to read will, in the end, make you feel as if you've read some lost masterpiece by Kafka, Dostoevsky, or Bulgakov.

Culturally, this game is steeped in Russian literature and history, and admirers of the aforementioned authors will feel at home in its pessimism, melancholy, surrealism, and wry humor. Visually, it seems to take from the films of Andrei Tarkovsky and Aleksei German, those great Soviet-era film directors who looked at Russia's blasted landscapes and depopulated industrial zones and imagined a science-fictional world of the spirit, a psychic place where man constantly dreams and dreams again of a society better than all the ones we've managed to devise so far. You don't need a familiarity with Russian art and culture to play this game, but if you have a working knowledge of it, you'll be amazed at the way it continues and expands the work of those great artists of the past.

Something that particularly amazed me was the story it told of an indigenous man, Artemy Burakh, half white and half native to the Siberian steppe (or, rather, native to a thinly veiled composite of several indigenous Northeast Asian racial groups-- the Kin are a fictional tribe, but they are very believable, and closely modeled after real groups from Siberia and Mongolia). The white denizens of the Town fight for Artemy's allegiant soul, and the steppe-dwelling Kin do as well. The whites see him as a truant native man, and the Kin sees him as a prodigal son, a man aspiring to whiteness. His speech is peppered with the language of his indigenous heritage, and yet fewer and vanishingly fewer of those he speaks to can understand those words. I have never seen a smarter or more subtle depiction of race and colonialism in a video game.

And, of course, there is the disease pandemic, the "sand plague," as it's called in P2. Astoundingly, P2 was released mere months before the COVID-19 outbreak, and it's eerily prescient of the trials we face now. In P2, uninfected citizens will assure you that the sick aren't worth treating, since they're essentially already dead. This is a horrible reflection of our own world, where the elderly and infirm are used as bartering chips for our economies, where the most vulnerable among us are encouraged to lay their lives on the line to give money to corporations and to grease the wheels of finance. Let the old folks go to the Applebee's, they say-- Applebee's needs the money, and if the old folks die, it was their time.

This game was an independent production and has a few gameplay janks and quirks. Others have noted its poor optimization, and, indeed, its performance was choppy on my computer, stuttering and chugging along basically every time I played. That I stuck with it is a credit to its quality in other areas. Another flaw that I haven't seen others complaining about is its undercooked day/night system, which is a little unsophisticated and can cause storytelling and immersion problems. Many quests become unavailable at midnight, and while the pressure to start and finish quests in a timely manner usually added wonderful layers of suspense, on at least one occasion I would start a quest at 11:30pm, get halfway through it, and then watch helplessly as all the relevant NPCs vanished around me as the clock struck twelve, rendering the quest unfinishable. This is probably the biggest complaint I can file against Pathologic 2, and since it's a complaint that will ultimately encourage me to happily replay the game, I can't call it a major problem.

This is a smart and uncondescending game. It will not hold your hand or tell you how to win. It expects you use your mind and your creativity. If you do, you'll be rewarded. It is deep, immersive, emotional, and will stick with you for a long time.
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saltmarieceleste 2020-07-27T19:41:57Z
2020-07-27T19:41:57Z
5.0
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Just completed a second playthrough and have decided to bump it up to a 5. I don't have it in me to write a big long, thoughtful review, so I'm going to talk about the game in note form.

- My first playthrough (which I played on the intended difficulty, highly recommend bearing with it if you can) was the most stressed out I've ever felt while playing a video game, in the good kind of way where my adrenaline was pumping the whole time. It truly felt like I made it through by the skin of my teeth in a way I've never experienced in a game. Subsequent playthroughs are way less brutal in many ways (you know what to expect and how the game works) but I found that by aiming not to let any of my "bound" die (made it all the way to day 9 before the plague took down any named characters!) that tension level rocketed right back up. Will I eventually try cranking the difficulty sliders up even higher? Time will tell.

- There's a surprising layer of strategic depth. Time and resources are so limited that you'll find yourself carefully considering whether it's worth traveling to the other side of town for a quest, if you should trade an item or hold onto it for later, what the best possible route you can take to complete your tasks for the day is, etc. This is further emphasized in the late game when you will run out of food with very few options as to how you can acquire more, as your hunger meter fills up faster than you were expecting and you have to drop everything you're doing to scrounge for anything you can eat before your health bar runs out.

- The sound design is a huge element of what makes the game special. The music and ambient noises contribute so much to the game's suffocating atmosphere, hearing a mugger's "hey you" voice line is enough to launch me into an immediate frenzy of scrambling for a door to escape into/guard to hide behind. We all walked into the Soul and a Half Fortress on Day 1 and asked ourselves "what the fuck is this game?", right? The biggest scare of the entire thing for me was walking into the Termitary for the first time and just hearing the background audio. Highly recommend playing on headphones.

- As much as the graphics are constrained by the limits of this being a 3D low-budget indie game, I thought the art style was perfect. The town feels like a place that would be lined with drab, identical-looking buildings and they make it hit even harder when you bump into any of the weird stuff. The N64-esque fog enveloping everything in the distance is perfect for the atmosphere. Also, the lighting is absolutely A+.

- Despite the aforementioned graphical limitations, this game is so immersive and has an incredibly distinct sense of place. The Town feels more like a real living, breathing space than anywhere in any Bethesda or Rockstar title, which is helped by the fact you've actually got to learn your way around and can't just rely on following quest markers. When I finished my first playthrough and walked across town for the final time, it actually felt like I was saying goodbye to a tangible location I had just spent however many days of my life in, which is a feeling I don't often get from games.

- As you've surely heard if you haven't already played it, this game is very well-written. I had an easier time actually taking in the dialogue and story the second time through and highly recommend multiple playthroughs for this reason alone. A video I watched on YouTube drew comparisons to Disco Elysium and Fallout New Vegas in the quality of writing and impact of your decisions, it's no wonder that all 3 of these are in the top 25 of all time on this site.

- As for the drawbacks: Bugs and jank are to be expected from an ambitious indie title like this, but the PS4 version of this game is absolutely brutal. I eventually got used to hitting a load screen every time I crossed a border from one section of town into another, but if you can just play it on PC instead I would do that. Also hit a myriad of other very annoying bugs, can't say how many of them were unique to console, but be prepared.

- I appreciate how unwieldy the combat can be and love how it de-incentivizes fighting, but there are some missions later in the game (including one that's basically essential) where you're forced into very difficult combat encounters. This was not the kind of challenge I signed up for and was the one time my deaths felt cheap. Specifically, on my second playthrough I died 10+ times on the Abbatoir section and gave up on the segment in the Termitary where you have to kill the worm people after several deaths, leaving Big Vlad to meet an untimely end. Getting ambushed by worm dudes during the sidequest with Stakh also got me killed a few times, but at least that one has no negative consequences for not doing it. Outside of these three quests I probably had less than 5 total deaths. In conclusion, fuck the parts where it makes you fight multiple worm men.

Pathologic 2 is an experience unlike any other and an incredible display of what the medium of video games is capable of. It won't be for everyone, in fact if you deal with severe anxiety I would maybe recommend not playing it as you might have a really bad time (even if you crank the difficulty sliders all the way down you still have to deal with an ongoing time limit and the fact that characters you've grown attached to, some of who are kids, are going to die). But man, I absolutely love this game, it made me feel things I've never felt from any work of art and I hope as many people get to share in that experience with me as possible.
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forcedopinion 2020-09-29T16:03:51Z
2020-09-29T16:03:51Z
5.0
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the vocabulary to even describe the things this game manages to pull off is yet to be created
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Szkieleton 2022-11-08T18:49:02Z
2022-11-08T18:49:02Z
5.0
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A singular elderich otherworld, full of mysteries and wonders
Much like the original game, Pathologic 2 is a work that I find very difficult to make a fair assessment of. On the one hand, it's unquestionably amongst the most artistically sophisticated and visionary games I've played, and probably amongst the most visionary works I've engaged with in any medium. Almost everything about it is inspired and carefully considered, and, at its best, it completely absorbed me like few works have. Even now, I still find myself pondering its psychological and philosophical questions, and wanting to delve deeper into its singular eldritch otherworld full of mysteries and wonders. All these things make anything less than a glowing recommendation seem unfair.

On the other hand, however, it's also one of the most inaccessible games I've ever played, and, at times, amongst the most infuriating. It took me three separate playthrough attempts in as many years to successfully get through it once. And, judging solely by the Steam achievement statistics, I don't seem to be alone in having had difficulty staying on board. For the most part, this inaccessibility is justified in the context of what the game is trying to be. This isn't really a 'game' in a traditional sense so much as a work of immersive story-telling, influenced pretty explicitly by immersive theatre, and the wilful punishment and inhospitability of the game's survival mechanics are definitely an essential part of the way it evokes the desperation and insanity of living through an epidemic in an era of limited knowledge and resources. The experience wouldn't work without some pain. That being said, there are still quite a few things that feel unfair or poorly explained. The pacing is also frequently glacial, especially in the early game. And, yes, it's also definitely a bit unpolished in places - the wonky English translation is probably the biggest issue in this respect.

So where does this leave me? Honestly, feeling a bit conflicted. This is an example of a 'game' that demands absolute commitment from its audience, and which can't easily be binged. It's arthouse in an uncompromising sense. If you go in expecting a casual or traditionally game-ish experience, you'll end up quitting well before the end. But if you take it slowly and seriously on its own terms, forgive some missteps, and show an openness to altering the intended difficulty settings if the urge to quit gets too much (full disclosure: I had to do so to get to the end), it has the potential to be very rewarding. Despite its challenges, I'd recommend that everyone give it a serious go, especially if you have even the slightest interest in 'video games' as a platform for immersive fiction. There's nothing else like it that I know of, and that alone makes me want to give it a higher score than the sum of its parts would warrant.
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Mysteron5 2023-06-27T20:34:10Z
2023-06-27T20:34:10Z
5.0
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Honestly, this is the best game I have ever played by a pretty decent sized margin. Never before have I been so completely and utterly consumed by a game's world and its mechanics. The best moments from playing this game exist in my memory almost like they were my own memories in the sense that I connected with this game in a way I don't think I have ever connected to any art form. The 2001 Ice Pick Lodge manifesto, if written by any other group of creators, would come off as an overly ambitious list of half baked promises of what their games attempt to be like but amazingly enough they have accomplished everything they have set off to do. Creating a game where the stress of being alive is palpable, a world that is real and hyper real in ways that reflect and distort our own. "The deep game possesses the ability to bring out of the gamer what Aristotle called catharsis, which is the purification of emotion through the evocation of pity and fear. This phenomenon is characterized by a powerfully emotional explosion and a psychological shock, caused by the experience of new truths and touching upon hidden aspects of reality.". Completely devoting and losing myself in Pathologic 2 was something that also helped me cope with my own realities taking care of patients during the covid-19 pandemic as a nurse as well as raising my newborn child. Playing a game where saving others was hard and sometimes impossible helped me cope with that same reality in my own life.
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Fuzzywuzzy_Burrr 2020-10-10T03:43:10Z
2020-10-10T03:43:10Z
5.0
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You did all you could. Only a miracle would help now. Do you want to administer a miracle?
There are some games that, while having some kind of cult status, I found ultimately disappointing. The usual case is the case of a game with great plot or themes, but abysmal gameplay that gets in the way of engaging with the former. Pathologic [Мор. Утопия] is sometimes considered to be an example, with others claiming it's just misunderstood, but at the end of the day it stays a very controversial and hard to judge in an unambiguous way game. Pathologic 2 is nothing like that. It is a meticulously composed symphony where every part works well to deliver the final result.

How it makes the player act - minor spoilers

It is the fifth day of my stay in this town, and the second day since the Sand Pest epidemic started. I do have some supplies stashed away at my place, but it's not nearly enough - some canned food, few bottles of water and a negligible amount of herbs. I could spend the day picking the steppe herbs, so that I can make more immunity-boosting medicine to prevent infection, or so that I can sell them for money, which could buy me some more food - and the threat of starvation is always at the doorstep. The time is ticking, and there is not enough.

Apart from securing the continued existence and functionality of my corporeal vessel, I have a personal investigation of mine to continue - which, for obvious reasons, has moved to the bottom of my priority list ever since the outbreak. I have also been entrusted with the care of a small group of local children. Shrewd and self-reliant they might be, the future of this Town is still helpless against the epidemic without my care. There are other people who, while not being bound to me in any meaningful way, also need my help against the plague - am I willing to sacrifice them so easily? It's easy to attach myself to children, adult-like they might seem, but I'm supposed to be a healer for everyone. One of just three operating in this town, supposed to help everybody - not just the ones I deeply care about. Even the ones I have a grudge with, like that stuck-up mayor or the local blood-sucking factory owner.

My main objective, trumping everything else, is finding a cure for the plague. Only one known so far is the "shmowder" - a mixture of random ground-up pills made by children during the previous outbreak 5 years ago. A scarce, insanely expensive cure, that isn't really supposed to work - and yet it does. While researching my panacea, I can't forget the ones hurting right here and now. Antibiotics, although unable to cure the disease, can sometimes postpone the inevitable just long enough to buy me time to acquire just one more shmowder or brew some panacea - provided I have the ingredients which are extremely limited and far between.

It is the fifth day of my stay in this town, and the second day since the Sand Pest epidemic started. Despite my best prophylactic efforts, two people under my care had become infected. First one is a childhood friend of mine, going under the nickname Bad Grief. A gang leader, but he seems to be a good person deep inside - or at least loyal. The other one is Notkin. Funnily enough, he's a gang leader too - but it's a children gang. Notkin himself is barely tall enough to reach my shoulders. Two infected, and only one shmowder, with no serum in sight yet.

Notkin has been entrusted to my care, and I'm responsible for him. Even if he does not see himself this way, he's still a child. A child placed under my care. He gets the shmowder. Bad Grief, a shadow of himself, a shivering, moaning, rag-covered figure, gets a hefty dose of monomycinium. A succesful treatment significantly lowers the chance of death. This will buy me some time, and hopefully Bad Grief will survive long enough for me to secure a second shmowder.

The following night, just around midnight, Bad Grief succumbed to Sand Plague. Not long after, I made my panacea. I was too late. Bad Grief was replaced by one of his gang members - a man with no soft edge whatsoever. a hardened criminal with a stone-cold heart.


Pathologic 2 is a game that excels at creating a vibrant, engaging atmosphere. It is the only game in my recent memory, with only exception being Disco Elysium, that managed to grasp me like that on every level of being. It got me absolutely hyperfixated, with play time reaching double digits in a matter of two days. I sunk into this game like a dinosaur caught by a tar pit. Why? How did this happen?

Although there are limits to how far I can deconstruct my personal experience with a work of art, with some things being buried into inaccessible realm of subconscious emotional associations and reactions, I can with a degree of certainty distinguish some of the elements that make the game work as well as it does.

The game makes you care. First, because of the permanent punishments that come with death, it makes you care for yourself. Secondly, because of the great writing, because of how much character they have, it makes you care for the NPC`s - and it's not just positive feelings it arouses.. The plot makes you care for the Town, and for the Kin, and for the mystical knowledge that you learn with time spent in this irrational environment

The game makes you not care. During the first day of the plague, enticed by the city authorities fund and still full of optimism, I was eager to ease the suffering of everyone I could, with what little medicine I had. No amount of antibiotics could cure anybody, but I could still give the people some hope. But then, day after day, I found myself surrounded by more and more infected people. lying on the streets, their numbers ever increasing. More and more people in the hospital until there is no place left to house the infected and they must be placed on the staircase outside. The streets depopulate and the more and more desperate conditions force you to triage, and to make tough decisions about how you are going to prioritize with what little resources you have.

How it makes the player think - major spoilers

The game makes you ask questions. Not just the obvious ones that come with the plot like who killed the father of Atremy Burakh? There are many significant themes running in parallel to the story. I will list a few of them to make my point, but do keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive and that the meanings are always a matter of personal interpretation.

It is, first and foremost, an examination of accelerated decomposition of society under an existential threat. While I personally believe that the Sand Pest outbreak has more parallels with Spanish Flu or The Plague, some parallels with the recent COVID-19 outbreak can be drawn. The pushback against the discipline imposed by the authorities, the urban tales and conspiracy theories spreading with the speed of light, the transition from rigorous regime of preservation of health to a tired resignation and indifference, and the other little things I won't list here.

One of the most important concepts in the steppe folk belief system is the idea of The Lines, invisible strings connecting the people into an interwoven web of mutual influence... And not just the people but the places, things and concepts too. A death of a person irrevocably severs not just the line of their life, but whatever Lines connected them with others too. The structure of the all-encompasing web is changed forever. The game made me think a lot about my relationships with other people, about how we connect with each other and how every connection is something radically new on ontological level, how every single person creates something completely different with their every single connection, how what the people are and what they make with other people is never static but ever changing with different relations... And how valuable, how sacred and important the Lines connecting us are - even if sometimes they have to be severed, and woven anew.

There is an exploration of existentialist themes too, but I found that even though Pathologic 2 did the best it could, the gameplay itself worked against the message it tried to convey. The theme of death specifically is approached from two angles.

The death of Self is a theme that, while receiving a lot of lip service, is not impactful. The designers really did the best they could, they tried really hard, and it shows. There are permanent punishments, there is a lot of dialogue concerning the topic, there is a feeling of constant threat. However, when all is said and done, it crashes against the wall of the structure of the medium of videogame itself. Death is always but a nuisance, a mild annoyance, and it can't be any other way in a medium allowing repeated engagements and infinite recurrence of the same. Even save file erasure wouldn't hit home in a world when you can always start a new one. The Death of the Self can only ever be some kind of vague threat or an event on the horizon, but can never be approached as the thing in itself.

The second kind of death is the one that is actually approachable and understandable in any way. There is the death of the Other, which, while being engaged with as a theme (including some immensely memorable moments), is something you quickly become desensitized to. While this is sort of the point in case of the general population, I feel like it is the result of underexploration in case of named NPC's. The dead are not missed in any way and their deaths are not really that impactful, except for locking you out of certain quests, dialogues and solutions - which you probably won't even notice. They sort of just disappear from the game, and all the recognition of the event seems very shallow. This is especially the case for the ending of the game - you simply get a generic copy pasted line of dialogue for each dead NPC - why not an epitaph of sorts? What do their relatives think? Will they be missed in any way? Was anything of value lost?

The game engages with the ideas of utopian thought and the cost of progress. The Kain family are the prime representatives of the game's vision of utopianism providing convoluted schemes meant to improve the human beings with architecture and intricate designs. All the out-of-place buildings in the Town are their doing. The most important one is the Polyhedron, looming over the entire Town like a harbinger of doom, and at the same time the promise of transcendence. It is the tower of children, letting them engage with ideas that elude the grasp of their parents, at the same time tearing them away from the parental embrace. It is a symbol loaded with potential for different readings, among them being an allegory of the generational replacement and the progressive ideals of youth, and how the young bring the change the old sometimes can't even understand. But then it comes clear there is a great human cost to the Polyhedron, and destroying it is crucial to defeating the plague. Are you willing to sacrifice human transcendence, whatever unclear shape it`s going to take, for the preservation as life? Or maybe the promise of Polyhedron is an empty one, and all the sacrifice would be for nothing? This clash is exemplified by the conflict of Haruspex, representing the Town, and the Bachelor wanting to preserve the Polyhedron at any cost.

I really enjoyed the metatextual, fourth-wall breaking motifs exploring the relationship between the player and the Artemy Burakh. Sometimes it's him that he's spoken to, sometimes it's you. This topic is approached many times throughout the game, and can easily be missed or dismissed as a gibberish talk meant to purely build the atmosphere of uncertainty. While the game provides no answers, it provides a lot of questions. Are you Artemy Burakh, are you playing Artemy Burakh, or are you playing the role of Artemy Burakh? While this is not the main topic of the game, it's always there in the background. After all, the game both starts, and ends, in the Theater, not the Town.

Conclusion

Aside from asking questions, the game is also a pretty good story that keeps you interested and engaged while retaining the atmosphere of mystery that makes you move forward, always throwing you enough breadcrumbs to keep you engaged. The music is fine, and it is utilized to a great effect in some pivotal moments - like the intro, showing you the consequences of your potential failure with great impact. One of the most memorable moments of the game, along with the theater Pantomimes.

Pathologic 2 excels in creating memorable moments like these. It trusts you to engage with it, and to take itself seriously, and it delivers you something exceptional in exchange. It immerses you into events and atmosphere of the Town and doesn't let go until the play is over and done. It demands a lot from you. It makes you stressed, it makes you angry, it makes you relieved, it makes you pensive, but most often it makes you regretful. It made me think, it made me feel, it made me hyperfixated.

Give it a try, and see if it vibes with you. Accept the consequences of your mistakes, immerse yourself, take this game seriously. It offers you something special in return.
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Margaritea 2022-11-01T14:58:23Z
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bing_bong_barl Pathologic 2 2024-04-12T16:19:45Z
2024-04-12T16:19:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SamuelHairston Pathologic 2 2024-04-12T14:15:23Z
2024-04-12T14:15:23Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anthinja Pathologic 2 2024-04-11T16:07:14Z
2024-04-11T16:07:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Solanum Pathologic 2 2024-04-11T07:33:45Z
2024-04-11T07:33:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gb7b5 Pathologic 2 2024-04-11T03:29:55Z
2024-04-11T03:29:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thesoyman Pathologic 2 2024-04-08T08:36:05Z
2024-04-08T08:36:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
C1806 Pathologic 2 2024-04-07T16:03:56Z
2024-04-07T16:03:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SergLeDerg Pathologic 2 2024-04-04T00:40:10Z
2024-04-04T00:40:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ffdb58 Pathologic 2 2024-03-31T16:14:57Z
Windows
2024-03-31T16:14:57Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
stillnotasaint Pathologic 2 2024-03-30T14:17:52Z
2024-03-30T14:17:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
horror_snores Pathologic 2 2024-03-30T12:48:40Z
2024-03-30T12:48:40Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jaidenthebear Pathologic 2 2024-03-28T00:37:37Z
2024-03-28T00:37:37Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (102) Loading...
  • around 2023-10-05 16:35:44.897309+00
    Ten greatest video games according to Nikolay Dybowski, the director and lead writer of both Pathologic titles:

    1. Minecraft
    2. Fallout
    3. Thief: The Dark Project
    4. Psychonauts
    5. Journey
    6. Heroes of Might and Magic III
    7. Doki-doki Literature Club
    8. Silent Hill 2
    9. Shadow of the Colossus
    10. Pony Island

    https://www.kinopoisk.ru/media/article/4008488/ (ctrl+f "Ice-pick Lodge")
    reply
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    • ... 2023-10-19 12:38:52.262803+00
      Thief has always seemed like the most direct influence on the aesthetic of the original Pathologic so I'm not surprised that is there. Minecraft I can also see given the company's often quoted "manifesto" about game design and organic storytelling through play, although games like Dwarf Fortress or RimWorld I would've thought would've come instead of MineCraft, I can still see it.

      I'm a bit surprised by games like Silent Hill 2 and Psychonauts, they don't really feel like they fit Ice-Pick Lodge's ideals though, regardless of whether they're great games or not, they feel a bit too scripted and straightforward, linear narratives to really fit, I would've expected more stuff like Planescape Torment or The Outer Wilds to be there.
    • around 2023-10-19 17:48:57.296217+00
      Speaking of Planescape, I've just realized that there was at least one more Pathologic 2 dev in that survey, narrative designer Alexandra Golubeva. Her list:

      1. Planescape: Torment
      2. Disco Elysium
      3. Baldur’s Gate 3
      4. The Witness
      5. Dear Esther
      6. Bloodborne
      7. Papers, Please
      8. SOMA
      9. Antichamber
      10. The Beginner’s Guide

      Way more Glitchwave-friendly! She doesn't work at IPL anymore though.
    • ... 2023-10-20 07:38:54.209597+00
      That top 4 is definitely a lot more like something I’d have expected from IPL. Papers Please as well.
    • KingGhidorah 2024-04-12 16:39:28.341343+00
      Based everyone thinks they’re better than him when he’s been on his shit and clear about it from day one. Evidence of the genuine cultural impact of creepypastas
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  • DimasDarko 2023-11-17 16:40:21.909503+00
    is this actually good? or did people watch the hbomberguy video and are hyping this to no end cause of it? genuinely asking btw
    reply
    • forcedopinion 2023-11-17 21:34:49.343635+00
      It's really good but will not be everyone's thing. The hbomberguy video is about the first Pathologic, which I haven't played but seems even rougher around the edges than this. If you're okay playing a very artsy, janky and difficult indie game I would definitely say to give it a shot.
    • nxchos 2023-11-18 22:24:49.326981+00
      both are really good and i had no idea about the video until after i finished the first one
      it reminds me a lot of majora's mask which is my favorite game and I feel like it does a lot more with the similar concept the soul-and-a-halves even remind me a lot of the bombers secret society except they're drug dealers instead lmao
    • ThrashingFairy 2024-01-13 14:15:01.017607+00
      Hype by hbomberguy.
    • babyclav 2024-01-22 17:52:14.371628+00
      I haven't watched a hbomberguy outside of his awful DS2 and Bloodborne video and I love this game
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • otonhm 2024-01-23 20:42:12.39826+00
    This game makes me so f*cking anxious I started countless playthroughs and couldn't get past day 4. Not because I was starving, or lacking resources, just out of a general fear at how bad things would get. The game really does a good job getting under my skin and making me feel extremely powerless. Hopefully will finish someday (just wished it was better optimized for PS4, it runs like shite).
    reply
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  • possayy 2024-02-26 16:30:08.069689+00
    damn the game really stops pulling punches after day 3 shit got real real quick
    reply
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  • youarefuckingcrazy 2024-03-07 01:50:05.876346+00
    evil disco elysium
    reply
    • Crazystone 2024-03-09 17:07:59.477858+00
      What a dreadful conclusion made you to write this?
    • youarefuckingcrazy 2024-03-15 03:49:56.068665+00
      - they're both extremely dialogue driven, with the dialogue itself being incredibly "literary"
      - pacing of both games is feel incredibly similar with the day-to-day, hour-to-hour system, taking place over the course of a similar period of a little under two weeks
      - narrative progression mostly revolves around linking various different, seemingly disconnected sideplots together from an ensemble of characters and factions, and slowly using your accumulating knowledge to piece together the mystery
      - the settings--both small cities which are rife with economic and social inequality, of which you are an outsider--are aesthetically realistic but technically not of our reality, and they're so vivid and culturally distinct that they become their own character in a certain sense
      - broader motifs of political infighting, economic inequality, protagonists' psychological state, and crime
      - primary themes of each game (at least, in my opinion) revolve around change, both on the individual level and the collective, societal level
    • synden 2024-03-20 10:19:37.602724+00
      agreed with 'youarefuckingcrazy'. Another thing to point out - both clearly heavily influenced by Dostoevsky.
    • Crazystone 2024-03-23 12:55:36.4727+00
      - I couldn't name P2 dialogue driven because you can complete the game barely talking with somebody and dialogues in these game are based on other things - prose in DE and plays in P2
      - Well valid, though P2 lasts for 12 days and DE for 3 or 4 and wouldn't say that in DE this is crucial thing
      - Valid, can't say more
      - Aesthetically realistic with Odonghs as mere boaters, Polyhedron, theatre that predicts events and stairways to heaven? Also in P2 you are not an absolute outsider - you have childhood friends here, people that counting on you and blaming specifically you
      - Don't know, too vague
      - Also think that themes here are similiar, though for me the main focus in these games are about responsibility

      As well DE gameplay could be considered as "cozy" while P2 gameplay is pretty brutal and in DE you always accompany with Kim and his remarks in dialogues are a colossal part of a game while in P2 you always alone (maybe except your laboratory).

      Anyway, at least one more thing in this games are common - importance of collecting a bottles ;)
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • synden 2024-03-13 15:20:10.430353+00
    Ice-pick lodge in general heeded my long time plea of Slavs needing to make games the same way we write novels.
    reply
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  • Circuz 2024-03-14 00:22:27.679605+00
    I understand what the game is going for, but I am having a hard time wanting to continue when I'm softlocked day 8 dying from everything. I wish dying gave you back your health, hunger, etc, so you aren't softlocked.
    reply
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  • RyanTheDrummer1 2024-04-01 03:47:29.309582+00
    I bought both the first and second game on sale, but I didn't realize the second one is kind of a remake of the first one. Is it worth playing both or should I just play the second?
    reply
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