Tobold's Blog
Thursday, March 23, 2023

I just finished playing through Pentiment. Wait, that is the wrong verb. I just finished reading through Pentiment. It was an interesting and enjoyable experience, but gameplay didn't really figure into it. Which was an interesting contrast to my previous game, Phantom Brigade, which is strong on the basic gameplay loop and weak on story, campaign, and progress structure.

Obsidian stated that Pentiment wouldn't have been possible without the Xbox Game Pass for PC. I agree. I don't think I would have played it, if I didn't have that game pass subscription, which made it basically free. Pentiment is $20 on Steam, and I would hesitate to recommend it at that price. I am sure that some people will enjoy it. I did, but it certainly isn't for everybody. For a service like game pass, it is good to have games like this, that a diametrically opposite to those never-ending live service games.

While Pentiment at first looks like a point and click adventure, it is more a purely narrative game. There aren't any puzzles to solve except for the occasional easy mini-game. There are murder mysteries in which it doesn't matter whether you find the culprit, because the one you point your finger at is it. And so you just click yourself through the various locations and dialogues, until 15 hours later the game ends.

For anybody who enjoys history, Pentiment is great fun. The use of books and fonts (instead of voice acting) to tell the story is extremely well done. Live in 16th century Bavaria is presented in a believable way. This is the one time where I played a game from an American developer in German, which except for the translation of old bailey was very well done.

If you have a game pass subscription, Pentiment is certainly worth looking into. For users of Steam I would only recommend it to history buffs like me.

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