Pentiment reviewed by Leana Hafer on PC. Also available on Xbox.
“As an engrossing 15 to 20-hour adventure game, a chronicle of a small town and its people in turbulent times, a reverent celebration of the finer details of Late Medieval history, and a clever detective story in which straight answers are hard to come by – Pentiment is a clear champion. My gripes about it are all relatively minor, and I look forward to playing it at least once or twice more to explore roads not taken. It never suffers for its simplicity, lacking in combat or traditional puzzles, because of how effectively it tangled me up in the complexities of its gorgeously-realized world and made me want to learn all I could about its people and its past. There isn’t much more to say about Pentiment, other than I can hardly recommend it highly enough.”
Foreign [Applause] Age since I felt so captivated by such a Simple Adventure game as pentiments Arousing steadily paced detective Thriller said in the late medieval Bavarian Countryside the storybook art Style inspired by colorful manuscripts Of the era is downright enthralling While the gameplay basically consists of Looking around for Clues questioning Townsfolk and trying to draw your own Conclusions about the evidence you find That minimalist approach Works Excellently for the rich and complex Story sentiment tells [Music] Foreign [Music] ER initially an idealistic aspiring Artist who comes to the picturesque Rustic town of tassing to further his Career in the nearby Abby's scriptorium He quickly becomes embroiled in a Macabre conspiracy that delves into the Town's shrouded past enticing you to Uncover Secrets many would rather keep Buried you get to define a lot of Elements of Andreas backstory such as Where and what he studied which I really Enjoyed and adds an element of Replayability Having a University degree in theology Helped a lot when pesky monks and nuns
Tried to quote the Bible at me to get Their way and I was able to do so right Back [Music] Well my background choices didn't open Up New Paths quite as much as I would Have liked with their impact on a Conversation most often boiling down to Some different options for flavor text Thankfully there aren't a bunch of Unintuitive puzzles in the traditional Adventure game sense where you have to Find bits and Bobs out in the world and Combine them to make a key or something So the challenge of each Mystery is Talking to the right people convincing Them to tell you what they know checking Their story against others you've heard And perhaps most importantly using your Time wisely When you commit to pursuing a particular Lead time will advance You're never given enough time to pursue Them all This added some welcome tension and Forced me to make a lot of interesting Decisions I look forward to going back And finding out what I missed on future Playthroughs Foreign Of tassing and its surroundings are Brought to life with a cohesive Beautiful somewhat minimalist art style That takes inspiration from the very
Same period accurate illustrations Andreas himself is working on Sprawling Fields magnificent churches And even secret Crypts radiate color Life and personality even the text boxes Feature a variety of beautiful scripts That Vary based on a person's social Class with flowing handwriting for Peasants and sanctimonious black letter Script for members of the church the Sound design is excellent as well the Ambience of the Village Square [Music] Or the relative quiet of a monastery During prayer is subtle but highly Effective at conveying a sense of place [Music] And I'm not normally one for the whole ASMR thing but there's something about That noise of a pen scratching across Vellum when characters are talking that Gives me goosebumps I feel like I could listen to it all day The soundtrack likewise transported me To the Middle Ages with its traditional Melodies and period accurate instruments The whole production really feels like a Love letter from some serious medieval History fans to all the like-minded Players like myself debating the Writings of early feminist Christine De Piezon discovering a certain character's Entanglements with the fugger bank or Even having a what would Socrates do
Option in certain dialogues might be Lost on some but they made me grin with Joy far from a pop culture caricature It's very clear that developer Obsidian Entertainment did a lot of research into The daily lives Theology and sociology Of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1500s I practically gasped when I realized the Folk tale told by some of the town's Folk was a bastardization of a battle That took place near here during the Roman Imperial era Every step of the way I felt like I was Geeking out about one of my special Interests alongside the writers and Artists [Music] The dialogue and character writing are Exceptional and effective as well Andreas himself is a complex character Who changes significantly across the Snapshots of his life we get to join him On Pentiment's world is one of Heartbreaking personal tragedy complex Moral dilemmas harrowing secrets and the Search for a purpose with a huge cast of Memorable characters who evolve Alongside the town partly based on the Decisions you get to make And none of those decisions are easy I Never hit a point where I knew exactly What had happened who was to blame and That they definitely deserved to be
Punished by the proper authorities Often the best you can do is decide on What course of action is the least of Several evils I also really enjoyed how Snappy and Fast-paced the dialogue is it's very Easy for this type of game to be verbose And overwhelming you only need to look To obsidian's own pillars of Eternity Games for an example of how dumping way Too much text on players at once can Throw a wet blanket on a swashbuckling Adventure Pentamid wisely gets away from that Tendency with flavorful back and forths In which each character only speaks a Sentence or two at a time Journal entries about important people And World concepts are also tactfully Brief you're never expected to spend Several minutes reading to understand What's going on [Music] As an engrossing 15 to 20 hour Adventure Game a Chronicle of a small town and its People in turbulent times a reverent Celebration of the finer details of late Medieval history and a clever detective Story in which straight answers are hard To come by pentiment is a clear Champion My gripes about it are all relatively Minor and I look forward to playing it At least once or twice more to explore Roads not taken it never suffers for its
Simplicity lacking in combat or Traditional puzzles because of how Effectively it tangled me up in all the Complexities of its gorgeously realized World and made me want to learn all I Could about its people and its past There isn't much more to say about Pentiments other than that I can hardly Recommend it highly enough For more check out our reviews of return To Monkey Island and Victoria 3. and for Everything else keep it right here on IGN [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] Foreign [Music] [Applause]