A Medieval Murder Mystery Is Painted on History’s Canvas in ‘Pentiment’

Throughout the early chapters of Pentiment, I was struck by how utterly charming and lighthearted the game felt despite centering on a grisly murder in a Bavarian monastery with the coming Wars of the Reformation looming the background. It’s a game that is long on charm and warmth: its signature element is the fact that the whole game is presented in an art style reminiscent of illustrations and marginalia in illuminated manuscripts, and when characters speak they do so in the stylized text associated with various forms of antique publications. Monks speak in ornate Gothic script, the town printer speaks in an old-fashioned typeface. You can pet every animal in town. It feels, in other words, like you are about to go on an historical romp, and the review I was outlining in my head was going to be about that effervescent whimsy.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/n7z53g/pentiment-review
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I had no idea this game was a thing until yesterday. Very excited to play it, after the disappointment I got from Outer Worlds (the other Outer (not space but in space) game was better, not sorry), I’m very excited.

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Really not sure how I didn’t hear about this either. Obsidian and the Middle Ages is exactly the drink I ordered. Great review as well. I appreciate that the writing is appearing to meet expectations. I absolutely love that the dialogue and sounds produced by them were described because those are the things I love. Heaven’s Vault, for example, lacked any dialogue-generated sound and it was surprising how much of an issue it became for me.

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Might be hard for a game to ever be more My Thing than ‘open-ended murder mystery set in the late medieval period, from the director/lead designer of Fallout: New Vegas’. And now that it’s getting good reviews here and on a few other sites I tend to trust, I am really glad I set aside the money for this one when it was announced, loathe though I am to break my sixteen month streak of not giving AAA publishers any money.

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Been playing just a tad, but I love the ambience in this so far. The different script styles and the sound of quill scratching parchment, the lone voice of a monk practicing his singing, and the funky little critters running around. All characters are looking pretty distinct too (bless the 2D artwork), which makes this sprawling cast easy to recall.

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Started on Act 3 tonight. This game has a real knack for making you care about people. No wonder, you do spend a lot of time with many people in the Tassing and Kiersau – discussing events over shared food or just making idle chatter. That all adds up and is enhanced when the time skips come and you meet these people years later, or see that they have passed on.

I’m having a lovely time with the game.

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