Episode 523 - The Year of the Narrative Banger Continues with 'Pentiment'

One podcast, extra large, coming right up! It’s Pentiment release week and we’ve got a hankering for some 16th century murder mysteries! First up Rob talks to Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer and Adam Brennecke about working at Obsidian, dealing with crunch, and of course Pentiment. Then Rob and Ren go deep on their experience with the game so far, and just how deep they’ve been hooked. Patrick and Cado join in for a dip in the Question Bucket that has us imagining a different world, one where maybe open world design didn’t follow its current trajectory. Finally, Patrick and Rob couldn’t wait until next week, so enjoy a mini-Sports! Update as the Bears are, maybe, possibly, actually back.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://shows.acast.com/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episodes/episode-523-the-year-of-the-narrative-banger-continues-with-
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Should I hold off on listening to this episode until I’ve played through Pentiment?

Naw, they specifically frame their conversation around spoilers. They do mention a possibility of a pentiment spoilercast. Makes me excited cause i feel like there hasnt been as many spoilercasts this year (might be because of the focus on 101 and my turn).


I found the question bucket prompt of “what game would you erase?” compelling. My answer? Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Let the old ones from the World War 2 era continue to exist, there were a million WW2 shooters in the early 2000s, but I think if Modern Warfare never existed it would have a wide-ranging impact - the most immediate being that Activision-Blizzard (then still Activision) wouldn’t become a company ultimately structured entirely around Call of Duty releases, subsuming whole studies into that content mill. Would Activision and Blizzard still merge a year later, or did the massive success of the original Modern Warfare help pave the way for that? I don’t know. But World at War, the game after Modern Warfare, only got a tepid reception because folks were already tired of WW2 shooters and I don’t think the franchise would have gone on to dominate the way it has if it hadn’t gone modern.

Culturally you can see some direct effects (Medal of Honor similarly went modern as the shooter industry became obsessed with “Tier 1 Operators”) that probably wouldn’t occur without Modern Warfare, but I think you could also speculate on the whole ‘tacticool’ aesthetic and whether it would gain as much ground if Call of Duty wasn’t popularising it (worth remembering of course that this is also during ~20 years of actual war vis-a-vis the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the War on Terror and wider propaganda to legitimise that in the public eye, so all that aesthetic stuff could still find plenty of inroads without CoD). And that’s without getting into whether you find the games themselves propagandistic - I don’t think I buy that they are deliberate propaganda but they absolutely function as such whether intentionally or not, rewriting American military history in popular culture.

Anyway, time to play some Warzone 2.0.


I’m very surprised Ren went with Dota2 and not League considering the decades of drama and trauma Rio has caused.