Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Review [Quickie Nr. 003] Konjad and Pathologic

Crooked Bee

(no longer) a wide-wandering bee
Patron
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
15,048
Location
In quarantine
Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Tags: Ice-Pick Lodge; Pathologic; Quickie

We've been waiting for a long time for the prestigious Quickie Nr. 3. Well, here it is. It's Konjad again, and this time he's trying to explain why Pathologic is worth playing. Here's an excerpt:

You will need to eat and use drugs to survive, some to boost your immune system and others to fight the affliction and its effects. However, when you get infected – you’re infected. You can slow down the progress of the sickness, but you’ll only be able to get rid of it very few times in the entire game, and it’s easy to catch the disease. The Sand Plague will make your vision blurry, and after some time you'll need to take painkillers and various antibiotics which slow down the development of the disease, but as a drawback decrease your health. Alternatively, you can drink alcohol, which also helps, but drastically raises your exhaustion, forcing you to sleep often and therefore waste a lot of precious time. To fight off the sedative effects of drugs and alcohol, you can drink coffee, but it has a negative effect on your health, or you can, for example, eat lemons, but they increase your hunger, and so on... This is a great system that requires constant management once you get ill, and when you finally lay your hands on a pill that can kill the microbe in your body, you will be hesitant whether it's actually a good idea to swallow it because you know you will still be in contact with the disease due to the environment.

Prices in stores fluctuate, usually going up, but sometimes going down as well... Thus, you never know if the item you're saving money for is going to cost twice as much tomorrow. Moreover, most of the food rots with time, and sometimes it may be better to save money to buy it at a later point than to purchase everything at once... but then the price might spike up. You never really know. You can also trade with children running around the town, they sometimes happen to have useful things to offer, not to mention that they are the ones you get ammunition from.

Apart from that, there's a karma system. Many actions will increase and others will decrease your karma. Sharing your food, medicine and painkillers with others will make you more popular, but you need to keep in mind that you need these things for yourself as well as for characters crucial to the story. Stealing will make people dislike you, and killing someone (except in self-defense), especially a child, will make them loathe you.

Every day you get various tasks to accomplish, but you’re not alone. Many people will help you as much as they can, often doing the job for you if you fail… but they might pay the ultimate price for their commitment to your cause, and their absence may lead to your doom later on. Every day, the disease spreads and the town attracts attention of the police forces and eventually even the military, who try to do everything they can to stop the spreading of the epidemic. Decay, in both the physical and the metaphysical sense, is the main theme of the game, followed by sacrifice and the idea that everything comes at a price.​

But the important question is: is it an RPG? Please discuss.

Read the full article: [Quickie Nr. 003] Konjad and Pathologic
 

ghostdog

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Messages
11,103
It's sad that the revamped english translation project has been abandoned. :(
 

sea

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
5,698
Next review: Far Cry 3. It has an open world, boobs and you can upgrade stuff! What more could you want in an RPG?
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
I think Pathologic is an outright amazing game. I convinced Buck to list it in GB's RPG database years ago, haha. It's not really an RPG, but it's not really an anything. It's just called an "adventure game" because no other label sticks. But identifying it as a C&C-based game as Konjad does is why I have no problems calling it an RPG.

It was a struggle to play yet so worthwhile. It's just an experience. Hard to explain. Not a game I'd like to review myself, Konjad did a really good job, it's a tough game to write about.

Really wish Ice-Pick could do the "Enhanced Edition" type overhaul, with all-new English translations, that they once talked about.

I also enjoyed the Void tho the controls for spells/attacks were way too finicky for me so I couldn't get far into it. Cargo is just mind-blowing weirdness, but was good fun. I dig Ice-Pick Lodge, they make fascinating games.
 

MuscleSpark

Augur
Patron
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
369
Really wish Ice-Pick could do the "Enhanced Edition" type overhaul, with all-new English translations, that they once talked about.
Indeed, they seem to be having cashflow problems though (either that or they just decided to take advantage of Kickstarter for the heck of it). I got their latest Cargo! - The Quest for Gravity, and enjoyed it, but I can see why nobody else in the world would buy that game, and as far as I know not many people did.
All their games are great, they're just very weird and gritty in an Eastern-European way, which relegates them to niche projects and doesn't allow them to do remakes or add tons of polish. Hopefully their latest title will be a success.
 

Tolknaz

Augur
Patron
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
479
Location
Estonia
Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
Honestly, i didn't expect something nearly as good after the konjob, that was your DA2 review. I say this reluctantly, but you, sir are on your way to become a gentleman and a scholar someday.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
14,416
Pathologic is really an amazing, amazingly weird game. In the end the whole thing is basically you as the traveling salesman vs. dozens of fetch quests.

Yet it's done in such a way as to present the best... it's really it's own kind of genre. Not a horror mystery, I would call it a dread mystery. That's the best way I can describe it. Horror comes and goes in seconds. The Dread in Pathologic is a sinister element that you will feel minute by minute.

I'm also a fan of the "whole game set in a city that you can see change over time" type of game. How fortuitous that this review should come after the DA2 one :smug:. Done right I think it's one of the best concepts to build a game around, and Pathologic does it right.
 

Darth Roxor

Royal Dongsmith
Staff Member
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1,878,606
Location
Djibouti
So now that I've done a revamped english edition of konjob's article, maybe I should contact Ice-Pick Lodge to do one for them :troll:
 

dnf

Pedophile
Dumbfuck Shitposter
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
5,885
Goddamnit i would really like to see a review of the other characters. Too bad its too easy to be burned out by the time you finish with one character... by the way, who did quickie number 2?

Edit: hey Konjad can you really kill children in this game? pics or i didn't happen

Edit2: Also killing bandits do increase karma, if this is the self-defense you are talking about! If you are with low karma and citizens starts to attack you, then no dice, your karma is going down the shit...

Edit3:"mouths don’t move when NPCs are speaking" -false, moving on...
 

Konjad

Patron
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
4,307
Location
Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Edit3:"mouths don’t move when NPCs are speaking" -false, moving on...
Oops, Ihave no idea why I wrote this :eek: It was Tension The Void where NPCs did not move their mouths, they did in Pathologic. My mistake :oops:

Edit2: Also killing bandits do increase karma, if this is the self-defense you are talking about! If you are with low karma and citizens starts to attack you, then no dice, your karma is going down the shit...
Well, bandits attack you first than you have chance to attack them, and unless you are one of these "abuse quick-save quick-load" scums, you'll be running away or avoiding them, because otherwise they have high chances of kicking your ass.

Edit: hey Konjad can you really kill children in this game? pics or i didn't happen
Yes, I don't have it installed atm, but you can try it... just shoot one in the head... :oops:
 

dnf

Pedophile
Dumbfuck Shitposter
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
5,885
Edit3:"mouths don’t move when NPCs are speaking" -false, moving on...
Oops, Ihave no idea why I wrote this :eek: It was Tension The Void where NPCs did not move their mouths, they did in Pathologic. My mistake :oops:

Edit2: Also killing bandits do increase karma, if this is the self-defense you are talking about! If you are with low karma and citizens starts to attack you, then no dice, your karma is going down the shit...
Well, bandits attack you first than you have chance to attack them, and unless you are one of these "abuse quick-save quick-load" scums, you'll be running away or avoiding them, because otherwise they have high chances of kicking your ass.

Edit: hey Konjad can you really kill children in this game? pics or i didn't happen
Yes, I don't have it installed atm, but you can try it... just shoot one in the head... :oops:
Well im my playthrough i remember trying to kill one children with the dog head and failing. There is the issue with the version though so i dont know, should have tried more. Also, killing bandits was not that hard, its too easy to sneak and they attack other citizens, making the killing more easier...
Also:

Pathologic029.jpg


Scary stuff. If you played the game you will know what im talking about... And no, its not a penisaurus...
 

Linden

Arcane
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
3,430
Location
dislocated
I want to play this game, but I somehow doubt I would get it to work/understand anything. Good review anyway.
 

dnf

Pedophile
Dumbfuck Shitposter
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
5,885
Konjad did you finish it 7 times? If not, then the review is invalid.
The bare minimum for a in depht review of this game would be to finish it 3 times(with each character). Can't fault Konjad though, its a humongous task...
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
14,416
Should have absolutely no troubles getting it working. It's not THAT old of a game, only 2005.

Translation, though poor, is... decipherable, if not understandable at times. And dialog is one of the few times in the game you will have a chance to sit and think, without the ever present ticking clock taking the town closer and closer to death.

Goddamnit i would really like to see a review of the other characters. Too bad its too easy to be burned out by the time you finish with one character.

Well, the Bachelor starts off as a well to do and respected scholar roomed in the home of a lovely lady, enjoying cordial relations with all the major characters, and embarking on research for his field of study. Haruspex starts off with no money, no weapon, at ~25% health, ~15% reputation, tired and hungry. Most people will hate you or attack you on sight, and you don't even understand the game mechanics yet. Or as the Executor says when you first talk to him "Your reputation equals zero. You will have to face unpleasant consequences". Yeah, that's a nice way to start the game. No wonder most pick the Bachelor.
 

dnf

Pedophile
Dumbfuck Shitposter
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
5,885
I know, and i find it a interesting concept. Its like the bachelor is the easy, haruspex is medium and devotress is hard. There is a significant gameplay changes between the characters too.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
14,416
I'd consider Devotress easy actually. Killing Bandits/Marauders/Muggers is an excellent way to get items and reputation (which can be "spent" killing civilians for more items and/or looting). The only draw being that taking damage in melee is absolutely brutal and quickly wipes out your gains if you get hit even once after several perfect fights. But the Devotress's magic can easily kill melee enemies with no chance of retaliation. The downside of being the Devotress, your reputation continually falling, is easily countered by the fact that you completely subvert the resource management in combat and earn your reputation back in spades by participating in combat.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
14,416
Edit: hey Konjad can you really kill children in this game? pics or i didn't happen

Nope. But not for lack of Ice Pick trying:

http://tom-jubert.blogspot.com/2011/02/voyage-to-ice-pick-lodge-bombs.html said:
7pm - We talk about the tribulations of getting good stuff into commercial games. This covers my claim that a lot of my job involves sneaking good writing into games while convincing the publisher it's just about blowing shit up, and Nikolay's efforts to allow children to die in Pathologic by officially considering them midgets. The guys seem genuinely surprised and pleased to hear that there are games writers who care about art.

Children die just fine for plot-related reasons, of course.
 

Konjad

Patron
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
4,307
Location
Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I could swear it's possible to kill children in Pathologic :? I am nearly sure I killed one, just to check out if I can... Damn, maybe I'll reinstall game just to check it out.
 

crafthack

Educated
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
43
I remember trying to play this game a while ago, and I found it literally too weird and out of my comfort zone to even continue, a game has never done that before to me
 

Castanova

Prophet
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
2,949
Location
The White Visitation
One of my favorite games ever which is odd because I usually dislike storyfag games. Maybe I don't dislike storyfag games per se but in fact dislike BAD storyfag games, which would seem to cover 99.99% of them.

Anyway, on day 9 or so of my first playthrough, time simply stopped in the game. I had to use the cheat console to manually advance the game time to finish it. lol. Never managed to solve that problem.
 

Murk

Arcane
Joined
Jan 17, 2008
Messages
13,459
Good stuff here. Props to writer and editor. Also, I strongly suggest trying the game to anyone/everyone. The void as well -- if you find the difficulty overwhelming you may want to try some of the patches available (for The Void) that make it a bit easier/moderate.

Truly innovative games that just really, really mess with you.
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom