PC Game Pass Exploration: Pentiment

Posted on January 18, 2023 by Aywren

This year, one of my goals is to try to make the most of my Game Pass subscription. I’m doing that by setting aside a little time every week to focus on trying a new Game Pass game or playing one I’ve already started. So far, I’ve tried out two new games this year – Beacon Pines and Pentiment.

I decided just this week that I wanted to blog about my explorations when it comes to trying out a new game. Since there are so many on the service, and they come and go seemingly at whim, it might help folks find something new and interesting that may have been overlooked.

I’ll have to go back to Beacon Pines soon – maybe later this week – but I want to write about the newest game I tried since it’s still fresh in my mind.

What is Pentiment?

The official wiki page summarizes it as:

Pentiment is a narrative adventure role-playing video game set in Bavaria in the 16th century. The player, as the journeyman artist Andreas Maler, investigates the murder of a prominent person for which his friend has been accused. The story spans 25 years. The player is meant to accuse an individual based on either who they think did it or who most deserves punishment. Concurrent with the main murder plot are other crimes and conspiracies.

This was developed by Obsidian Entertainment – folks who brought you games such as  Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and Pillars of Eternity.

I’ve only played a few hours into the game, which is slow to get off the ground and has a LOT of reading, so I haven’t seen the murder mystery part of the story just yet – I figure it’s building up to it. While they call it an adventure role playing game, I’d more liken it to a point-and-click visual novel thus far.

The artwork is just brilliant, imitating the illuminations of medieval books and illustrations.

It is also heavily steeped in history and doesn’t shy away from references of historical figures, literature, faith, church and the beliefs of that time. For those who need to brush up on their history, the game provides all sorts of in-line links in the dialogue that you can click to get more information about who is who and what is what.

If you’re big into the history of this time, you’ll likely feel right at home. For those like me who haven’t cracked a history book since college, I find these little cliff notes helpful and fascinating.

The game touts that some of the choices you make will carry on with your character for the rest of the game. I know we all hear “choices matter” from games now days, so I’m looking forward to getting deeper with this one and seeing how true it is.

Somewhat soon after you start the game, you get to choose things about Andreas’ past – where he studied, what he studied – that sort of thing. You often get several choices of dialogue to select from during interactions with other characters. When you do make a meaningful choice, you’re told in a very Tell-Tale way that “This will be remembered”.

I’m not sure if that means the character he’s talking to will remember it or if the game flow will change because of it. I need to play further to see, I suppose!

So far, I’ve enjoyed it and will work on progressing through the game a bit at a time. How Long to Beat says the game is about 19-20 hours long, so it’ll be a sizeable adventure!

 

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