Ah, Pathologic: one of the few games where “hopelessly bleak” is something I actually want.
This latest update about Pathologic‘s Kickstarted remake offers some absurdly bleak screens, horribly dark art, and some horrendously… actually, no; the discussion about the Kickstarter itself is largely upbeat and hopeful. I mean, they’re largely describing the original game as a “flawed masterpiece” – which fits pretty well – but creative lead Nikolay Dybowsky doesn’t overly sing the original games praises. “It was clunky, it looked outdated even in 2005 and the English translation was horrific,” he said. All of which is true, but none of which stopped Pathologic from being something a bit special.
Pathologic puts you in the shoes of one of three characters investigating a terrible plague that has struck a mysterious little town. It’s termed a “survival RPG”, but you could probably get away with calling it “survival horror” as long as you put the emphasis on “survival” and realise that the horror comes from the situations and the pervading sense of helplessness, rather than big monsters running at you. Just finding the means to stay alive is difficult enough; actually succeeding in your quest to find the origins of the plague and cure it is going to be much, much harder.
Pathologic also has an eerie theatrical bent, considering the town a stage and the characters actors or extras, all of which has an impact on the game’s themes and the way it unfolds.
The game is currently sitting on $235k of its $250k goal, and has 12 days to go. This has cheered developer Ice-Pick Lodge up no end. “We were originally reluctant to set the target at $250,000 feeling that perhaps that was a bit too ambitious, but we soon realised that anything less than that would mean we would have to compromise our vision which we did not want to do,” commented Dybowsky. “The immediate feedback of the fans was unbelievably positive and justified our decision, which is why with almost two weeks left of the Kickstarter campaign we are on the verge of hitting that incredible milestone.”
Have a look at the screens and artwork below, and head on over to the Kickstarter page to read a bit more about Pathologic itself.