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Pathologic (Windows)

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58
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

A Russian town, isolated for years from the surrounding influences of technology, finds itself subject to a terrible plague. The player controls one of three potential saviors, a government agent sent to the village (The Bachelor), an undertaker's son who has come to take over the business from his father (The Haruspex), and a young woman with mystical healing powers (The Devotress); the latter can only be played after having completed the game using one of the other characters. The three scenarios feature completely different missions, though their storylines are connected to each other.

Pathologic is a hybrid game that incorporates elements of role-playing and first-person shooter genres. The game world is viewed from a first-person perspective at all times. Much of the gameplay is dedicated to the exploration of the large town and conversations with its eccentric inhabitants, who will give the protagonist missions. Taking a cue from RPG quest design, some of these missions are entirely optional, while others serve the main storyline and trigger other quests.

The RPG angle is further emphasized by various statistics the player should pay attention to. The protagonists get hungry and tired, so acquiring food and resting from time to time is essential. The protagonists can also become infected by the mysterious disease, which is demonstrated by a corresponding status bar; medications of various kinds must be applied to lessen or cure the infection. The game has a precise internal clock, and its characters might change their locations regardless of the player's input, which makes some of the quests time-based. Completing the main quests, however, is only one of the requirements for reaching the best ending; the game's time will advance and events will occur even if the player character sleeps through the whole game (provided he/she has enough food for that time). The town must be saved in 12 days (game time); failure to do so will trigger one of the "bad" endings". The player is able to make moral decisions concerning saving characters or following one of the several leading groups in the game.

Combat in the game is action-based, following the FPS format. However, to emphasize the survival angle, all the three protagonists are rather clumsy and not particularly efficient in combat, and ammunition is scarce. Knives and other melee weapons can be used, as well as various guns. Weapons and clothes will become damaged and deteriorate; however, certain types of characters in the game will be able to fix them. Obligatory combat is rare in the game, though the player can kill any of the town's inhabitants, break into their houses, or fight criminals at night.

Economy and trading systems occupy an important portion of the gameplay. Prices in the shops will rise or fall depending on the current situation in the town. It is possible to sell any items the player finds in the game; however, another option is to trade them with the characters that roam the town. Depending on the character type, various trade possibilities are available, such as for example trading beads or needles that can be sometimes found in trash bins for valuable ammunition.

Screenshots

Pathologic Windows Game start: Playing as the "Bachelor"
Pathologic Windows The railway
Pathologic Windows You can enter evacuated houses and steal any items you find there. Of course, others have the same idea. This is the result of my encounter with a marauder...
Pathologic Windows Your character automatically makes notes on the map s/he is carrying.

Alternate Titles

  • "瘟疫" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Мор: Утопия" -- Russian spelling
  • "Wen Yi" -- Chinese title
  • "Mor: Utopia" -- Russian title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Don't get scared if you see the Executor in front of your house אולג 小奥 (168663) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
A unique game, the first of its kind, with all the good and bad points that can bring. hydra9 (3853) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
If there are reasons why adventure games are dying, then Pathologic is one of those reasons... Indra is here (19699) 1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars

The Press Says

Gameinator (Gameru.net) Jun 24, 2005 9 out of 10 90
GamesWEB Jun 15, 2007 80 out of 100 80
Adventure Corner Jun 08, 2006 67 out of 100 67
Looki May 25, 2006 67 out of 100 67
Gamona Mar 11, 2006 66 out of 100 66
PC Zone Feb, 2007 64 out of 100 64
Eurogamer.net (UK) Aug 30, 2006 6 out of 10 60
Spieleflut.de Aug 15, 2006 59 out of 100 59
PC Gamer UK Dec 21, 2006 52 out of 100 52
PC Games (Germany) May 01, 2006 31 out of 100 31

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Pathologic Translation Project back online 2 אולג 小奥 (168663)
Feb 14, 2010
Can I finish it?.. 5 אולג 小奥 (168663)
Feb 02, 2009
Random crashes 6 hydra9 (3853)
Sep 06, 2008
This is... interesting 10 Indra is here (19699)
Jun 09, 2007

Trivia

A couple of things remain untranslated in the English version of Pathologic. Many thanks to Alessa, on the game's official forum, who translated them for me:

1. In the graveyard, just behind Laska's place, there is a prominent gravestone with an inscription in Russian. It reads:
"Here Farhad lies,
the most stubborn one of the architects.
We built this tombstone on the perfect foundation.
From inconsolable guild brothers,
P. & A. Stamatin."


2. If you fail to achieve your objective by the end of the first day, you will see a 'death' video with Russian voiceover. The voice is saying:
"We placed our hopes on him, but he failed to get ready for the meeting. The Hair Eater, the Bone Spirit, Shabnak stole up to him, touched him and turned his blood into poisoned tar. Having eaten the body, it got into the heart of the steppe, reached the interior waters, and the plague swallowed these lands up."

Related Web Sites

Wurg Iamnotjim (71) added Pathologic (Windows) on Aug 24, 2006