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Pathologic (Windows)

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Developed by
Released
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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.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19792)
Written on  :  Jul 11, 2007
Rating  :  1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars

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Summary

If there are reasons why adventure games are dying, then Pathologic is one of those reasons...

The Good

It took me awhile to figure out that this "is" an adventure game. Well, I usually don't come across adventure games (as the main genre) where you can "fight" in 1st-person perspective. Especially since for the first couple of minutes, I realized that I had a scalpel and was slashing the living daylights out of my starting room. I must say this must be the first game that uses a scalpel as a weapon...

The good part....er, I must have missed it. Shall we move along?

(Yes, though I must admit, the music is darn bloody good. But that's it I swear!).

-----

Hmm, just checked my review. The "good part" seems to a little short. Might as well tell about the game here...or else I'll get threatening e-mails again from pissed fanboys/girls (threatening e-mails about games? Have you people no life whatsoever?). Er...never mind.

So, in Pathologic you play the role of either a [1] Bachelor of Medicine [2] Haruspex suddenly injured and covered in blood [3] Imposter which is only accessible when you finish the game (of which I have no intention of doing).

Each of the characters appears to have a different storyline. The Bachelor is obviously the easy one. The Haruspex is in a bit of a fix, being injured, low reputation and all. Might be interesting to actually play the Haruspex, since the Bachelor can be a tad if not more...boring.

Anyways, the game is in 1st-person perspective. You can also fight similar to first-person perspective shooter games. You have access to melee weapons (scalpel, knives, etc.) and ranged weapons (guns, rifles, etc.).

The game time frame uses a "day-by-day" method. Similar to Gabriel Knight 1. Each day you can finish as many possible missions you can find. Not quite sure why you should finish them all in the first place, but if you want, you can. Sometimes you get money, sometimes you get nothing but an unimportant sub-quest plot. More than often, you're not quite sure why you bother running from end-map to end-map. Plus there's a catch. Missions unfinished each day cannot be continued the following day. Kinda irritating.

The game also has a "reputation" setting. A high reputation means that you are in good standing with the people thus may trade or buy/sell items from shopkeepers. This reputation thingy is a bit of a problem in the early stages of the game, since its easy to lower the reputation (kill 'em all), but hard to raise it (via killing thugs - only at night, or healing plague victims - when the plague starts). I stumbled into a bit of a problem where I had to buy goods but my reputation was below my belt. Also forgot to save, so that kinda screwed up my day.

Oh, did I mention the game doesn't have "autosave?". It has 2 quick-save features (which is brilliant, I might add), but no autosave features.

The Bad

Hey, people have different tastes. And from where I'm coming from right now, Pathologic is unfortunately "tasteless" for me. Why? Let me see...

Graphics
Hmm, I liked the intro-cutscene, regardless that it seemed like something from a PlayStation game in mid-90's. The overall color is somewhat disturbing to me, though I must say that it does fit the overall atmosphere of a virus-infected town. But I must complain that all this brownish color with a tad of "Silent Hill" isn't very becoming.

Have you ever heard of the concept "recycled graphics?", neither have I since I just made it up. Well, if there is such a term than the graphics in this game should obviously be categorized as "recycled graphics". What year was this game released? Oh, 2005. That's pretty recent for a game with PlayStation 1 graphics.

Dialogs
Ever seen those cheap movies that have to do with dreams or similar venues, where the script-writer tries to sound intelligent, but the only thing you can think about the movie is "what the !#@! are you talking about?

This game is the exact adaptation of those cheap movies. I don't know what the original dialog was in what language, but the English version...ayayayaya. Shakespeare meets Einstein, after they get hit by a truck. It actually took me a while to notice that they were actually talking in English, since I've never heard so much bullsheeeeeit coming out of person's mouth since I met a couple of idiots trying to sound like philosophers.

The Bottom Line

Well, that's about it. There isn't much to say about the game. The game does get pretty tiring after several (in-game) days later, when you realize that the basic game play is finishing missions comprised of walking here-to-there. It does get a tad irritating when the plague becomes real. But for me, the game became boring real fast: the dialogs, the atmosphere, the lot-of-walking-around.

As an adventure game, the essence is the story. Especially when what we're playing is a mystery-type adventure game. And what is a good mystery-type adventure? A mystery! That's what. The game didn't have any mystery in the story. How to cure a plague isn't a mystery! This unfortunately is the main plot of the game (instead of maybe, how it got here in the first place, and that someone aka Mr. X. has a possible cure?).

Nope. We don't have a mystery because our heroes (and heroine) have this stuffed idea that they are the chosen one and will fight and cure death themselves. Doh.

In the end, I've read Donald Duck comics that had more mystery and were more addictive than this game. Boring and lame are the two words that summarize this game for me. Yawn.