Pentiment does what it does with a magnificent blend of dialogue, characters, and narrative. The winding path you'll take has plenty of off ramps, and while all roads lead to Rome, the journey there feels unique to you. It's so fascinating getting to your specific ending, you'll probably even play it again to see what other decisions look like. Pentiment might not be for everyone, but for the genre, it's a magnificent and compelling work of art.
It's a magnificent thing, and this story will be lingering in my thoughts for quite some time. Pentiment takes Obsidian's expertise in branching narratives, role-playing, and building evocative worlds, then packages it all up in an exciting and unique way. I was devastated when it was over, and I'm still not over that ending. But now I'm looking forward to playing it all over again, this time with another Andreas. Maybe one who speaks Latin, studied law, and spent his wandering years in Switzerland. There are some bad choices and disastrous consequences I'd like to avoid this time too. That's the beauty of being an artist: you can always scrape the parchment clean and start again.
Pentiment's gameplay — or lack thereof — may deter some would-be players, but those who become invested in its lovingly crafted world set in distant past, emotional and human narrative, and gripping murder conspiracy are guaranteed to fall in love.
An evocative recreation of 16th-century Bavaria examines how the tide of history crashes against the lives of everyday people, all framed by an intriguing crime story
We were largely enthralled during our dozen or so hours with Pentiment. The mystery at the heart of the narrative remains compelling throughout, but it was the smaller moments that warmed our hearts; breaking bread with friends, sharing in their joy and heartbreak, watching lives play out, and generations pass, in a world on the cusp of dramatic change.
Mostly, however, we have praise to pour over Pentiment. The game is the stylistically most beautiful adventure of the year, while also feeling both intelligent and passionately built. It's undeniably an odd bird that's likely to find the right niche audience. For just over SEK 200 on Steam and considering that it is included in Xbox Game Pass, we encourage all curious people to take a closer look at the game.
Review in Swedish | Read full review
Pentiment is not a bad game, it’s just not one that I have no real interest in; It’s more along the lines of an interactive, mystery novel than a video game. While I loved the storybook art style, the overly stylized font was just too much to look at for long play sessions. And Pentiment tends to drag on a bit too long for my taste, but for those that have a love of history, murder, religion, betrayal, secrets, walking from left to right/right to left and reading your video games; then I think you should try Pentiment, especially at the price of $19.99 or included with your Game Pass subscription.
At least visually, Pentiment is unlike any game in the marketplace, and its execution is never less than impressive. As a reflection on the role of the artist and the fundamental, unchanging nature of the human experience, it can be thoughtful, amusing and moving. The game’s mechanics, some of the writing and pacing definitely take a back seat to the aesthetics. Taken as a whole, playing Pentiment is another great reminder that not every videogame experience needs to overwhelm the senses, challenge reflexes or be the product of market research. Pentiment might not be for everyone, but that’s ok. Not for everyone is sometimes exactly what we need.
Pentiment won’t be for everyone. It’s bookish, sometimes a bit dry, and demands you take its questions about the nature of religion, art, and other heady subjects seriously if you want to get the most out of its narrative. If that sounds like your sort of thing, you can look forward to a rich, well-researched world you'll truly feel a part of and a fantastic story that serves up numerous memorable, moving twists and turns. Pentiment will leave an indelible mark on you if you just give it a chance.
Pentiment's vivid art style, tight narrative, and choice-driven gameplay are a treat to experience. However, the restrictive save system and constant clicking to finish dialogue conversations can be detrimental to your enjoyment.
Pentiment is a fascinating dive into XVI century Bavaria, that combines a murder mystery spanning over twentyfive years with a quick but accurate portrayal of the tumultuous social upheaval of the time. Its choice-based dialogue system only marginally influences the central elements of the plot, but the characters are well-written and artistically, the game is excellent.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The slow pace and amount of reading required may put some people off, but I'd encourage you to try it all the same — it's a fascinating period piece that tells both history lesson and original narrative while reflecting on the importance of art and stories, and comfortably one of the best examples of its genre in recent years and best Game Pass games.
Pentiment is a slow and deliberate novel of a game. Though quite lively at times, this is still a game that asks players to read long, intricate conversations and remember scores of characters in a historic setting. The mystery is interesting, and the history is fascinating, but if these aren't enough to pull you through, you might want to look elsewhere. For patient players, Pentiment is a game like no other, teaching lessons on history, community, and the nature of life itself.
We found Pentiment to be utterly addictive and would compare our playthrough to reading a great novel that we could not put down, which feels apt since the game is stylized as a medieval storybook. While the game looks simple, there's an incredible amount of depth and those who like to lose themselves in a good story will enjoy every moment. The game was a little bit too long when compared to other narrative adventure games, and this risks some players not making it to the closing credits, but we're mostly nitpicking. Like their protagonist Andreas, Obsidian has created a masterpiece that not everyone will appreciate, but those who do will remember for years to come.
Pentiment is a fantastic adventure RPG that revels in a studious approach to history and immaculate recreations of the styles and traditions of 16th-century Bavaria. There's a super smart, funny, and engaging murder mystery to investigate here, but it's how that mystery is so fully rooted in the world that's been lovingly crafted around it that really elevates this experience. It's one of the best games of the past decade, hands down, and to have that experience running and performing perfectly on Switch is a joyous thing - it feels like it was made for Nintendo's console. This is about as essential as games get.
Pentiment is a thrilling, Renaissance-style whodunit that forgoes conventional video game action by focusing on an engaging narrative, branching dialogue options, and character relationships.
While such digressions, to be fair, are optional, the game does encourage you to poke around every corner of its vibrantly rendered world to ensure that you’ve got the facts straight. In the end, though, Pentiment excels less as a mystery game and more as a portrait of a community. Because as a mystery to be solved and a mediation on how stories evolve over time, its focus wanders and ironically comes to fixate on elements like presentation and background lore that can all too easily overwhelm the basic tenets of telling an engaging story.
What Obsidian has here is a reinvention of narrative gaming, however, and one that asks a question of the player everyone should at least attempt answering. Whether or not the question is too inscrutable doesn't really matter - it's how Andreas, and the player, responds. Pentiment is the kind of masterwork that Andreas chases early in the game, and it's equally as flawed, biased, subjective, and captivating as the pieces he's inspired by. Play it and decide for yourself whether it's worthy of that kind of comparison. That's the point.
Pentiment is a shining example of committing fully to an idea without worrying about where it fits in today's gaming market. The result? One of the best games of the year, narrative and otherwise.
Obsidian Entertainment looks at European history with respect and lots and lots of study. "Study" means first of all commitment, passion, enthusiasm. It means love, and in Pentiment, there is so much love.
Review in Italian | Read full review