Pentiment Reviews

Pentiment is ranked in the 95th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
90 / 100
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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Andy Kelly
Top Critic
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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Nov 14, 2022

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.

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Nov 14, 2022

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

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7 / 10.0
Nov 18, 2022

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.

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82 / 100
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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8.5 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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9 / 10
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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8.7 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2022

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

9 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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8.8 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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Dexerto
Top Critic
5 / 5
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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Nov 14, 2022

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.

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Nov 14, 2022

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.

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9.5 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2022

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.

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8.5 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2022

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

Unscored
Nov 14, 2022

The game’s name refers to the reappearance in a painting of an element that an artist had painted over. As much as characters in “Pentiment” might fight to maintain the status quo, or to turn away from history and heartbreak, they’re no match for the forces that send humanity hurtling forward. While I initially started “Pentiment” hoping for a riveting distraction, what I ended up with was a game about uncovering history and past trauma. In many ways, it is more admirable, brutal and perhaps healing to just face these problems head on.

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85 / 100
Nov 14, 2022

With its style, Pentiment is a playful work of art that is second to none, but can also inspire with its story.

Review in German | Read full review

Nov 14, 2022

Pentiment does an excellent job of making my journey feel natural, with results that directly reflect my dialogue and action choices.

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EGM
Top Critic
Nov 14, 2022

Pentiment is a true achievement of marrying story, style, and theme into a magical and cohesive whole. In lieu of 3D graphics that try too hard and still fail to represent an authentic-feeling world, Obsidian's artists opted for a more illustrative aesthetic to tell their gripping story of a murder in an abbey, a choice that resonates throughout the entire game. While it might not satisfy every player, especially those expecting a more traditional RPG or adventure experience, those who can immerse themselves in Pentiment's vision of 16th century Bavaria will find one of the best games of the year.

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