Pentiment is about that phenomenon, and also a manifestation of it. It's one of the most engaging and accessible works of living history ever commissioned, and the fact that it exists at all - let alone as a major platform holder's first-party RPG heading into the Christmas season - is a miracle worthy of the saints.
A lumbering historical murder mystery with little regard for tension or pacing, but one that packs in such dense detail you can't help but respect it. Pentiment immerses you in 1500s Bavaria and that's the main event.
A brilliant narrative adventure that is filled with intelligence and heart.
Pentiment is a stunning piece of work, with a rich story, gorgeous artwork, and fleshed out characters that keep you hungry to learn more.
From its humble development and gameplay characteristics to its excellent narrative and stunningly beautiful ending, Pentiment is a game we can all relate to in one way or another.
Pentiment is not going to be popular. I do think however that it will become a cult classic. I can’t think of another game from a 1st party publisher to tackle a subject like this. Nothing about it feels forced to try and earn the most money, instead, it is a labor of devotion to telling a brilliant story at a specific period and place in our past. Life may rarely go the way we want, but there is power in our choices and I’m glad that Xbox allowed this game to be made. It’s a unique, dazzling work of art that will stand the test of time for as long as we remember it.
This historical murder mystery isn’t what you might expect from Obsidian Entertainment, known for first-person action RPGs like The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas, but there is still importance placed on building your character and choosing how you experience the world. It explores the societal, theological, and artistic beliefs of one town during a time of rapid change, and it does so with a beautiful art style unlike anything else in video games. Everything about Pentiment feels as carefully designed as the illuminated manuscripts it draws inspiration from, delivering an enthralling mystery that is a wonder to behold.
Obsidian's Pentiment is a multi-layered masterpiece full of endearing characters, compelling stories, and disturbing secrets that await you at every corner of this carefully crafted world. It's a charming video game that discusses difficult social themes and struggles of ordinary people, acting as a history lesson that will stay in your memory for a long long time, as every masterpiece does.
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 presents a satisfying and captivating narrative exercise in one unexpected whodunit, and along the way it questions the role of art and religion in the history of our civilization.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Pentiment is, for better or worse, a sort of big interactive comic book showing a huge love for European medieval history, with an intriguing plot but with a great deal of text to read and interactions limited mainly to map exploration and dialogues. A fascinating title, mainly thanks to its subject matter, but definitely not for everyone.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The adventures of Andreas Maler, a 16th century artist in a bavarian village and its murder mysteries are just captivating. Obsidian Entertainment goes off the beaten tracks with Pentiment and delivers a slow-paced, beautiful medieval visual novel with a lots of choices while playing. The attention to detail with displaying the game in the look of a medieval book is excellent and sets the mood perfectly. Though there were some smaller bugs present and the absence of voice acting is a real shame, the quality of the writing and the graphical presentation really compensates for that. If the setting and genre is to your liking this title absolutely deserves a closer look.
Review in German | Read full review
Pentiment is a narrative gem and artistic beauty, but it could be perceived very differently. Give it a try and it will surprise you.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
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.
If you enjoy story-driven affairs with choices that impact the world in which you’re playing, Pentiment is worth a playthrough. The historical narrative adventure is perfect if you don’t want to play something that requires a high level of skill, but you still want to enjoy a rich history and impactful choices.
Still, while Pentiment doesn’t make the best first impression, and the lack of music robs it of atmosphere and character, it’s well worth digging into if you’re a fan of well-written narrative adventures or games that require you to conduct investigations. You’ll soon come to love – or loathe – its cast of characters, and with plenty of fun puzzles to solve, minigames to engage in and meaningful choices to make, it’s rewarding in ways that other games in the same genre space rarely ever manage.
Pentiment is mature in a way few games are. It exudes passion for the time period and subject matter, treating every character and issue with respect and reverence. If you want an adventure game that responds to your choices and trusts you to discover its narrative on your own terms, Pentiment is a must play.
Pentiment too often limits its most enjoyable pieces to reach an ending that makes sense but is still unfulfilling.
Obsidian has a fantastic history of ambitious RPG titles, but none feel as confident and refined as Pentiment. This is a game that truly understands the intoxicating nature of choice in video games, and rewards you with cynical torment befitting the world it portrays.