Top Critic Average
An interesting adventure that provides some cool sights and an intriguing narrative. Unlocking memories via wave-length puzzles is quirky and charming to begin with, however quickly becomes rote. Could have done with a wider variety of better designed challenges, but as it is it's an enjoyable experience.
If you consider yourself a narrative gaming connoisseur, you'll find some real value here. If that genre doesn't resonate with you, though, you may want to think twice before picking up Path of Whispers.
While it may not indulge as much on its aesthetic to better hide the distinct lack of gameplay, Empathy: Path of Whispers can't excuse itself for letting its eye go too far a stray from keeping its player both focused and interested in the tale being spun.
Empathy focuses on everyone but yourself. Your identity is loosely defined as “a child” by an anonymous narrator in the beginning, and that’s about all you get. You’re a metaphorical blank slate.
Empathy wants to be a narrative-first game, that much is clear. But the constant distractions, menial busywork, and tedious puzzles constantly distract from the pacing that's so critical to a story like this, and the end result is something that doesn't really work well as either a puzzle game or a narrative experience.
Pixel Night makes a brave foray into the exploration genre that doesn't quite pan out in the end due to detached storytelling and repetitive mechanics. If you're a dedicated adventure game player, Empathy: Path of Whispers will offer little challenge, except maybe in the way of overcoming boredom. It is, at the end of the day, a walking simulator that knows exactly what it wants to be, but falls a few steps short of actually being it.
Empathy: Path of Whispers attempts to tell a series of intriguing personal stories in a mysterious, abandoned world. The end result however is a visually dated, largely boring, and technically broken game that doesn't deserve your time and money.
If Empathy is patched to allow manual saves and I didn't have to start over thanks to an awful glitch, I still wouldn't recommend it. It's too forgettable. Not even the most ardent walking sim supporters would be able to enjoy it.