Monday, June 17, 2019

"Pathologic 2 begins at the end of a failed playthrough"

Mike Suskie for GC:
Dead bodies line the streets, soldiers are rounding up what few survivors remain, and the authorities seem ready to raze the town to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Our protagonist – Artemy Burakh, a surgeon – believes a cure can still be produced, but needs more time.

He gets that time, as Pathologic 2 then rewinds twelve days and grants us the opportunity to steer Artemy in the direction of (hopefully) saving the town. Those opening images continue to linger, however, as showing us how this story can potentially end lends the proceedings a sense of inevitable, impending doom.

If players hope to protect the town, they must first protect themselves. Pathologic 2 is a first-person survival game, and this manifests in the usual sense of having to monitor meters for hunger, thirst, energy, and so forth. But whereas most modern survival titles center on hunting and crafting, Pathologic 2 is set – at least initially – in a thriving community where the materials we need are bought or exchanged for work. As circumstances grow more desperate, the barriers of society begin to crumble, and players will likely need to begin stealing, looting, and even killing to obtain what they need.