Pentiment, developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Xbox Game Studios made its full release today and critics and players are rating the game highly on almost all fronts. Despite being a departure visually from what players expect from Obsidian Entertainment, developers of both The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas, Pentiment still retains the in-depth and compelling storytelling the company is known for.
Set in Bavaria in the 16th century, Pentiment is a narrative adventure role-playing title. Taking on the role of Andreas Maler, a journeyman artist, players investigate the murder of a prominent person who Maler’s friend is accused of killing. The game takes place over the course of 25 years with game director Josh Sawyer noting in an interview that the choice of font and art style was used to display this passage in time.
The idea to have the game take place over 25 years largely came from my interest in showing how the changes and the choices that the player makes impact the community over longer than the typical amount of time that a game takes place in.
Pentiment‘s art style draws on early print, woodcuts, and medieval manuscripts with a gradual shift to early modern art. The art style isn’t the only historically inspired part of the game however as the game’s music also draws on the period. In an interview when discussing the game’s composers, the Alkemie Early Music Ensemble, Sawyer said “the music they’ve contributed to the game is either strictly historical or historically inspired.”
Sawyer likened the mystery elements of the game to something akin to titles like Night in the Woods and Oxenfree. It’s an interesting direction for Obsidian to take considering the success of The Outer Worlds, the Early Access launch of Grounded, and the continued work on future titles such as Avowed and The Outer Worlds 2. However, regardless of the art style or time period Obsidian excels at storytelling and narrative in almost every setting you can imagine.
Players looking to jump in should expect a minimum of 21 hours of gameplay but depending on how in-depth you go with the game’s story that could change drastically.
Pentiment is already receiving high scores from critics on Metacritic with the current average score on Xbox standing tall at 86/100 and the PC version of the game at 87/100.
Pentiment today released on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox Game Pass, and PC.