Pathologic 2

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Pathologic 2 boxart.jpeg

Pathologic 2 cover.jpg

Developer(s)
Ice-Pick Lodge
Publisher(s)
tinyBuild
Engine
Unity
Platform(s)
Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Playstaion 4
Release
May 23, 2019PC
December 12, 2019Xbox One
March 6, 2020Playstation 4
Language(s)
Pусский (Russian)
English
简化字 (Simplified Chinese)
Portuguese Brasil (Portuguese)
Genre
Adventure, survival, survival-horror, role-playing
Mode(s)
Single-player

Pathologic 2 (Russian: Мор) is a re-imagining of the Russian survival/roleplaying game Pathologic, created by Ice-Pick Lodge. Made with Unity,[1] the game was released for PC on May 23, 2019, after a initial predicted release of 2018.[2] It saw release for Xbox One on December 13, 2019[3] and for Playstation 4 on March 6, 2020.[4]. Linux and Mac ports have yet to be released, though have been stated to be a promised goal of Ice-Pick Lodge.[5]

Pathologic: The Marble Nest, a standalone short story set in the Pathologic universe, was released on 1 December 2016, and later included as full DLC for the main game on October 28, 2019.[6] An unofficial (though supported by Ice-Pick Lodge) patch for Simplified Chinese was created by kevinw and released on March 3. 2020. It can be downloaded and installed on Steam.[7] Brazilian Portuguese support was added on November 21, 2020, which can also be downloaded through Steam[8]. The Brazilian Portuguese patch was created by rato profeta.

Plot

→ See Plot: Pathologic 2.

All the action takes place in The Town—a steppe settlement in which neither the whereabouts nor the time period in which the events unfold are specified. The town culture represents a mix of Russian culture not long before the 1917 Revolution, and the ancient traditions of the steppe inhabitants which is full of strange customs and superstitions.

The protagonist of the game is a surgeon named Artemy Burakh, also known as the Haruspex. He is the son of the only local physician, Isidor Burakh, and the last few years he spent not in his native town, but in the capital, where he received medical education. One day he receives a letter from his father, who informs him that 'great difficulties' are coming, and requests his son's assistance. Artemy sets off by train, encountering a strange fellow traveller, and experiencing several strange visions during his journey. Upon arriving in the town he is greeted by three locals who try to kill him. Somehow he manages to deal with the attackers, after which a couple of strange people in plague doctor suits tell him that the locals suspect him of killing an important resident of the town and that the attack on him was an act of revenge. Artemy must find out what is going on in his native town as well as prove his innocence.

Characters

Core Gameplay

As copied from the official Pathologic 2 website.[9]
1 fight-en.jpg
FIGHT THE DISEASE. Do you think a doctor’s job is to ease pain? What if it means you have to cut out someone’s heart in order to produce medicine? Your instruments are crude, and the plague can be many things. It wanders the streets while you’re searching for its source; it waits for an opportune moment to corrupt your own body. And getting close to your goal matters little if you’re dying.
2 epedemic-en.jpg
THE EPIDEMIC IS REALISTICALLY SIMULATED, which means that it’ll unfold in real time, affecting both the gameplay mechanics and the plot. Do you need to cut corners in a hurry, or perhaps you’re looking for a butcher? Tough luck—if the district you need is infected, it’ll become a danger zone. Shops’ll close, houses’ll lock down, and the air itself’ll become poisonous. But you may not have another option.
3 survival-en.jpg
SURVIVAL. You’ll find no zombies here—it’s the real deal. Hunger, thirst, fatigue, and immunity are all gameplay mechanics. Your foe is merciless and ceaseless. Each hour the plague claims more lives… and yet you still need to sleep! Bread from an infected house is dangerous… but what if you’re starving and shops deny you service? And does survival only mean the preservation of your body anyway?
4 trade-en.jpg
SCAVENGE, GATHER, TRADE. You’ll always be hard pressed for resources, money not excluded. But money can’t save your life—you can’t eat it, you can’t heal with it, and you may find out money is worthless. So you’ll barter with townsfolk, and that’ll keep you afloat… if you’re fine with taking bullets from kids and trading your only gun for a loaf of bread.
5 figths-en.jpg
FIGHTS are both simple and hard. You’ll find threats here and there: bandits at night, looters, the sick insane with pain, and simply those who don’t like you. Pathologic 2 is not a shooter—it doesn’t take many bullets to kill someone. But you may only have one left, or your gun may misfire, or perhaps you simply won’t like killing innocent victims. Running or hiding is generally preferable, but you can’t run forever.
6 explore-en.jpg
EXPLORE both the town and the characters. In Pathologic 2 nothing is accidental—every place and every person has a story to tell. You are free to go anywhere making your own story, but remember that no one and nothing will wait for you.
1 fight-en.jpg
FIGHT THE DISEASE. Do you think a doctor’s job is to ease pain? What if it means you have to cut out someone’s heart in order to produce medicine? Your instruments are crude, and the plague can be many things. It wanders the streets while you’re searching for its source; it waits for an opportune moment to corrupt your own body. And getting close to your goal matters little if you’re dying.
2 epedemic-en.jpg
THE EPIDEMIC IS REALISTICALLY SIMULATED, which means that it’ll unfold in real time, affecting both the gameplay mechanics and the plot. Do you need to cut corners in a hurry, or perhaps you’re looking for a butcher? Tough luck—if the district you need is infected, it’ll become a danger zone. Shops’ll close, houses’ll lock down, and the air itself’ll become poisonous. But you may not have another option.
3 survival-en.jpg
SURVIVAL. You’ll find no zombies here—it’s the real deal. Hunger, thirst, fatigue, and immunity are all gameplay mechanics. Your foe is merciless and ceaseless. Each hour the plague claims more lives… and yet you still need to sleep! Bread from an infected house is dangerous… but what if you’re starving and shops deny you service? And does survival only mean the preservation of your body anyway?
4 trade-en.jpg
SCAVENGE, GATHER, TRADE. You’ll always be hard pressed for resources, money not excluded. But money can’t save your life—you can’t eat it, you can’t heal with it, and you may find out money is worthless. So you’ll barter with townsfolk, and that’ll keep you afloat… if you’re fine with taking bullets from kids and trading your only gun for a loaf of bread.
5 figths-en.jpg
FIGHTS are both simple and hard. You’ll find threats here and there: bandits at night, looters, the sick insane with pain, and simply those who don’t like you. Pathologic 2 is not a shooter—it doesn’t take many bullets to kill someone. But you may only have one left, or your gun may misfire, or perhaps you simply won’t like killing innocent victims. Running or hiding is generally preferable, but you can’t run forever.
6 explore-en.jpg
EXPLORE both the town and the characters. In Pathologic 2 nothing is accidental—every place and every person has a story to tell. You are free to go anywhere making your own story, but remember that no one and nothing will wait for you.

The core gameplay of Pathologic 2 is designed around ruthless endurance, balancing the player character's survival meters (Health, Hunger, Thirst or Stamina, Immunity or Infection, and Reputation) while pursuing the story's goals. Players are encouraged to approach problems from different angles - it is a constant reminder that violence is not always the answer, and there is always an alternative answer. Resources can be obtained through "positive" methods (such as bartering and trade) or "negative" methods (such as violence and theft), which can impact your in-game reputation. A negative method is not necessary the "wrong choice", as detailed by the game's design.

For a detailed explanation of each one of Pathologic 2's mechanics, see Game Mechanics. For information regarding trade and barter, see Trading.

Reception and Release

In August 2018, an alpha version of the game was released. On May 23 2019,[10] Pathologic 2 was released on Steam, Humble Bundle and GOG.com including the first route.

Pathologic 2 received "mixed or average reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic, with a score of 69 based on 27 reviews, but with an average user score of 8.5.[11] Critics praised the game's unique atmosphere, but criticized its unforgiving survival mechanics, clunky combat, and overall difficulty.[12][13] However, it has been considered a tremendous success by its fanbase and independent critics, such as MandaloreGaming, who called it "a tremendous improvement on everything in the original"[14]. It has also been praised by RangarRox[15], Hbomberguy[16], SulMatul[17] and others. It has also received both criticism and praise for its approach to game difficulty, where its "almost unbearable" nature[18][19][20] can be altered by means of difficulty sliders. GameGrin describes it as, "(...) very robust and makes the game much more accessible than it otherwise would have been."[21]

Credits

→ A full list of those mentioned in the credits of Pathologic 2 can be found here.

Steam Badges

These badges are only available on Steam, and are unavailable on GOG.com or console releases of the game.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Foil
Steam Badge Steppe.png Steam Badge Aurochs.png Steam Badge Town.png Steam Badge Polyhedron.png Steam Badge Theatre.png Steam Badge Plague.png
The Steppe The Aurochs The Town of Men The Polyhedron The Theatre The Plague

Steam Artwork

Full images of the Steam profile backgrounds and trading cards available for Pathologic 2. Much like the badges, these are unavailable on GOG.com or console releases of the game.

Achievements

Achievements are available on Steam, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. To see a list of achievements/trophies and how to earn them, see Achievements and Trophies.

Development History

In 2012, Ice-Pick Lodge expressed interest in working on a crowd-funded modern remake of Pathologic.[22] On 4 September 2014 a Kickstarter campaign was launched. The campaign was successful, and gathered $333,127 of the pledged $250,000 goal. On the official Pathologic website, donations were further accepted until May 6, 2014, ending in a total estimate of $407,647.[23]

This money was enough to fulfill an expanded Town, an expanded Steppe, as well as expanding upon lucid dreams. Initially, the release of the game was scheduled for autumn of 2016. The developers claim that there were enough changes and innovations in the game to call it a separate game and not a remake.[24]

On December 1, 2016, those who donated a sufficient amount of money to the Kickstarter or the game site were granted a demo version of the game called Pathologic: The Marble Nest, which was treated as a separate game at the time.[25] Later the development was extended until autumn of 2017. On March 14, 2017 "The Marble Nest" became available to everyone.[26] In August 2017, the development was extended until 2018, changing the Russian name from "Mor (Utopia)" to just "Mor", and the English one from "Pathologic" to "Pathologic 2". At the same time, Pathologic 2 also remains a new game, and not a continuation of the original.[27]

The development of Pathologic 2 place emphasis on making the Town feel organic and alive. Improvements on things such as NPC and Plague AI were done to deliver a more realistic interpretation of how living people would react to a catastrophe. There was also dedication made towards new quests, events, and plotlines, to both add to what may have been removed in the reimagining, as well as to develop minor characters.

Gameplay was designed to be far more balanced, where core mechanics from Pathologic (2005) were improved on to feel more "tense and emotional".[28] Survival mechanics were kept as true to the original as possible, while modernizing them to appeal to a larger audience.

Localization in English was done internally, with the help of trusted, outsourced native speakers and writers.[29] Translation into English was led by Alexandra "Alphyna" Golubeva.

On July 6, 2020, Ice-Pick Lodge announced that they were working on the second of three promised scenarios, "The Bachelor", stating it is to be released "in the foreseeable future."[30]

Kickstarter Stretch Goals

Pathologic 2 is an open world survival thriller set in a town that’s being consumed by a deadly plague. Face the realities of a collapsing society as you make difficult choices in seemingly lose-lose situations. The plague isn’t just a disease. You can’t save everyone. Get to know it, winning the affection of the locals and gaining allies, or try to carve your own path alone. Explore the Town, its inhabitants, and their traditions; fight both the plague itself and its victims; try to make a difference before the time runs out.

Figure out who killed your father while fighting a deadly plague. It’s up to you to assume his mantle of the town’s Chief Medic.
Find your alleged twin sister. Was she the one who had brought the plague to this town?
The local kids are hiding something. Try playing by their rules.
pathologic-game.com



Information collected from Kickstarter Update 8, as well as the main page:[31]

The remake version will feature new quests and content, improved visuals from the Unity engine, more balanced gameplay, smarter AI for the NPCs, realistic behavior patterns for the Sand Plague disease, and improved English localization. Still, the team had planned a series of stretch goals—new ideas—to have incorporated into the new Pathologic. Additional funding has allowed the team to reach the Town Extended, the Steppe Extended and the Lucid Dreaming stretch goals.[32] Crowd-funding is still open, and it will be used to keep improving the development of the game.
  • [ACHIEVED] The Town Extended. This stretch goal seems pretty self-explanatory, and yet it's the toughest one to explain. We've launched this whole campaign to make an extended version of the game after all, didn't we? Thing is, it's always possible to add more. More unique objects, more dialogue options, more questlines, more events happening around you. And it won't be filler content either. Say, there are plot-dependent areas planned in the warehouse district; but what if you could also find caches and hideouts there? What if street NPCs had additional reactions to your activities? What if there were simply more questlines? You would become even more hard-pressed for time, sure, but we'll balance it. The Town is a finished place, but we can always improve it intensively, adding more small locations, hidden corners, nooks and crannies. Also: more quests, more NPCs—more content in general.
  • [ACHIEVED] The Steppe Extended. The Steppe is rather poor in terms of content right now, and that makes sense, since the plot of Pathologic takes place mostly in a single location, the characters being unable to leave The Town. While we don't intend to change that, we can sneak in some loopholes, inviting the characters to explore new and fresh locations in the steppe (close to The Town, of course). It can even lead to them having new activities there. That also obviously means more quests, more steppe NPCs, more weird creatures, and generally more steppiness.
  • [ACHIEVED] Lucid Dreaming. Thoughts and ideas are an important part of Pathologic, and it's known that the Plague "speaks to its victims, scrutinizing them". We would like that to become an even more prevalent motif, adding dreams in form of interactive experiences. Got infected? Go see the Plague in person. Found out new crucial information that completely changes everything? Same here. All those hints and omens dropped and mentioned everywhere will now appear in the flesh. Also more weird and creepy imagery. And these are not random events—they will depend on how you play and how the plot you create unfolds.
  • Termitary and Abattoir. The original Pathologic only showed you a chart of these behemoth constructions rather than their real innards. The poor interiors did nothing to reflect their grandeur. We'll change that in the remake anyway, sure, but reaching this stretch goal would allow us to make a full-fledged ethnographic expedition into The Termitary and The Abattoir. You'll be able to see the daily life, the traditions, and the culture of a very peculiar working community of steppe butchers that live inside and retain multiple traits of a primitive society. It's "a town inside The Town", and it'll contain loads of new content, quests, and experiences.
  • A Small Prequel. Pathologic is plot-heavy, and a lot of important stuff happens right before the start of the game. As a player, you'll uncover the partial truth behind the events that have shaped the current state of The Town, but you'll never be able to see the perfect and complete picture. You'll never be able to see them at all—only speculate. Simply showing these events would be a spoiler, but we're keen on making an additional day-long story with unique content. It won't be Kickstarter-exclusive. Please keep in mind that it won't feature the same playable characters. The whole point of the prequel is to show you the things that the main trio would never be able to see and learn. But you will.[33]


Information regarding the full release of Pathologic 2. [34]

Not a Remake

The Ice-Pick Lodge team has insisted on labeling the 2019 remake as a reimagining. They claim "the new Pathologic will be different from the original one," while maintaining the primary structural elements:[35]
  • Twelve days in a remote Steppe town;
  • same three protagonists, whose stories complement one another in much the same fashion (but more coherently);
  • same NPCs* (this was not a real asterisk, but just our way of pointing out that they're not completely the same—see below);
  • the world is still three-fold; Pathologic remains a game about three ideologies and worldviews clashing;
  • at its gameplay core, Pathologic is still a survival game—and a rather hard one at that;
  • the state of your character is still represented by a number of bars, so you'll have to do a lot of resource juggling (no unnecessary streamlining here);
  • your main resource and main opponent is still time itself—you'll have to manage it carefully;
  • the lore and setting will be explored deeper, but no major changes here either (the Steppe people still worship bulls, have a cult of body, and use a sacred alphabet)

Instead of being a traditional "remake" - with bettered mechanics, story, characters and graphics - Pathologic 2 is meant to be viewed as how a sequel might, with references to past events and establishing a suggestion of the passage of time.

Development Gallery

Videos

Images

Concept art for specific characters can be found on their pages.

Trailers

References

  1. Pathologic Blog: Yet Another Miracle
  2. Pathologic Blog: Moving Forward
  3. Gruelling but brilliant plague survival horror Pathologic 2 coming to Xbox One next month
  4. Punishing plague horror Pathologic 2 is heading to PS4 this week
  5. Kickstarter page
  6. Eurogamer - Pathologic 2's Marble Next Expansion Out Next Week
  7. Unofficial Simplified Chinese translation
  8. Now you can play Pathological 2 in Portuguese! - Steam
  9. pathologic-game.com Official Pathologic 2 website
  10. Release Date Trailer - Children of Gorkhon
  11. Patholoigc 2 - MetaCritic
  12. Pathologic 2 Review - PCGamer
  13. (Rock, Paper, Shotgun) Wot I Think: Pathologic 2
  14. Pathologic 2 Review by MandaloreGaming
  15. Pathologic 2 is an Underrated Masterpiece
  16. Pathologic Is Genius, And Here's Why
  17. Dissecting Pathologic 2, The Best Game of 2019
  18. PCGamer - Pathologic 2 is getting a difficulty slider but the developers don't want you to use it
  19. Steam - ON DIFFICULTY
  20. Difficulty Sliders and Patch 4
  21. Pathologic 2 review on GameGrin
  22. Pathologic: Strings
  23. Internet Archive - pathologic-game.com#tiers
  24. Ice-Pick.com - Not A Remake
  25. Pathologic: The Marble Nest (the First Playable)
  26. Come, Little Birds (For Free)
  27. Introducing Pathologic 2, with live gameplay
  28. Pathologic Kickstarter
  29. Pathologic Kickstarter
  30. "What we do at Ice-Pick Lodge": new games, plans and more
  31. Update #8 - Stretching Our Goals
  32. Pathologic Blog: Lucid Dreaming
  33. Pathologic Kickstarter: Stretch Goals
  34. Pathologic 2 PressKit
  35. Update #38: Not a Remake

External links