The game director of Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity has been teasing a new project at Obsidian Entertainment for some time. Obsidian Entertainment is known to be currently working on both Avoweda first-person fantasy RPG, and Grounded, a multiplayer sandbox survival game, so expectations were high. Needless to say, Obsidian’s announcement of Pentimenta 2D RPG set in 16th century Bavaria, surprised everyone. Pentiment‘s fitting fittingly is “an underlying image in a painting, as if revealed when a top layer of paint has faded with age.”
What’s immediately striking about Pentiment is the game’s art style. Pentiment is stylized as if pulled from the paintings on a page of a 16th-century Bavarian book. What character animations there are have an odd, low-frame rate movement to them, and an overall lack of expressiveness. It’s unique, to say the least, particularly for an RPG that deals with rich and complicated themes. Perhaps it’s the straightforward style that will allow Pentiment to explore a range of ideas without limitations.
As for Pentiment‘s gameplay, describing it as a simple RPG would be underselling it. Pentiment is a narrative adventure RPG, full of complicated choices and puzzles that can have dramatic ramifications that can cause the story to shift one way or another. The trailer for Pentiment doesn’t go into depth on these mechanics, only showing how the player can choose their own background as well as a random puzzle, but it does capture the depth of the narrative at hand.
Pentiment is rich with conflict, fitting for a game that revolves around a murder and its investigation. Players take on the role of an artist working to solve this murder, though the plots that spin off from this investigation will likely prove the more consequential. Leaks ahead of Pentiment‘s announcement compared to the game to Disco Elysiumwhich may provide an idea of the scope of the project.
As far as how Pentiment compares to Obsidian’s other projects, it’s obviously a significantly smaller game than Avowed, The Outer Worlds 2or even Grounded. It’s likely much smaller than Sawyer’s Pillars of Eternity, too. The development team has been reported to be as small as around 12 team members, but Obsidian’s clearly confident enough in what Pentiment is doing that it’s willing to put together a small team for it.
Lastly, with Obsidian Entertainment now a part of Xbox Game Studios, Pentiment is confirmed to be a PC and Xbox exclusive. Further, it’ll launch as a day one release on Xbox and PC Game Pass. That should make it much easier for fans of Xbox and Obsidian to try Pentiment out and see what the mystery is all about for themselves.
Pentiment releases later this year on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / S.
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