[PlayStation 4] Pathologic 2 Review
You receive a letter from your father telling you to return home during a plague, only to find out he’s been murdered. Solve his murder and see what’s going on with the town in Pathologic 2!
Pathologic 2 is a narrative-driven dramatic thriller about fighting a deadly outbreak in a secluded rural town. The town is dying. 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.
The plague is devouring the town. The chief local healer is dead, and you are now to take his place. You’ll have to look for unexpected allies. The local kids are hiding something. Try playing by their rules.
You only have 12 days.
Pathologic 2 is a title that’s not necessarily a sequel, per se. It’s actually more of a remake of the first Pathologic, which was released back in 2005. I wondered if this was inspired by Evil Dead 2, which famously remakes the original in the first part of the sequel. You play as a doctor who’s been asked to return home by your father after a plague hit the town you grew up in, and it seems you could potentially help solve the problem. When you arrive home, you find out your father’s been murdered and, for some reason, a good portion of the residents of the village hate you.
This is a narrative-heavy adventure with survival components. You need to talk to people in the village and help them, usually completing fetch quests, as you try to lower how much people hate you. Those that still hate you will start attacking you as soon as they see you, which is bad. On top of this, you need to watch your Hunger, Thirst, Exhaustion, Health, Immunity, and Reputation. You’ll need to watch these levels as they will affect your character. At first, you’ll be able to get food and water from villagers, but if your reputation drops, you won’t be able to trade or buy from shops, which means you will need to resort to theft and foraging. For foraging, you need to be worried about the source, since there’s the whole plague thing is happening, which means the water could be infected. It’s very hard to keep all of these stats in top shape, so you’ll need to make some hard choices along the way.
There is a really interesting narrative weaved throughout, but you’re not going to be spoon-fed. In fact, you’ll need to explore all over the place to be able to find the information you need. This is going to be one of those titles in which the more you play, and the choices you make along the way will end up heavily impacting what you get to experience during your time with Pathologic 2. Trying different things in extra runs will give you a different outcome in the end.
Pathologic 2 takes place over 12 days, with each day getting progressively harder and shorter as the plague gets worse. You are on a ticking timer, and every choice matters as you only have so much time in this world. One of the things that can get in the way when playing Pathologic 2 is the size of the town, and how much time you will have to spend when going from place to place. There are some interesting locations in town, but so much unnecessary time is wasted with areas that have nothing to offer to players.
The game has a very drab and dark presentation. Sure, there’s a plague going on, but the textures in the game feel a bit too dark for their own good. The town and the townspeople look very plain. That is until you talk to them. When talking with characters, you get a highly rendered image of their head, set against a black background. I was shocked about how good they looked compared to the rest of the game, which was a nice surprise. I fell the score for Pathologic 2 was really solid as it hit the right tones and helped create a desperate world. Voice acting was not great, though, since it felt a bit out of place.
This game was designed to be a difficult slog. The creators intended for it to be played at the highest difficulty level, which is something that will not feel right for some gamers. If you’re not up for dozens of challenging hours, then Pathologic 2 is not going to be for you. But if you’re looking for a different type of experience on PlayStation 4 that will challenge you every step of the way, then Pathologic 2 might be what you need.
This Pathologic 2 review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by tinyBuild GAMES.