Pathologic 2

released on May 23, 2019

Pathologic 2 is a narrative-driven dramatic thriller about fighting a deadly outbreak in a secluded rural town. You are a healer, and to save anyone, you'll have to survive in this bleak and strange world, where even food and medicine are scarce.

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This game tore me apart and pieced me back together. It’s about the human condition, coming to terms with death, being a video game character. I await the second campaign and really hope all the bugs get fixed by then. Crashed like 20 times. Worth it though

If I ever get into BDSM, I'll want a dominatrix to force me into replaying this game.

Never been so stressed over the health of video game children before

It's extremely difficult to explain exactly why Pathologic is so appealing in any sense, because without the context of having played it, writing down why you like it makes you seem like a masochist and this game a bizarre form of torture. Going into detail about how a good half of the game will be you in some variation of destitute, hungry, sick, constantly babysitting characters in a dice roll that goes increasingly out of your favor, etc. just makes me sound insane for not only playing it for hours on end, but loving it.
But I do love it specifically because of those aspects: the game is so cleverly written, with each character either knowing something that requires you to keep them alive just to help the others you do care for or simply liking them to begin with, just to constantly challenge to see how far you'll go to do so. Other games have attempted to make the player feel bad for doing things, whether it be in a plot sense or a gameplay segment: Pathologic is that entire segment, non-linear and completely up to your own discretion.
It simply puts you in situations you cannot control and DEMANDS that if you truly care about the people it has provided for you, then prove it: do things you wouldn't just to get ahead, be morally ambiguous, do something the truly desperate would do. Through that, it manages to make you feel the panic of the situation through how difficult and unwavering it is and how it will not hesitate to take away something you cared for, ESPECIALLY if you only put in the barest amount of effort in to protect it.
None of this is mentioning how good the characters, atmosphere, and general competency when it comes to presenting you this world and the people in it.
The only things stopping me from making it a perfect five is that the game is pretty buggy; every time I closed out of it, it would simply freeze and I would have to use task manager to end the process, and the fact the game is so experimental I can't see anyone except fringe weirdos enjoying it enough to finish it like I did. Other than that, I see no other word to use except masterpiece,

Pathologic's gameplay and story can only be described as a hypnotizing and enthralling trance that by the end will hit you with a painful realization- you'll never get to experience something quite like it ever again.