Pathologic (Russian: Мор. Утопия, tr. Mor. Utopiya, IPA: [ˈmor ‖ ʊˈtopʲɪjə], lit. 'Pestilence. Utopia') is a 2005 role-playing and survival game developed by Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge. The game was released in Russia by Buka Entertainment in June 2005, followed by a localised English release from G2 Games in 2006. An updated version, Pathologic Classic HD, was developed by General Arcade, published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment, and released in October 2015. A remake was developed by Ice-Pick Lodge using the Unity game engine and released as Pathologic 2 in May 2019 by tinyBuild.
The player can choose one of three playable healers, who are listed only by their honorifics: two men, The Bachelor (Daniil Dankovsky), and Haruspex (Artemy Burakh); and a girl - The Devotress, Klara (later re-translated as "The Changeling, Clara"). Only the former two are available at the start of the game, with Clara being unlocked after completing a playthrough of the game with either Daniil or Artemy. The questlines available depend on which character is being played. The two unchosen playable characters are present in the town during the chosen character's playthrough.
Each player character has a different listed goal in their quest book, but the player's only necessary goal is simply to survive to the end of the 12 days by maintaining their resources. The game takes place in a perpetual world over a timeframe of 12 in-game days. Throughout each day, the player receives quests from non-player characters (NPCs); however, the game continues regardless of whether they are completed or not. At exactly midnight of each day, the incomplete quests are erased from the player's notebook. Quests are divided into main missions (one per day), which decide if a major character (referred to in-game as the "Bound") will die, and side quests, which earn money and items. Completing main quests is essential to discovering the secrets of the town, as characters who would otherwise reveal information later in the game can fall ill from the plague early.
Regardless of the player's choice in player character, each of the three healers tries to uncover the source of a strange lethal sickness known as the "sand plague" that has befallen a small town. Although players can play as each of them, there is only one base storyline, which is seen from the three different points of views of the chosen player character. Minor plot details will change depending on the player, and the ability to uncover some secrets depends on which character is being played, The player may also interact with the other two unchosen characters and discuss their progress throughout the game.
The game's fluctuating economy represents the harsh forces of supply and demand in an isolated, disease-ridden town. All districts and major buildings of the town are named after body parts and biology. On the edge of town, there is a great building named Polyhedron, a physically impossible structure used as a fortress by children. On the opposite side lies an ominous cattle-slaughtering Abattoir, with the Apiary (later re-translated as "Termitary") next to it.
Each character has an assigned group of NPCs - their "Bound" - which they are tasked with keeping safe by completing the main quest every day.
There are four endings available. Each playable character has a designated ending, although any of these three endings may be chosen if the player completes the optional task of keeping the other healer's Bound healthy by the meeting time on the 12th day. The Bachelor's ending allows the town to be destroyed, saving the miraculous Polyhedron. The Haruspex's ending destroys the Polyhedron to allow the production of a panacea, saving the town. The Devotress/Changeling's ending allows both the Polyhedron and the town to coexist, at the cost of sacrificing some of the townspeople. If the player is unable to keep all of their Bound safe, however, the town becomes overrun by pestilence in the fourth "Bad Ending".
Development and release
Pathologic was the first game developed by Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge. The game was announced by Russian publisher Buka Entertainment on 30 March 2004, intending to release in the last quarter of the year. The native Russian version of the game was released to manufacturing on 31 May 2005, for release on 9 June. The English-localised version was completed on 20 November 2005 and released by G2 Games in 2006. A German version was published by Frogster Interactive Pictures on 20 April 2006 after being released to manufacturing earlier that month.
Remake and remaster
Ice-Pick Lodge stated in November 2013 that it was looking to remake Pathologic and using crowdfunding to finance such a remake's development. The developer confirmed the remake's development in July 2014 and launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that September. This campaign sought to raise US$250,000, which it reached by the end of the month, and ended in a total of $333,127 backed by 7,139 people. In October 2015, Ice-Pick Lodge announced Pathologic Classic HD, a remaster of the original Pathologic developed by General Arcade and published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment. This remaster introduced upgraded visuals, fixed bugs, re-recorded dialog, and a re-translated English script. Pathologic Classic HD was released on 29 October 2015. The remaster received generally favourable reviews, according to Metacritic. Under publisher tinyBuild, the Pathologic remake was retitled Pathologic 2 to distinguish it from Pathologic Classic HD. Pathologic 2 was released on 23 May 2019.
|PC Gamer (UK)||52/100|
In Russia, Pathologic was critically well received, winning year-end accolades from five Russian outlets. However, its reception in English-speaking countries has been varied, being both praised for its atmosphere and concept while equally panned for its poor translation, outdated graphics and slow-paced gameplay.
- Smith, Quintin (3 February 2009). "RPS Interviews Ice Pick Lodge". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Calvert, Justin (30 March 2004). "Buka announces Pathologic". GameSpot.
- Castro, Juan (30 March 2004). "Survival Horror Adventure Coming to PC". IGN. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Ice-Pick Lodge". Ice-Pick Lodge. 2005. Archived from the original on 22 February 2006.
- Denby, Lewis (17 August 2010). "COLUMN: "The Magic Resolution": I Love You Just The Way You Are". GameSetWatch. Archived from the original on 11 January 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Allin, Jack (26 October 2006). "Carte Blanche hands-on". Adventure Gamers. Archived from the original on 18 July 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Hexmaster (11 April 2006). "Pathologic: Die Geisterstadt in Gold" [Pathologic: The ghost town in gold]. GameZone (in German).
- Grubmair, Peter (7 March 2006). "Pathologic: Seltsame Vorgänge" [Pathologic: Mysterious Procedures]. GameZone (in German).
- Brown, Fraser (27 November 2013). "Ice Pick Lodge wants to remake Pathologic". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on 20 July 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Savage, Phil (24 July 2014). "Pathologic remake confirmed, will launch on Kickstarter this September". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Hillier, Brenna (5 September 2014). "Pathologic takes to Kickstarter for remake of cult classic". VG247. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Ice-Pick Lodge. "Pathologic (Мор.Утопия)". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Chalk, Andy (7 October 2015). "Pathologic Classic HD is coming later this fall". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Walker, John (28 July 2016). "Interview: Ice Pick Lodge On Pathologic HD And Preserving Madness". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Meer, Alec (23 October 2015). "Surprise Remaster Pathologic Classic HD Dated". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 27 July 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Chalk, Andy (29 October 2015). "Pathologic Classic HD launches with weirdest trailer ever". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Pathologic Classic HD for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 14 September 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Foxall, Sam (31 August 2017). "Pathologic is now called Pathologic 2 and it's set to release in 2018". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Chalk, Andy (27 May 2019). "Pathologic 2 is getting a difficulty slider but the developers don't want you to use it". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Pathologic for PC". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Walker, John (19 September 2011). "Pathologic". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 12 October 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Pathologic". Pathologic. 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006.
- Smith, Quintin (10 April 2008). "Butchering Pathologic – Part 1: The Body". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
- Smith, Quintin (11 April 2008). "Butchering Pathologic – Part 2: The Mind". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
- Smith, Quintin (12 April 2008). "Butchering Pathologic – Part 3: The Soul". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Pathologic|
- Official website (archived)