With the 2022 Game Awards only a day away, I’ve already found a strong contender for my GOTY. While I loved every minute of God of War Ragnarök, and was enthralled by the world of Elden Ring, there’s nothing quite like Obsidian’s latecomer, Pentiment.
Playing on PC via PC Game Pass
Pentiment is a historical narrative-driven game focusing on choice-driven storytelling and character building. Playing as a young artist, Andreas Maler, you find yourself caught up in a series of murders plaguing the town of Tassing (and the surrounding Kiersau Abbey) over the course of several decades. As you begin conducting your investigation, each choice you make has real, lasting consequences for both your fate and that of the community.
To be honest, I found the sheer amount of choice to be overwhelming at first. There are so many people to speak to, so many leads to chase, and with only a limited time before you must return to bed and prayers, it’s impossible to do everything. But that’s what makes Pentiment so great.
When you eventually get over your FOMO, it’s entirely down to you to decide how you make your time count. You could enjoy a bowl of fresh pottage with the local baker and pick up some village gossip along the way, or go hunting in the mountains with the suspicious town miller in the hope that he might implicate himself. Whatever you do, know that each choice you make drives an engrossing story that is personal to you and the character you’ve become.
What’s in a name?
Although I’ve given it a good go, Pentiment is quite a difficult game to pin down. But perhaps everything we need to know is staring us right in the face. It’s title, for example, is the anglicised version of the Italian noun ‘pentimento’, which is defined as:
An underlying image in a painting, especially one that has become visible when the top layer of paint has turned transparent with age. From the verb pentìrsi, meaning to repent.
Fitting, then, for a game that chips away at the righteous veneer of Christianity in 16th Century Europe, to reveal something more sinister beneath.
Pentiment is available now on PC, Xbox one and Xbox Series X|S. Have you played Pentiment yet? Is it one of your GOTYs for 2022? Pen your manuscript in the comments below.