Pathologic (Мор. Утопия) is a 2005 psychological horror survival role-playing game developed by Russian game studio Ice-Pick Lodge. On May 23, 2019, Pathologic 2 was released as a re-imagining of the original.
A mysterious and deadly disease breaks out in a remote town in the Russian steppe. It is highly contagious and kills whoever contracts it, giving them only several days left to live. This struggle to survive follows three healers and their individual stories. One is a learned doctor from the country's capital, named the Bachelor. The second is a local medicine man who has returned at the request of his father, named the Haruspex. The third and final healer is a strange young girl who claims to be both a saint and a miracle worker, named the Changeling.
Taking on the role of one of the healers, you'll explore the Town, its traditions, and the complex relationships of its inhabitants. You will only have twelve days to defeat the invisible enemy called the Sand Plague.
You will not be able to save everyone. Time will never be on your side. Choices will haunt your every step. You'll want to get closer to your goal, but sometimes it'll all come down to whatever means of survival that you have. In a time of both fear and uncertainty, would you share medicine with important figures who will unveil the Town's numerous secrets in return, or would you rather keep the medicine in case you get sick? Pathologic is a bleak and harsh survival adventure that'll make sure of it.
PATHOLOGIC CLASSIC HD
first played: may 5th, 2020
first finished (all routes): june 13th, 2020
42/42 steam achievements
first played: june 25, 2020
first finished (haruspex route): july 21, 2020
actor deaths: 5
npc deaths: 2 (the vlads)
PATHOLOGIC CLASSIC HD thoughts from my Steam review
PLEASE play this game. It is grueling, unforgiving, and forces you to prostrate yourself at its feet. And it is BEAUTIFUL. Intensely atmospheric, the frustrating aspects of gameplay work towards that goal of making you feel tiny and helpless. If you have the patience, you will be massively rewarded. Brush up on a tips guide and/or use a walkthrough to make the process less exasperating. Start with the Bachelor, go on to the Haruspex, and finish with the Changeling. IT IS WORTH IT.
PATHOLOGIC 2 thoughts
When I saw fans of Classic HD claim that 2 was even better, I was hesitant to believe them. I thought nothing could top the original. I was mistaken. Pathologic 2 is the most beautiful video game I have ever played. While both games feel like they were crafted just for me, Pathologic 2 improves upon Classic/HD immensely, in every category. Thematically, aesthetically, mechanically, everything. It is perfect. It is even more grueling than Classic/HD (at least on intended difficulty, which is what I played it on), both in gameplay and emotionally. It is a game that will eviscerate you, and you will ask it to do it again.
As opposed to its... rather bare bones predecessor, Pathologic 2 has beautiful graphics that further enhance the wonderful dialogue. The town truly feels more alive, and has extremely evocative tableaus. If Pathologic Classic/HD was atmospheric, Pathologic 2 imbues your spirit forever with its essence and imagery. 2 is also more overtly political, which I always appreciate.