I would argue that most survival horror games are sort of anti-fun to play. It’s kind of interesting that Ice Pick Lodge games run the risk of actually becoming unwinnable, I ran into that with The Void.
Oh God, The Void is the worst.
Really interesting like all Ice Pick Lodge games, but the worst…
The whole game is built on the concept of obfuscating the world’s rules, which is already a risky proposition. But then the game is slow, repetitive, has wonky mouse drawing recognition AND constantly throws deadlines and almost unwinnable fights at you.
But hey, it has naked ladies writhing in the aether and the colors start speaking to you.
I thought the Void was easier than Pathologic.
If I remember the Void correctly, it was not so much that the gameplay was difficult, it was that you had to grind farming colors forever to do anything. I ended up using cheats to get colors when I needed them, otherwise I never would have finished it. Some of the boss fights were great though. By the time I got to Pathologic, the extreme difficulty coupled with the UI put me off from getting too far. Was looking forward to the sequel/remake, and still am, but the whole ‘difficulty is part of the design’ thing has far less appeal to me as I age.
Ice Pick Lodge are compromising a bit and will be adding a difficulty slider to the game in the coming weeks. Unfortunately this slider will change the game from the current “lifechanging experience it is now” to something lesser that the unwashed masses might enjoy.
Which is, of course, understandable. Not everyone wants a life-changing experience every time they launch a game. Sometimes people only want a cursory glance.
I still want a hard, stressful survival experience. But there is ‘hard’, ‘very hard’ and ‘Russian hard’ level of harshness, you know?
I honestly have no problems with difficulty options in any game, as long as they always leave in the option (preferably the default) to play it as the devs intended.
I never got close to finishing Pathologic, but I really loved what they were trying to do, and always intended to try it again. Which I never did, but I’ve been considering buying the new one because… the little masochist in me really wants to.
And if I do buy it, my first attempt will definitely be the way the devs intended, and I’m assuming they will make that option obvious, since they really are pushing players to please try it that way.
I missed the 10% launch discount, and I wish they had offered a discount for owners of the previous game.
Considering it went for like $2.50 (maybe less?) several times, that probably would have meant a discount for basically everybody.
It looks like you can still get 10% off on GreenManGaming and GOG (maybe other 3rd party sellers?)
Are you talking about Pathologic HD or the original?
Update: Actually looks like Pathologic 2 is $26.24 via GMG VIP promotion.
Oh, HD I guess.
Pathologic 2 has a curious feature, where loading the game after dying decreases your permanent health, as a way to avoid abuse of save-load, which is what people did in Pathologic 1. Of course it’s all for nothing, because what people does now is to reload the game the moment they notice they have done something wrong and they are going to die.
Difficulty options have been patched into this now. Looks like Ice Pick gave players a lot of granularity and control which is nice.
It seems the game was a commercial failure
They took too long to release it, missed the zeitgeist, and made a game that no one understands. It really sucks that this is the case because they have an interesting and unique creative vision, but making games is a cutthroat business.
I think the narrative of the brutal difficulty around release time didn’t help. I am one of the gamers that likes visions like this, jank and all, but when your core community is struggling with the difficulty and survival aspects…that made me a little gun-shy about pulling the purchase trigger. I did pick this up some time after release and at a discount, but haven’t dug in yet. Might wait until the cold lonely months of winter.
I really don’t get this trend for devs, to make games only their way or else…what the hell is the point? I’m really sick of games without save and difficulty options. Put a mode in called “intended to be played”, and give extra rewards for doing it, but stop (&)(&)(*& making people play games 1 way.
I’ve come up against this in multiple games lately, and it’s really starting to piss me off. It’s happened enough at this point, that I actually won’t buy games based on this attitude at this point.
They did put in difficulty options. Unfortunately, I don’t spend $30 on any games anymore.
I didn’t realize that only 1/3 of the characters were included initially, and it sounds like the other two aren’t being added at all now. The original very much felt of a specific time and place. Perhaps the time for this sort of game has passed. I thought maybe at least the rise of the survival genre could help it. I guess it’s hard to be weird and successful at the same time, at least at this scale.
I have the first. How different is the second?