Pentiment – Review
Follow Genre: Mystery, Visual Novel
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox Series X/S

Pentiment – Review

Site Score
Good: Art style, Atmosphere
Bad: Very slow start, A few dull segments
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In our gaming landscape, we have seen so many things over the years, and it’s often not that easy to surprise us anymore. Many modern games take inspiration from older titles, and this is perfectly fine. We have experienced a lot of familiar games, albeit with the developers adding a few original twists to make their titles stand out from the crowd. The title from today’s review, however, shakes things up by creating a very original whodunit experience.


In Pentiment you’ll play as Andreas Maler, an artisan, who gets dragged into solving a murder in his local village. As Andreas has a good standing with both the common folk and the clergy, you’ll be the ideal person to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. The game is very narrative-driven and you’ll have to make quite a few choices throughout the experience that alter the flow of the story. The story presentation is done via the many dialogues in the game, and Pentiment does take its time to properly flesh out everything that is going on.


Graphically, Pentiment is a very attractive game. We very much enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny of the world, and sometimes we just paused to look at the medieval-inspired art that was plastered all over the screen. The game has a brilliant use of color, and we simply adored every little detail. There is also a lot of variety in the different environments, and even the dialogues are presented with a fun twist. In Pentiment, different people have different pen strokes, and this is visible via the font in the dialogues. Some have a more elegant pen stroke, while others have a simpler style.


The sound design is equally simplistic and brilliant. This may be a fairly odd statement, but Pentiment is a unique experience, especially when it comes to the overall atmospheric sound design. The game is somewhat devoid of music, except during a few key fragments and when there’s some music coming from the environment itself. Other than that, you’ll have to make do with other sounds from your environment, such as birds, the creaking of wood, the sound of the wind, and so on. One of the aforementioned unique aspects comes from how the game handles its lack of voice acting. The medieval aesthetic lends itself well to adding the sounds of quills on paper when dialogues occur. While this alone would already be an interesting choice, the developers took it one step further by adding emotions to the writings by changing the volume and intensity of said quill sounds. While this is something subtle, it does make up for the lack of voice acting. We would have still appreciated the occasional narrator, as it would have added even more charm to the equation.


Pentiment is a narrative-driven experience in which you’ll navigate Andreas through his direct surroundings to solve a murder. The artisan may initially feel as if he bit off more than he could chew, but he easily understands the assignments and becomes a master sleuth. Even so, the gameplay is extremely simple in Pentiment, as you’ll simply have to read the explosive amount of dialogue present in the game, while also making choices. These choices further impact the story, and even the choices that you make at the start of the game change the flow of the story. Pentiment does have a good amount of twists and turns to keep you entertained throughout the twenty hours this adventure takes to complete. We wouldn’t exactly classify the game as a visual novel, as you can still roam around the world quite a bit, but the game is all about the story first and foremost.

While Pentiment is a very intriguing title, it does struggle with pacing from time to time. The game does take a long time to get going, and we can imagine not everyone might appreciate this. As a slow burn, however, Pentiment is amazing. Even so, as you progress, there are also a few segments that feel like they drag on for a bit too long, but it all feels worth it by the time the credits start to roll.


Pentiment is one of those games you’ll either love or hate. We absolutely adored this medieval whodunit experience, and Obsidian Entertainment nailed it when it came to the game’s overall presentation and atmosphere. We did find the game’s start a bit slow, and some segments do drag on a bit, but even so, if you’re a fan of the genre, there are hardly any better titles out there. We do warn potential interested buyers that the lack of voice acting may make the game a bit more daunting, but it’s more than worth it in the long run.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Pentiment - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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