Game News Obsidian (Fallout New Vegas): Why does their game compared to Disco Elysium seem so promising?
Pentiment is the next game from the creators of The Outer Worlds and Fallout New Vegas, and.
In view of the first images, it was at first difficult to imagine that Penance was the work of Obsidian. The American company had recently offered us the galactic RPG The Outer Worlds then Grounded, survival game in a world of giant insects. Also included in its history is the most notable Fallout New Vegas and the Pillars of Eternity franchise. This June 12, 2022, during the Xbox & Bethesda ceremony, it is above all Avowed what we expected to see. It was billed in 2020 as the studio’s first-ever high-profile project, spearheaded by Xbox treasury. A first-person game set in the fantasy world of Eora, the scene of events in some Pillars of Eternity. But it’s ultimately something quite different that was shown, in a slightly more niche spirit.
Penment, survey in the Renaissance
In Pentiment, the player takes on the role of Andreas Maler, a traveler on the verge of becoming a master artist who stays in a Benedictine abbey. One day, one of his faithful friends is accused of a sordid murder but proclaims his innocence to anyone who will listen. Out of camaraderie, Andreas takes on the role of medieval detective.
Developed by Obsidian, this historical role-playing game with a unique graphic style invites you to solve a mystery in Germany at the beginning of the 16th century. You play as a clever illustrator caught in a series of murders at Kiersau Abbey over a period of twenty-five years during which you will see each of the protagonists evolve. Only you can unmask the assassin, but each choice you make will have irreversible repercussions and lead you to the heart of a real conspiracy – Steam.
Every decision made can have a life-changing impact on the characters’ future; the consequences will therefore have to be borne. The title is refined by a small team of 12 people in a very “indie” spirit. At its head, we find Josh Sawyer, director of Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, but also a great follower of branching narration. Rather than a pure investigation game, this is a narrative adventure composed of elements of mystery and murder, he will explain.
A game like Disco Elysium?
It was already rumored last year that Obsidian was working on a role-playing game inspired by the success of Disco Elysium and his mad investigations. With such a comparison, we would therefore expect a good management of skills and dialogues, as well as a resolution of conflicts by speech rather than by combat. This information had been dropped by the knowledgeable Jeff Grubb in an episode of the Grubbsnax Show, which already explained the meaning of the term “Pentiment”: “an underlying image in a painting, especially one that has become visible when the top layer of the painting has become transparent with age“. Probably referring to the graphic style which is very naturally reminiscent of period illuminations and woodcuts. In an interview with IGN, Sawyer will indicate that he was first inspired by another work from 1992, an RPG called Darklands which immersed the player in the 15th century Holy Roman Empire with a supernatural bent, and on Twitter he clarified his other sources:
Something that comes up often is the idea that Pentiment is like Disco Elysium or inspired by DE. This is only true in the sense that DE is an awesome and inspiring game in a broad sense (and also that it doesn’t really have a combat system, but that’s kind of secondary). Pentiment plays much more like Night in the Woods, Oxenfree Where Mutation with light RPG elements and a branching narrative.
Obsidian has long been known for its characters and storylines. ; On The Outer Worlds, we noted in our columns “overall very neat writing, often funny and corrosive“. Fallout New Vegas is also praised for its writing and its respect for the DNA of the post-apocalyptic saga. It is often the technique that seems to be most lacking in the studio on greedy productions, wiping an aging overall realization , sometimes unsightly visuals and a recessed AI. But with the 2D aesthetic adopted by Pentiment and its point’n click gameplay (choices perfectly executed in South Park: The Stick of Truth), Obsidian can now create in a safer space. The narrative game also explores some themes similar to those of New Vegas and the Pillars of Eternity games, namely “death, social transformation and class conflict” (IGN).
As for the mechanics, Grubb was already betting at the time on an RPG rich in dialogues filled with many response options and on relatively limited combat. Hedonist, Artisan, Bookworm, Rascal, Businessman… your Andreas will be able to inherit a backdrop that will affect his choices. It will even be necessary to determine from which distant country it comes. So if he is chosen Italy, he will be able to speak the language, to boast of having some knowledge of Greek and of possessing a solid culture in the local art. In view of the first images, our investigation into a particularly bloody murder seems to follow the thread of a day/night cycle and consist of a few puzzles. The rest will often rely on your intuition.
One of the key things about the game is that we never tell you definitively, canonically, who the murderer is. You have to investigate, find as much evidence as possible. You make your decisions based on what is most important to you. In fact, you decide who will pay for this crime. This may be the person you believe to have committed the crime. This can be the person you think should be punished, whether they are guilty or not. He may be your least favorite person. Maybe he’s the person you think the community will miss the least – Josh Sawyer at IGN.
Pentiment will be available in November 2022 on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series with immediate integration into Game Pass. As for the lifespan, you can count on about fifteen hours.
About the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase
Why Xbox & Bethesda join forces?
In September 2020, Microsoft dropped a real bomb: the firm led by Satya Nadella will buy ZeniMax Media for the sum of 7.5 billion dollars. Therefore, Bethesda and all of its studios moved under the Microsoft and Xbox Games Studios flag. If Bethesda still seems to enjoy a certain autonomy, the two conferences are now one.
Where, when and how?
In a world where the covid-19 pandemic has not happened, Microsoft’s conference would take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, this world does not exist, and Microsoft is organizing its online conference this Sunday at 7 p.m. The show should last 1h30. For the rest we should find a classic format, with trailers and some interventions.