The term cult-hit gets thrown around pretty loosely these days, I know. However, Russia-based developer Ice-Pick Lodge’s 2005 psychological survival horror RPG, Pathologic, is the true embodiment of cult hit.
For those that don’t know, Pathologic first released in Russia back in 2005 via publisher Buka Entertainment. It then arrived in the rest of Europe in 2006, thanks to publisher G2 Games. An updated version of the original game titled Pathologic Classic HD, which featured new English translation, updated graphics, and enhanced compatibility hit PC in October of 2015, via publishers Gambitious Digital Entertainment and Devolver Digital.
At the time of its release, Pathologic was critically well received in Russia, winning five major Game of the Year awards in Russia. However, it’s reception in English-speaking countries varied widely. Some outlets and press praised the title for its remarkable atmosphere and concept, while others slammed into it for its poor translation and dated graphics. Thus, like a decent amount of cult classics, the quality of Pathologic is highly debated.
But that’s enough history: to the present day. As you may know, a full remake of Pathologic is in the works and being developed by Ice-Pick Lodge for PS4, Xbox One, Mac, Linux, and PC. The game is scheduled to release sometime during fall 2017 (you can read more about it via the game’s old Kickstarter page). But if you can’t wait that long to play the game: good news, you don’t have to.
Today, Ice-Pick Lodge announced the public release of the Pathologic teaser game, The Marble Nest. The Marble Nest is a separate game set parallel to the main story, and was previously only available to backers of the game’s Kickstarter. The several-hour long experience is designed to give players an introduction to the game’s strange setting, which has been destroyed by a plague.
Producer Ivan Solvtsov accompanied the announcement with the following statement:
“We started working on what became The Marble Nest as an internal prototype, but it quickly blossomed into something we felt was representative of the tone and style of Pathologic.”
“We gave it to Kickstarter backers in late 2016 as a surprise gift, and it went down really well – but we also got some really fantastic feedback from those early players. So we decided to polish up the game based on that feedback, and release it to the world, as a taster of what people can expect when the full game launches later in 2017.”
Below, you can check out an official overview of the game, as well as the newly released trailer, which is geared towards the release of The Marble Nest (which can be found here).
In an old settlement on the steppe, attempt to survive, investigate and cure a mysterious disease. Absorb yourself in a cast of fascinating characters. Care for the sick while solving the riddle of what’s killing them. But in the decaying world of Pathologic, staying alive for long enough might be the biggest challenge of all…
In this genre-defying nightmare from Ice-Pick Lodge, you’ll spend 12 days in a town that’s being crippled by an unfathomable disease — one that defies all medical logic and confounds those who try to resolve it. As a healer sent to find a cure, you’ll also need to navigate the town’s unusual culture and traditions, deal with its ruthless economy, and negotiate with the conflicting families that govern this isolated population.
Will you give to the needy or hoard resources for yourself? Will you take one life to save a thousand? Who can you trust? How can you stop the strange plague’s merciless spread across this once quiet settlement?
Pathologic mixes roleplaying, adventure and survival mechanics to tell its dark and dreamlike story. You have twelve days. The people of the town are depending on you.
- A large open-world spanning the whole town and its surroundings
- Three playable characters, each with a unique perspective on events
- A deep, intricate and mysterious story to uncover
- A cast of fascinating NPCs, who respond to your actions
- Survive by managing your hunger, fatigue and immunity
- Brain or brawn: do you talk or fight your way out of trouble?
- A simulated epidemic that evolves and develops in real-time
- Navigate a realistic economy that responds to events in the game
- Up to 72 hours of bleak and harrowing gameplay