Wot I Think: The Void


[It seems to have gone through nearly as many name alterations as the Sugababes have line-up changes. It’s the sequel to RPS-championed Russian existentialist minor classic Pathologic, the game Walker described as Oblivion with cancer. It’s finally translated to English. It’s time to send the man who Butchered Pathologic to see Wot He Thinks of The Void…]

A year and a half ago I wrote an article on RPS talking about how Pathologic was the most important game you never played. Lots of you went out and bought it, and I appreciate that, but most of you reported back that you couldn’t stomach it and dropped out after an hour or three of play.

Next month developers Ice-Pick Lodge release their next game, The Void, in English. This time, the translation is a fine piece of work. This time the game is much smoother, easier ride.

This is an article devoted to why The Void is the most important game you are GOING TO FUCKING PLAY. You hear me? Let’s GO.

The Void!

Is!

A game where you play a soul who finds themselves in an afterlife with no memory of the person they once were. We all have our hopes, fears and preconceptions of what the afterlife is meant to be like. The Void takes all of these in both arms and fumbles them into a bin, preferring instead to deploy all of Ice-Pick Lodge’s imagination and creativity in creating something fantastical, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. In other words, a place that’s actually worth exploring.

Desolation is the word, and the word is whispered. If an area isn’t blasted and blackened then it’s been twisted into a useless shape, and everywhere is still and sterile as a full moon. To call a game eerily beautiful is fast becoming a cliché so I’m going to sidestep that, but I will say that the Void musters up both the ugliest and most beautiful imagery I’ve seen all year.

The sound design lurking behind these barren vistas is similarly haunting. Percussion is slow and aimless, voices are never raised, but sometimes seem too loud. There is dripping, clunking, grinding. And in those few areas where the soundtrack does become excitable it seems to have no idea what to do with itself, always repeating or giving birth to confused-sounding solos.

A recurring theme in the Void is hunger, and that has a hand in the way areas are designed. At the very least an area will hint at bare cupboards, while most regions appear either farmed into oblivion or torn apart by some omnipotent brutalist in search of sustenance. Your own character, your soul, must constantly be fed if you want to survive. Likewise, passive NPCs must be fed if you want to progress, hostile NPCs roam the Void consuming what they find, and even the mindless Predators that sit in an area will pluck away at what’s available there.

To take some words from the mouth of one of the The Void’s characters- “There’s only hunger, slumber, and waiting for the end to come.”

So what is it, this substance everybody needs? What is it that’s lacking in such great quantities to have rendered the world exhausted?

Food? No. Water, perhaps? No.

Colour.

Colour is all in the Void. Colour is what stops everyone from slipping away into nothingness, and in the case of your mute character the removal and application of colour is your only means of interacting with the world. To break it down into terms we’re all used to, your amassed colour is simultaneously your health, currency, inventory, mana, conversation options and weaponry. Just as the real challenge in Pathologic was completing your objectives while manipulating a plague-ridden town’s economy, the real challenge in The Void is completing tasks while constantly having to harvest and tend to the world’s colour.

Broadly, you have to sow colour to reap it back. Take the fireflies you’ll encounter from time to time. They’re flighty, egg-like things, easily spooked. Sacrifice some colour by depositing it on the ground and they’ll lap it up as they pass, allowing you to snatch the colour inside them. Gardens are a better deal. You can infuse dead trees with colour then return to them much later once they’ve bloomed, pulling out more colour than you put in. There are many, many methods like this, waiting to be discovered.

That’s not the half of it though. Check out the way colour works once you’ve actually acquired it:

All those bulbs on the right are your ‘memory’, and show colour you’ve picked up. Each bulb only has limited space, and colour held in your memory in this way is useless. However, colour held in your memory can be transferred into your body, ‘couching’ it. Your body must always have some colour couched in it, or you die. Couched colour, however, constantly drains out of your body into the ‘palette’ on the left. Again, each bulb in your palette only has limited space. Colour in your palette can, finally, be spent to affect the world, fight, or talk to people.

So, your body is kept alive by constantly turning the colour you pick up into colour you can use. Colour is spent predominantly by drawing glyphs, which are magical symbols you collect throughout the game. Hold down ctrl and you can trace these glyphs with the mouse while the game continues in accommodating slo-mo (which in combat will never feel slo enough). The first glyph you get is the Donor glyph, for example, which allows you to give colour to something else. This is followed by glyphs like Shell, which protect you, or Hawk, which binds together twigs to create an aggressive flying creature you guide with further dabs of colour.

I’ve already seen people comparing this mechanic to [zelda-derived dog-god-painting console game – Ed] Okami, which is about as correct a sentence can be while still getting on my nerves. Okami was beautifully constructed but had an utterly straight-laced structure. To put The Void in the same sentence as something so safe is doing it a disservice.

I’m not nearly done talking about this colour system. It’s far more complex than this. I’m also not going to say anything more about it, because learning to master colour is the game.

Rather than Okami I’m much happier comparing The Void with old cult favourite Vangers, which I’ve just remembered also came from a Russian developer. These are both games which revel in dropping the player into an utterly alien environment and letting them sink or swim, games where the real opponent is your own ignorance. And that’s the crux of it, really. The most satisfying moments in The Void come from deducing some minute detail of life in this crippled land, and using it to best one of the other inhabitants.

And what inhabitants. So in the Void live Sisters, Brothers and Predators. Or more accurately, Sisters, Brothers, Predators and You. You encounter the Sisters first. They’re all beautiful women who embody the ennui of the Void. Ageless, mercurial, stoic and knowledgeable, they wait out the game in their respective chambers. The more energetic ones might brood, scheme or berate you from the safety of their thrones, or couches, or swing-sets, but they’re ultimately sad figures and unable to turn down your gifts of colour whenever you need something from them.

Choice Sister quote: “Nobody cares about anything anymore. And nobody knows why nobody cares.”

The Brothers are another story, and are at least half responsible for The Void being as disturbing to play as it is. The Brothers are the few souls who managed to come crawling up from the colourless realm that exists beneath The Void, though they suffered terribly in the process. They’re all blind, for a start, and have names like Triumphator and Whaler. And. Well, nightmarish is a word that’s long since lost its original meaning and become a synonym for scary, so I need to be more specific: their character design is like something you’d see in the worst gorgonzola-fueled dream. One of the Brothers is a non-existent musical instrument who’s constantly blowing into and winding himself. Another is attached to the ceiling from a rope, and has a ribcage with extends far enough that it becomes a birdcage. Then there’s the guy with a fanny for a face. He’s a charmer, actually.

Since arriving in the Void each Brother has long since paired off with a Sister and now ‘protects’ them with a miserable zeal. Since they’re all hopelessly powerful, the early game in The Void is in convincing the Brothers you’re one of them (which for all you know you might well be) while you muster enough colour and glyphs to defend yourself. You’ll soon develop a monstrous loathing for the Brothers since you’re forced to watch them wander the map, cleansing areas of colour. Getting a Brother in one of your gardens is always particularly painful.

Finally, there’s Predators. Predators are the bantams of the Void and are just horrid jerks. In a game where your primary concerns are always ‘How much colour do I have’ and ‘Where am I getting more from’, Predators exist to chew colour from both the world and you, if you get close.

The question of how to deal with Predators was what first made me realise where the game was going. This was an hour or so in.

When you encounter your first Predator a Sister guides you through battering it with colour until it dies, then she congratulates you. COOL! You think. And so you get into the habit of unthinkingly crushing Predators you find with colour. Before long a Brother gives you a reprimand, telling you flinging colour around is taboo. Then the colour itself starts whispering at you, telling you you’re wasting your soul. Then you pick up from a conversation about something else that there’s a relationship between colour spent in an area and the Predators that appear. Suddenly, you’re not sure if killing Predators is a mistake. Suddenly, you’re thinking.

Just as Pathologic was really a story that had the confidence to lie to the player, The Void is a game that has the fearlessness to mislead you, to obfuscate the rules of the world and make you rely on your own intuition and experience. In a year where mass-market games development is trying harder than ever to ensure even the most casual gamer is never confused or lost, I find Ice-Pick’s attitude here much appreciated.

And there’s something else that I liked in Pathologic that’s still present in The Void, though it ties in with this same ethos of treating the player as an adult. There’s an incredible freedom to The Void. For instance, (and this is what blows a hole in any comparisons with Okami, Zelda or Metroid) the order in which you acquire Glyphs is partly randomised. Second, failing a Brother’s task doesn’t end the game, it just results in that Brother coming after you, giving you the opportunity to best him. Third, once you stumble across the secret to it, you can murder Sisters at will.

This is Ice-Pick lodge allowing the sabotage of their own narrative, just like they did with Pathologic. But you know what? That’s okay! Just as walking next to a pond, lake or river in real life when there’s no safety barrier brings a strange, animal excitement, so does playing a game with the knowledge that this path you’re following is of your own choosing, and that a mistake or willful decision would change things irrevocably.

Here it’d be possible to write another 4,000 words breaking apart the design of The Void further, peeling and segmenting it just like I did with Pathologic. It’s unquestionably a game that deserves it, but it’s not something I can do now. I was always comfortable spoiling parts of Pathologic because I was writing two years after the UK release and in any case, I knew 95% of people wouldn’t be able to hack its tone, structure and shoddy translation. That’s not the case this time. This is a review, a buyer’s guide, of a heroically inventive, entertaining game, and writing any more would simply be spoiling what hopefully you’re now keen to find out for yourself.

Wait. Shit. You’re meant to talk about flaws in a review too, right?

First: The Void is hard, and requires some degree of perseverance. I don’t consider this a problem, but some people will. Likewise, I was only angry at myself when I had to reload an old save because of a fuck-up that came from me misreading a single letter of a character’s name. I did not consider this the game’s fault. You might.

Second: There is at least one minor bug that I know of.

Third: Transferring colour to and from your body to maximise your effectiveness before an action can get tedious fast if you’re retreading old ground.

That’s it! You can pre-order The Void from here.

As a kind of epilogue, let me finish by saying that I’m going to be doing one final piece of writing on The Void later in the week on the subject of breasts and art. Because, y’know, The Void’s got me thinking. About breasts. And art. It should be good. Come for the breasts! Stay for the art.

From this site

192 Comments

  1. Luchian D says:

    I just hope some of the stuff I wrote in for the Brothers is still there.

    • The LxR says:

      Hello, Luchian! Luckly enough, the texts that weren’t re-written are most of the Brother’ texts. ) Thanks for the help. As well as a big thanks to hydra9. ;)

  2. Vinraith says:

    The only thing that threw me off Pathologic was the incomprehensibility of the translation. I simply couldn’t play the game because I couldn’t understand what the hell anyone was saying. For a short while that was atmospheric, but it quickly became crippling. That’s a pity, because in every other regard I thought it was fantastic. There’s a user translation project going on for the game, I’m not sure I believe they’ll ever actually finish but I certainly hope they do. If they do, I’ll cheerfully go back and give it another go.

    I’m glad to hear the Void doesn’t have that problem. It sounds fascinating, and I’ll plan to pick it up this fall/winter.

    • Dominic White says:

      Not just a user translation anymore. Apparenty Ice-Pick themselves are going back to translate it RIGHT.

    • The LxR says:

      Now, I should note though, that this is a project that I’m doing in my own free time, and judging by how slow work is going, it’s not going to be ready anytime soon. Hopefully, by then some major publisher will realize, that if they gave us a good budget, we’ll make an awesome re-make )

    • Vinraith says:

      Well, I certainly appreciate the effort, I’d love nothing more than to be able to give Pathologic the play through it deserves. Best of luck, I hope someone does pick it up as a full remake and budgets you accordingly.

  3. Vogon says:

    Suddenly this game got me very interested. But I have one question: how NSFW on the scale of 1 to 10 would you rate this game? I mean, would you play this in front of your parents or grandparents? Quinns’ mention of boobs made me worry a bit…

    • Throdax says:

      It really depends on how conservative they are as the game contains full frontal nudity.

    • Vogon says:

      @Thordax: Is it very prevalent?

    • Throdax says:

      Yup, there are screen shoots around, see for yourself or see bits of my longplay.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s artistic nude type stuff. Literally the kind of things you see in old classic paintings. Not granny-fodder, but it ain’t porn either.

      It’s classy, which is probably utterly unique amongst games.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Classy depictions of the human body?

      In *my* video games?

    • hydra9 says:

      Ladies do tend to sit in provocative positions and rub their legs a lot.

    • Throdax says:

      Aya and Ire take the award on provocative position with a honourable mention to Ava

    • Vogon says:

      Damn, I’d rather not have people shouting pr0n!!11! behind my back while trying to play the game.

  4. Psychopomp says:

    “First: The Void is hard, and requires some degree of perseverance. ”

    You had me at hard.

  5. Lambchops says:

    I think I’ll get this.

    I’ve been meaning to play Pathologic again for a while (it didn’t run smoothly on my old laptop which was even more of a barrier to me playing it that the shit translation).

    i remember thinking the start was intruiging but I quickly got afraid that i was going to start doing things wrong – which was actually partly what made it interesting.

    I seem to remember that work was being done on an improved translation – but it wasn’t finished when I was playing it. According to the forum it has been revived but may be over a year away as work was needed to translate the Void.

    As for the Void it sounds very interesting and I reckon I’ll probably buy it.

  6. Earl_of_Josh says:

    I plan to come for the art and stay for the breasts. This game sounds rather splendid, I was excited about it when RPS first covered it. Curse you RPS, I’ll never be rich with all your talkings about awesome games.

  7. Isometric says:

    This sounds absolutely breathtaking

  8. Lambchops says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    @Subject 706: I’m re-translating the game in my free time, so the work is going VERY slowly. It will take a lot of time to re-translate everything. Unless, we get to make a remake officially.

    i'd buy it (again!)

  9. Jarmo says:

    How many hours does it take to complete the game? Ten? Twenty? Eighty? One hundred and eighty? An approximate figure would be fine.

    • The LxR says:

      Around 20 hours, but mostly due to the fact that you need to harvest resources a lot.

    • Jarmo says:

      Thank you, LxR! The game length sounds manageable.

      Now I just hope the game is not too hard for me to be able to finish it. If it’s as hard as Pathologic, I’m doubtful I’ll be able to persevere trough it.

  10. Στέλιος says:

    This sounds lovely. Really. Now, how good is the developer at keeping up with patches and fixes and all that? Is this a STALKER:ShOC like situation where it is wonderful but broken and should expect with time for it to improve?

    • Dominic White says:

      Keep in mind that this IS the bugfixed, tested and improved re-release version we’re getting. The game has been out in Russia for ages. Unless whatever ails it is crippling or very easily fixed, I doubt we’ll get much in the way of patches.

    • The LxR says:

      On the other, hand, the situation is not near as bad as in STALKER – once you figure all the mechanics to staying alive, you’ll be fine. And there’s autosave, which saves the game every cycle, so you won’t lose too much progress. If the public insists, I may make a “easy mode” patch for the game.

  11. Markoff Chaney says:

    I just pre-ordered on Mamba’s site and everything seems to have gone through alright, but I had made my account shortly after the site opened, even if I just ordered it today. Free shipping for the next day or 2 swayed me and the possibility of a direct download version appearing before the discs make it across the pond helped solidify my decision. Shipping info and charging info all appears correct.

    Count me in for re-purchasing Pathologic if it ever gets re-made as well. I’m only too happy to support such a visionary studio to the best of my ability. Thank y’all.

    • The LxR says:

      Thanks for your support. )
      I hope The Void doesn’t disappoint you. )

    • Markoff Chaney says:

      Thank you for your presence with the community. :) On another note, I’m glad the deal with Atari fell through, since you had told me in another thread that you wouldn’t see any money from that deal and I’m sure they would have saddled it with some horrible DRM instead of the already reported no DRM. I hope y’all get paid for your effort with the Mamba Games deal. Keep making wonderful games that I want to buy. I’d love to give my money straight to y’all if I could.

  12. design says:

    I was one of the ones who went and got Pathologic after reading this guys review. And hes right, it was a very important game. It was very hard, and exceedingly bleak, but it was important. I was sad that I did not have the perseverance to struggle through the ugliness and difficulty to finish it, but it just got too scary and too hard and I felt like I could not win. Ill have to think a little more about whether or not to get The Void. Maybe it if it is released on Steam. Im not sure I trust this developer to make a game whose interface and gameplay are pleasant enough that I can struggle through it, and it would break my heart to start and never finish another great game because the control sucked. Because if they had designed Pathologic with the skill of Half Life or System Shock 2s interface (not saying it should be the same interface, it just needs to be as good), that really would have been the best game I had ever played.

    • Dominic White says:

      Admittedly I’ve only played the demo of the German version, but from that and reading reviews, it’s a much more traditionally game-like experience than Pathologic. It’s weirder, but paradoxically more accessible.

    • The LxR says:

      There are two ways of “hard” in computer games.

      1) When technical elements get in the way of the game. Such as a bad interface, where it takes a lot of time to choose an item during which something bad may happen. Stuff like that.

      2) Gameplaywise hard.

      Pathologic had a lot of hard from category 1, while The Void most likely belongs to category 2. We tried to get rid of most of the technical flaws.

  13. Azradesh says:

    Is this getting a retail UK release?

    • Throdax says:

      This is the UK release :)

    • Azradesh says:

      Yeah I guessed that :P
      Will I be able to find it in the shops or will I need to order online?

    • Dominic White says:

      Probably online, but as mentioned, Play.com are offering it, and they’re about as bog standard as you can get.

      I put my preorder down at Mamba Games once they opened their store though. Direct from publisher, so more money (theoretically) goes to the right people. Plus, I think they do digital distro on top of the boxed copy they send. I think.

    • Markoff Chaney says:

      Jason Codd, who is the Commercial Director for Mamba Games, said this 4 days ago in a post on the Ice-Pick Lodge Forums – “We have some great news for you all. The Void is now been duplicated at Sony :)

      Nearly there…………..

      Remember – free delivery up until 1st October from our website http://www.mamba-games.co.uk

      Digital Download will be available in 2 weeks….. “.

    • hydra9 says:

      According to the ‘latest news’ page on Mamba’s site:

      ‘Mamba Games is proud to announce the first 2 products from the “Odyssia” label [The Void and Outcry] are shipping on the 23rd October 2009 and will be available from all major retail outlets and online.’

      …which suggests that there’s a pretty good chance of UK people finding this on the shelves at GAME.

    • Lewis says:

      Wait, what? Is it delayed again? I had Void down for the 16th.

    • Azradesh says:

      Awesome, this game looks amazing, and it’ll be a nice to play a game that is a challenge again. I have a feeling I’ll be buying a few copies of this, one for me and the others for friends. This game needs to be played. : )

  14. Railick says:

    Wow this game seems amazing (reminds me a bit of that weird game on steam where the dude throws squirls with TNT at you I can't remember) I want to go back and play Patholigic now , bad translatiosn don't bother me.

  15. Gutter says:

    “[zelda-derived dog-god-painting console game – Ed]”

    Was that necessary, Mr. Editor?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      For all the people who’ve never heard of the videogame in question, yeah.

      You assume that only hardcore gamers are reading your work and soon only hardcore gamers are.

      KG

  16. DeepSleeper says:

    I can’t say this actually sounds like much FUN. Deep, powerful, moving, etc, yes. But not much FUN.

    I’ll be steering clear of it. I don’t play games for artistic reasons.

    • hydra9 says:

      It just depends on what you find ‘fun.’ The game involves the exploration of a new, creepy and atmospheric world. It also challenges you to survive in often harsh conditions, working things out for yourself as you do so. It’s not for everyone, but there are plenty of people who will enjoy the experience.

    • The LxR says:

      What do you mean by artistic reasons? ) I wouldn’t play a game myself only because it’s called art (-sy ? ), I’ll question why it was deemed so.

      As said above – the game is not relaxing, but there’s a certain part of fun in it. If you fell good, when learning the laws of a new universe, and figuring out stuff, then it will be a lot of fun.

  17. NeonBlackJack says:

    Count me in. That sounds like my kind of game.

    What’s the best way to order it if I live in the US, though?

  18. Jay says:

    Colour blind guy here; do you have to be able to differenciate between different colours?

    • hydra9 says:

      Unfortunately, yes. All of the colours have different properties, so it’s pretty essential to see at a glance what supplies you have of each, or which ones are available, etc.

    • Dominic White says:

      It shouldn’t be that much of an issue to differentiate between them, though. Each colour is held in a different bubble of the pallette, and it tells you its name when you mouse over it. Once you’ve memorized the positions once, that’s all you should need, even if you’re very heavily colour-blind.

    • Mr.President says:

      You will also have to memorize what colour you choose to farm from each tree… And there will be no way for you to determine the colours of lodes in the mine until you actually drill and try harvesting them. Considering that you have to manage your time and resources pretty tightly in the game, it may be a pain in the arse, so be warned.

      Frequent saving and reloading should get you through if you’re really determined to try the game though.

    • Mr.President says:

      Wait, I forgot about the bosses – you won’t be able to see their elemental weaknesses, and they change every second. You’re SOL, I’m afraid.

    • The LxR says:

      We actually had a person on the forums who was color-blind and played the Void successfully. I guess it depends of which colors you can’t distinguish – if you have the classic red-green mess-up, then you might be able to play the game and only have problems, when it comes to boss battles – in most of the other places there are text tooltips of what color you’re using.

    • Halfgild Wynac says:

      If that’s what you are asking, the game doesn’t require you to quickly distinguish between colours or perish. So if the question is, is it possible to play the game without having immediate visual clues from your eyes, then yes, you’ll have up to no problems. Colours are always stored in the same bulbs, and the girls have sound effects on favourite/dangerous colours. Also you’ll hear sound clues when you bulb is full and a certain colour from a tree/animal/vein cannot be collected.

      On the other hand, I’m afraid that in certain cases the knowledge of colours gives you better opportunities: for example, there are no tooltips for the mine veins, trees or small animals. Not that you’ll want to neglect some colours… Usual strategy is to take all, regardless of what colour it is :). But if you need to know which colour it is (for some reason), then the only option left for you is to make screenshot and use colour picker in Paint. *

      Perhaps the “boss battles” are the only occasion when making a screenshot and then looking up colors in Paint isn’t a good substitute for your eyes. I mean, the system is that there is ring with coloured sectors spinning in the corner of the screen. The highlighted sector indicates the colour which does double-damage right now. Surely you can use Paint in the second half of the battle, when you have a really SLOW ring, but at the beginning the ring spins too fast, so you either know the right colour or just forget it and use any color you want.

      * the colour distribution system in the game generates colour all over the entire world each cycle, and the amount of resources is shown on the location tooltip. So usually it is predicatable which colours you can collect in a certain location. Still, it’s usually more than one colour at time.

  19. jarvoll says:

    Is it possible to buy a Russian version of this and have it shipped outside the CIS (specifically, to Australia)? Same applies to Pathologic, too, if anyone knows. I didn’t pour hundreds of hours into learning Russian to be playing/reading/watching English translations of things, but as far as I can discover, I don’t have much choice here (outside TPB or actually going to Russia and buying in-store).

    • hydra9 says:

      I believe this store ships internationally. Unfortunately, it looks like they only carry the original release (from 2008), not the new ‘Voice of Colour’ version (aka. the Russian equivalent of what we’re getting in the UK).

    • Balor says:

      You might as well buy the English version and torrent the Russian.
      You cannot “steal” what you cannot have legally anyway. No sale (of Russian version) for developers anyway. But by buying the English version you evening things out :).

  20. JonFitt says:

    Thanks Quinns. This looks very relevant to my interests, I’ll get this asap.

  21. GGX_Justice says:

    Loved Pathologic, pre-ordered The Void just now.

    Thanks RPS and a heartfelt thanks to Ice-Pick Lodge – keep it up!

  22. Mr.President says:

    Hmm as far as I know, the rebalanced version was the one where you actually HAVE objectives. The original was a more free-roamy deal where you had to figure out what to do yourself. And they have removed a pretty useless micromanagement option that I’m sure we’re better off without.

    At least that’s what I gathered from reading the IPL forums. I have also bought both versions, but only played the second one so far.

  23. bobince says:

    Fantastic! Thanks Quinns.

    Onto the ‘stuff to buy once the graphics card’s sorted’ list with it!

  24. Web design says:

    You guys talk about this game like it was a simulator for heroin withdrawal. Sounds depressing and interesting, I think Ill have to check it out.

  25. Innokenti says:

    Have to find a way to grab it from Russia, actually. So that I can play it in my native, as I did with Mor: Utopia (Pathalogic to you). Nomnomnom. Sounds delicious.

  26. Caleb says:

    It looks like Pathologic was only released in the UK. Will that PC game software work in a US computer if I can get it imported? (Dumb question but I have never imported anything before)

    And it looks like The Void is going to be UK only as well…

    Dammit. First Shenmue 2 on the Dreamcast and now this…

    • hydra9 says:

      If you import a copy of Pathologic, it will work just fine on your US machine. As noted below, very few PC games include any kind of region specific coding, and certainly not this one.

      As for The Void, you can order a physical copy (and have it shipped to you) or get it as a digital download from the publisher’s site.

  27. Markoff Chaney says:

    Gratefully, PCs have yet to succumb to region locking so have your way with the importing. The worst you may find is in importing some titles with non natively installed language sub sets (i.e. quite a few Japanese products won’t work right unless you install the requisite language pack into Windows). Consoles followed the same route that DVDs did, though a lot of that can be said to have something to do with differing standards of Televisions (PAL vs NTSC), as well as ratings boards which are, by and large, moot points with a computer. Enjoy!

    • JKjoker says:

      didnt valve region lock the orange box ? Steam definitely can do it, so i wouldnt feel so safe in the PC realm about that

    • jsutcliffe says:

      I can’t confirm anything about the Orange Box, but when I moved from the UK to the US I brought my PC games library, and everything worked just fine.

    • JKjoker says:

      i remember some kind of problem when some ppl imported the O box because it was cheaper than buying it locally and then Valve gave them the finger

    • JKjoker says:

      here, i found an article

      “Valve uses Steam for territory control to make sure products authorised for use in certain territories are not being distributed and used outside of those territories,” the company said.

      “In this case, a Thai website was selling retail box product keys for Thailand to people outside of Thailand. Since those keys are only for use in Thailand, people who purchased product keys from the Thai website are not able to use those product keys in other territories.”

      in any case, online activations give them the tools to region lock PC games so keep it in mind when you buy those games

  28. Railick says:

    They region locked the sales of the thing not the games themselves. Still if the only way you can get the game is through DD it just as good right ? :)

  29. suibhne says:

    Where to buy this other than Play.com? I’m not seeing any US sites mentioned. I had hopes for GamersGate, but nada.

    • hydra9 says:

      Here. The publisher’s site. They will ship a physical copy internationally, or you can buy it as a digital download.

  30. Masked Dave says:

    I really, really wanted to play Pathologic and tried two or three times, but it *just* *kept* *crashing* to the point that making any progress was basically impossible.

    The Void is more stable though, yes?

  31. The LxR says:

    Word just came from Mamba Games: free delivery is extended for another week until the 10th of October, which will help you benefit from it, especially if you live in America or Australia. :)

  32. WB says:

    Too bad it’s only available for Windows :-(

  33. Marshall says:

    @ The LxR

    So this isn’t really related to The Void, but I had something I rather wanted to ask about. I’m writing a script in which a kid is traveling on his own through Barcelona, and I started to write a moment where he discovers a map of the transit system – and on it, someone has outlined the body of a Bull, where the bus lines seem to create its skeleton and arteries.

    It took me a little while to realize what I’d done, but it should be pretty obvious to you; I’d essentially just ripped off Pathologic. So it threw me into a bit of a fit, because on the one hand I thought it was an image that meshed perfectly with the story and the experience of a city that seems very much to be alive… but on the other hand, it felt like plagiarism.

    I was just wondering what you might think about it.

  34. dbdkmezz says:

    I just got an email from amazon saying that they've not received stock from the supplier so there's gonna be a delay. Anyone else got any problems with play or mamba?

  35. hydra9 says:

    The date has unfortunately been pushed back to 23rd October (one week later). Hopefully (barring postal strike), you’ll get your copy on Friday!

  36. Hydrurge says:

    Okay, when you told me that you could kill the Sisters, I was sold.

    NOT because I want to, necessarily, but because just from what I’ve read on this game, they seemed like something completely immutable. Allowing that kind of choice, that kind of subversion of the game’s principal assumptions… That is incredible.

  37. Matt says:

    I’m ordering this right now just because you’re so present in the community.

    Mabye because of the glowing review too. Just a little.

  38. BertieB says:

    Heads up, The Void is on offer in the Steam sale – 50% off. I’ll be getting this either as a Christmas present or as a gift from me to me =) It’s the kind of game that should be bought and played, if only to encourage more developers to try new things.

    Also, engaging with the community = totally win. Go The LxR et al.

  39. Στέλιος says:

    Grabbed it off Steam with the sale and proceeded to somehow spent four hours with no break. This thing is just fabulous and, frankly, it should be a wake-up call to all these publishers that just keep funding and churning out the same old formulaic things.

  40. security system says:

    in a genre where game developers are trying harder than ever to ensure that even the most casual gamer is never confused or lost, Ice-Pick’s attitude here is very much appreciated.
    security system

  41. a.simons613 says:

    Was the suggestion about a breasts/art article a joke? Because I would gladly read such an article.