Pathologic remake confusingly renamed Pathologic 2 ‘to avoid confusion’

Ice Pick Lodge’s remake of Pathologic, their wonderfully unpleasant 2005 horror, has picked up a publisher and a confusing new name. The crowdfunded full remake is now named Pathologic 2 [official site], though it definitely is not a sequel. New publishers Tinybuild say that the name is, somehow, “to avoid confusion”. Right-o. Accompanying today’s weird news is a gameplay vidblast showing sickness, autopsy, and purification in the diseased and dying town. Observe:

Pathologic is a mystery-solving survival horror set inside a town which is being killed by a mystery sickness. This isn’t in the usual video game sense that NPCs sit around repeating the same few lines of moaning dialogue, but a real and terrible — and accelerating — decline that is lived across each of its simulated days. Playing as doctor, shaman, or mystic healer, we try to investigate the sickness. It’s a… life sim RPG survival horror? Everything goes bad, quickly, and survival and horror become so much worse.

You can read so very much about that in young man Quinns’s one two three-part diary. Spoilers, obvs.

So what’s up with this new name? Alex Nichiporchik of publishers Tinybuild says, “What we referred to as Pathologic is now Pathologic 2 to avoid confusion between the original game, Pathologic Classic HD, The Marble Nest, Mor. Utopia, and so on.”

Yes, it was strange that Pathologic has both a remake and revamp (one started after the remake was crowdfunded, even) and that does bring definite potential for confusion in whatever name they chose. ‘Pathologic 2’ brings a whole new load of confusion of its own, mind. Weird.

Well, expect Pathologic 2: Not A Sequel some time in 2018.

An alpha build should be going to Kickstarter backers “soon”, packing a smaller town and sketches of some game systems. Tinybuild say they plan to release builds fairly frequently, following on feedback to tweak the game’s direction.

28 Comments

  1. Freud says:

    I hope they remember that complexity is not depth. Make it easy to play with meaningful player choices and it will find a bigger audience than the first one.

    • wwwhhattt says:

      I remember in one of the updates they were wondering if they’d wanted to completely simulate an economy just for the sake of simulating an economy rather than any benefit to the game, so I’d sounds like they know complexity for it’s own sake isn’t that interesting.

      Script here: link to kickstarter.com

    • upupup says:

      No way it’ll be easy to play. That would completely clash with the tone of gradually being broken down in your pursuit of an elusive, impossible to catch foe, until there’s nothing left of you but stubbornness and regret.

      Fun for the whole family.

    • Doug Exeter says:

      Seriously. The hardcore people loved the first one, and there was a lot to love! But it was pretty impenetrable without multiple playthroughs and a guide. I admired the as of then seldom used “throw you in the deep end” from the start way, style of play before Dark Souls made it cool, but it was still a mess.

      First install I lasted about a hour before giving up. Second install after reading the RPS series, downloaded a guide and I made it to day 5 or so before getting bored. It was fascinating for a while but got sick of save scumming and the slow movement. I’d love to play a version of it that wasn’t a mess

  2. Meat Circus says:

    The balls-hard survival genre is much more of a mainstream phenomenon than it was in 2005, that said the difficulty wasn’t the problem. The obtuseness was. And a lot of that was down to translation issues.

    Ice Pick Lodge have a unique approach to exposition though. If they just handed everything you wanted on a plate, it wouldn’t be THEM.

    • marcelocollar says:

      Just increase the walking speed and it’s ok.

      • lasikbear says:

        Looking good from the video above, that guy was racing along compared to Pathologic 1: Original Version

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      Don Reba says:

      The original game wasn’t actually hard once you got the mechanics and if you weren’t opposed to some save spamming.

  3. upupup says:

    Not a fan of TinyBuild (for one they’ve been consistently terrible at keeping their GoG games up to date) and the change to calling it Pathologic 2 is a bit weird. I’m still looking forward to trying this, though.

  4. yhancik says:

    In a world… where reboots lose their number, while remakes get one.

  5. caff says:

    Really looking forward to this.

  6. Andrew Kleiner says:

    I understand the reasons behind renaming. I have watched interviews with Nikolay Dybowski. He said that this game shouldn’t be called “remake” because it’s really more like rethinking, reconsidering with a new script, new story, etc.
    But still “Pathologic 2” seems a bit weird.

    • twaitsfan says:

      They’re also behind, seemingly, because they’ve done a bunch of things that weren’t in the kickstarter. Like a boardgame, or a PS4 Knock Knock release to “learn the process”. Look, I get it, Kickstarter isn’t an investment, not everyone can be utilized with perfect efficiency so other projects…, “It’s not my place” yada yada, they need an income stream, etc. I just wish projects like this would do what they said they were going to first, and then do the other stuff.

      There was also this update which was titled “Not a remake”, which seemed to be in direct contrast to what we kickstarters kickstarted and what they’re saying now:
      link to kickstarter.com

      Overall, I’m disappointed. But (shrug) Kickstarter is like that. I just don’t get the fanboy attitude with people actually saying “But, as always, do whatever you think you need to do.” Huh?

      • Kitsunin says:

        Personally, when I back something on Kickstarter, the only thing I really care about is whether the team makes the best thing they can possibly make. Even if they keep to schedule, it’s still a very long time, so to me, what’s the difference between one year and three? Seriously, I can’t bring myself to care at all, and if I cared, I sure as shit wouldn’t be backing things on Kickstarter. As long as the game is good in the end then I’m fine with it coming out when it comes out.

        Otherwise, I don’t really see who would prefer for this to be a true remake rather than a “reimagining” or whatever you want to call it. The only people it would even make a difference for would be people who played the first game through already, because if you haven’t, you wouldn’t even know whether it was a remake or something totally new. And if you have played it through how could this be anything but a good thing? Heck, even after just reading the wonderful trilogy of articles on RPS I’m happy that this won’t be retreading the same ground I read about. Even if it contradicts what they said, it doesn’t seem like it could be remotely controversial…

        • twaitsfan says:

          I think that there is a balance between supporting a group of developers and them keeping to what they originally pitched to some degree. I hear what everyone is saying, but this isn’t patreon (which I patronize), there is a specific pitch and based on the rules of kickstarter, more or less you are backing that pitch. I’ve backed several projects that stuck to what they promised to a large extent and it worked out great – Hyper Light Drifter, Moon Hunters, Tahira, etc.

          I’m not flipping out about this, or trying to hijack a thread, but since there are plenty of projects that follow the (admittedly) loose guidelines of kickstarter, why should I not be disappointed when one doesn’t? If you want to do patreon, do that, so I know what I’m getting myself into and I’ll be happy to support you.

          I think many people who back kickstarters are more enamored with the idea of funding something and/or don’t want to feel like they’ve been duped so they recoil against any criticism of the devs. I get that, but if no one holds anyone accountable for anything, things don’t get done, or at least, less things get done less well. And people like me, who are a bit more anal than everyone else I guess, just don’t back things. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I think there can be a balance.

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        basilisk says:

        Since I was the one who wrote that, let me try to explain.

        For me, Kickstarter is patronage. I’m contributing (a rather significant sum of money in this particular case) because I want to play a new game designed and made by Ice-Pick Lodge. I have no interest whatsoever in making any backseat decisions myself. I do not expect or want to have any say in what they do. They’re the artists, I’m just the guy with the money.

        I don’t know the full context of their decisions, I don’t have all the information, I don’t care. It’s their job, not mine. I want to see the game made and I hope it’s good, and so I paid money to help with its development. And I want it to be the game they want to make, not the game that I (or anyone else for that matter) would make if I could. That’s really all that matters. Their vision, their game.

        I am aware many people don’t view Kickstarter like this, which is fine. They want to have a say in the process, and that’s partially why they do it. Well, I very much don’t. This studio has my absolute confidence.

      • forddent says:

        Similar to what others have already said – I view Kickstarter as more of a patronage thing and less of a pre-order thing. I gave Ice Pick Lodge money because I like the things they do and I want them to do more things – hence why I also have a copy of the Pathologic board game they helped to develop (it’s a pretty good game, apropos of nothing) and why I have perhaps donated more money than is necessarily… sane?

        I’m impatient to get my hands on the final product, of course (who wouldn’t be? Marble Nest is legitimately one of my favorite games of the year), but I can be patient – I’ve got a playthrough of Pathologic HD on day 4 or 5 going, so I have time to go back to it. I am confident the results will be worth the wait – something I don’t think I would say about damn near any other game developer out there.

  7. Sinjun says:

    You can’t argue that this was the wrong decision. It’ll guarantee more sales, everyone except people following development would have been confused what with the original already getting a remaster. There’s nothing confusing about this new title.

    • twaitsfan says:

      I think people here have successfully argued both those things. Apparently, you disagree, which is what an argument (debate really) is. So, yes, you can argue that and it is in fact happening right before your very eyes.

  8. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I want the next one after that to take on a slapstick tone and be named “Pathologic 3: Army of Suok”

  9. BaronKreight says:

    Nichiporchik is a funny name I agree. Probably ukrainian or belarussian origin.

  10. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Press K to knock?

  11. CloneWarrior85 says:

    So in order to not make confusion with the original, they make a confusion about a sequel…

    For devs who can make such complex game, they sure can’t figure out how to name it xD

    But names aside, as long the game is good, names don’t matter.

  12. BiggerJ says:

    Lets be fair, here – Pathologic did not find fame and recognition by acting like sane people.

  13. cpt_freakout says:

    They should’ve just said ‘screw it’ and named it Pathologic 4.