Pathologic 2 is a toughie. It’s a gut-churning doctor ‘em up about hoking through the neighbourhood bins for some buttons to trade for a lump of stale toast. The survival meters were a little too punitive for my tastes in our Pathologic 2 review, so it was heartening to learn that the developers are adding a difficulty slider in the coming weeks. However, in the meantime some players have been happily cracking on with the help of cheats. This basically involves bringing up the console and typing “give me some fish please” in cheat language. It’s sneaky yes, but it’s also a stop-gap for players who want to keep exploring the creepy town and aren’t waiting around for an easy mode. Or, it used to be, because a recent update took this particular command away, leaving poor cheat hobos hungry once again.
Essentially, some folks on Steam discovered how to bring up the console, and people have since been chipping into the topic to suggest new commands. They quickly found commands to activate god mode, unlock achievements, and a way to save the game anywhere (not just at the grandfather clocks which act as save points within certain buildings).
They aren’t exactly user-friendly commands, but they work. And one of the more useful commands was “add_storable”. It was basically a big “I WANT” button. Using a list of items found via another command, you could spawn whatever you liked straight into your coat pockets, so long as it was an item in the game. Fresh fish? Mmmm, here you go. Some raisins? Thank you. A delicious revolver? Don’t mind if I do.
In other words, it was a way to make the survival elements of the game easier without resorting to the all-powerful god mode. But messing around in the console was also possibly game-breaking. A developer dropped into the thread to warn players: “Use console on your own risk, it might break your game/playthrough beyond repair.” Others might get annoyed people are using cheats at all. They might say that wrestling with an obtuse system of rules in order to navigate a dying town is against the spirit of Pathologic, but uh…
Not that it matters. Last week the game got its third and most recent update, and the powerful food-summoning command was quietly removed from the game. The effect is likely minimal, since there’s probably not a lot of people playing through the game by shouting “ONE LOAF PLEASE” at the cyberheavens. But it still takes away one of the easiest ways to tailor your own misery-jaunt through this mysterious town of sick folks. Other commands haven’t been removed at the time of writing. You can still make yourself immortal, but I mean, nobody wants to live forever. That’s what makes vampires go wrong.
Never mind, eh? The difficulty slider is already promised, so there is less reason to be upset. I jury-rigged the game to have a lower hunger rate, so I am as guilty as any fish-pocketer. But since the news about the difficulty options came out, I’ve put it aside for now. I’m happy to see if developers Ice Pick Lodge can give us a sanctioned softies version first.