[Following on from the first two parts, this is the grand finale of Quinns’ evisceration of the game Walker described as “Oblivion with Cancer”. As a compliment. Lots of spoilers, but you should read it anyway.]
Part III: The Soul
There are two themes that run through Pathologic like a couple of sharks lurking in a swimming pool. By themes I mean something that’s vital to the vision of the game yet is detached from the structure of the game proper- something like Half-Life 2’s Orwellian influence, or Beyond Good and Evil’s cartoon imagery. In the case of Half-Life 2, there’s nothing about City 17’s hi-tech tyranny that directly affects your running and gunning. Likewise in Beyond Good and Evil the fact that your hovercraft is repaired by walruses doesn’t make a difference when you’ve got a puzzle in front of you.
In the case of Pathologic, the two themes are meat and theater. And at least to my mind, they’re what propel the game from being interesting and brave to being beautiful. It’s an ugly, ugly beauty though.
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