Pentiment Test, an immersion in Christian society


After Pillars of Eternity, The Outer Worlds or Grounded, the latest project from the Obsidian studio has aroused everyone’s curiosity. It must be said that with his own graphic style, pentiment clashes in the catalog of the Californian studio. Expected by many people, the narrative adventure promises much more than its sought-after artistic direction.

This Pentiment test was carried out on a PC with a version provided by the publisher.

Welcome to Christian Renaissance Germany

The story takes place in the 16th century, in a charming little corner of Bavaria. This is where we embody Andreas Maler, a young artist from Nuremberg, in search of success. To hope to become a Master in his field, Andreas must first finish what will be his masterpiece. In the heart of the scriptorium of the Abbey of Kiersau, he therefore works every day on a liturgical work on behalf of the abbot. The latter provides him with financial support in exchange. If the atmosphere at the abbey is all that is more austere, Andreas nevertheless binds friendship with one of the brothers. An old monk who takes him under his wing and who quickly becomes the closest thing to a mentor for the young artist.

Andreas working on his masterpiece

But after months of work, Andreas feels that his return to Nuremberg is fast approaching. And that hardly enchants him. Because in addition to his family, with whom relations are complicated, it is an arranged marriage with a certain Sabine who awaits him. Another obligation in his journey to become a Master Artist. In no hurry to become a man married to a stranger, Maler much prefers his daily life in Kiersau. And this, even if the latter is quite monotonous. When he is not working on his masterpiece, Andreas interacts with the inhabitants of Tassing whom they meet every day since he is staying there.

This routine will however be upset one fine morning by the arrival in the village of a somewhat pedantic Baron, patron of the abbey. While his presence is clearly not to everyone’s liking, whether among the villagers or the men of faith, the Baron will be found murdered. Problem, the monk caught in the act next to the body, is none other than Andreas’ mentor. The latter absolutely does not believe in his guilt and will, to prove his friend’s innocence, lead the investigation in the hope of finding the real culprit.

Choices with consequences

This is where a point and click detective game will begin. The hunt for clues to find those who would have had an interest in seeing the Baron disappear begins, but it will not be linear. Indeed, from the start of the adventure, choices have to be made concerning Andreas’ past. And even if they seem trivial, they determine the possibilities of the artist’s investigation. The city through which he passed before landing in Kiersau will establish the languages ​​and cultures known by our budding detective. As for his strong subjects studied at the university, they will give him the necessary tools to approach certain elements of the investigation.

Rather hedonistic or bookworm?

Thus, the notions in medicine will make it possible to attend the autopsy of the body for example. In short, the investigations carried out by Andreas will directly depend on the characteristics chosen for him at the start. A feature that will allow great replayability since from one game to another, Andreas will not have the same skills. And so his investigative journey will not lead him to the same suspects. But it will also bring its share of frustrations since some evidence will not be accessible without having the necessary skills.

Not to mention that our choices don’t just impact Andreas. Indeed, we understand very quickly that certain decisions will not only have repercussions in our investigation but also on the whole community. And sometimes for the very long term. We will also be able to see the impact of our actions over nearly 25 years.

A (too) rich narrative

A long period which allows to get to know everyone, inhabitants of Tassing as residents of the abbey. We get attached to some, we learn to hate others. Because if Pentiment is rich in anything, it is in its narration. And none of the characters were left behind. With each discussion with them, the dialogues teach us a little more about their past, their hopes or their anger.

In addition to the investigations to be carried out, the game is also an open door to discover – or rediscover – certain historical elements. Even though the setting itself is fictional, the player finds himself immersed in 16th century European history. And the political and religious upheavals that go with it. Pentiment thus paints a biting portrait of the ultra-Catholic society of the time. A world where a single wrong word could be extremely expensive. Even more when some peasants remain attached to their pagan beliefs. Alongside the established Catholic power in what was then the Holy Roman Empire, the game also provides insight into the peasant wars and revolts that really shook the country.

Presentation of Saint Luke in the lexicon

In short, the title takes us on board with its narration and its story with a capital H. And it is all the more easy to be absorbed by what is told to us as the artistic direction of the work is right. Each decoration takes up the hand-made illuminations or woodcuts, common currency in the Renaissance. The colors are shimmering and the details have been provided with great care. The dialogue bubbles fill with the sound of the pen scratching the paper as the conversation progresses. And the font varies according to the level of education of the interlocutor. Thus a monk will be represented by a Gothic writing when a simple peasant will write with a more muddled writing.

Only, without any dubbing, the writing is of paramount importance in the title. And Pentiment is a game where you find yourself reading a lot. If the dialogues and other reported facts are all very interesting, they considerably slow down the pace of the game. Especially since the sets, as beautiful as they are, are quite few. The plot unfolds very quickly always in the same places and can sometimes give the impression of going around in circles. A little more diversity would undoubtedly have made it possible to erase some lengths.

The results of the Pentiment test


An exciting adventure despite some delays.

Between its finesse of narration and its sublime artistic direction, Pentiment is an adventure game that knows how to get us on board. The impact of the choices on the course of the scenario promises great replayability. Obsidian’s attention to detail makes it a mesmerizing work. Despite some lengths and a slight lack of flexibility in the course of the adventure, it is undoubtedly a game to test to immerse yourself in an exciting story.

The strong points

  • An artistic direction as beautiful as it is original
  • An elegant and sought-after narration
  • Great attention to detail
  • Choices that have real impact
  • Great replayability

The weak spots

  • Surveys a little too directed by your initial choices
  • Too many lengths

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