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Pathologic 2 is now available, DRM-free. Owners of Pathologic Classic HD can get Pathologic 2 10% off until May 31st, 10pm UTC.

Pathologic 2 is a narrative-driven dramatic thriller about fighting a deadly outbreak in a secluded rural town. The town is dying. Face the realities of a collapsing society as you make difficult choices in seemingly lose-lose situations. The plague isn’t just a disease. You can’t save everyone.
slamdunk: yeah, that's something I'm not sure is expressed enough. one character = one complete story told from their perspective. Pathologic was essentially three different games in one, with common setting and characters and plot, but the personal details are all wildly different. people more informed than I have beaten the game as the one playable character. however, there's a deep deeeeeep rabbit hole of meta plot and lore and character insight that only makes sense once the other two playthroughs are finished. I'm not exactly over the moon about it, but it is what it is. is it unfinished? yes, in my opinion. is the game completable as is? sources say yes.
That's part of the issue I have with how the discussion of the game only focuses on there being one playable character right now. This is not a game with a character select where you play through the exact same levels with slight variations in objectives and different NPC reactions here and there; each in Pathologic character represents a full-game length campaign, with a complete story that is told from start to finish, hence why the original Pathologic is such a massive, massive game. Yes, you need to play all three of them to fully appreciate what has happened to the town, but the campaigns themselves do not feel incomplete; you could walk away satisfied having done only the Bachelor and I expect a sizeable number of players did just that.

It's a legitimate point of concern that the game might not be finished for whatever reason and I'm disappointed myself about having to even think about whether or not we'll get the complete game on GOG, especially after having waited for so long, yet for me that doesn't change that what Ice Pick lodge makes are truly special games that are meaty and dense, memorable and evocative. You are not getting a threadbare indie game with a nice idea but too little room to let it breathe, but a full-course meal that really digs into its subject matter and with a distinctive aftertaste to it. I've never regretted buying one of their games and it would shock me if Pathologic 2 changes that.

As an aside, I feel that the game its reputation as an art-game might be working against it to an extent, due to how this label is associated with games that are designed to be experienced over the course of a single sitting, with little replay value them. It not being finished therefore gives the impression of a bad game, as the effect of these traits is lessened when spread out over a longer period of time. IPL does not make this style of art game, however. Theirs are obtuse and intended to be savoured over the course of multiple playthroughs. For example: you are expected to lose when playing The Void for the first time due how it plays with player knowledge. Pathologic in particular is also meant to be taxing on the player, so rushing through it is not advised.

Put together, while the the worries surrounding the game being unfinished are a factor, so is the fact that this is a new Ice Pick Lodge game and that it represents a type of game that we very rarely get. I'm not going to tell anyone that they're mistaken to be worried, but I will say that I feel that by focusing too much on what might go wrong with it later, we overlook what we already have and how special it is.
Post edited May 25, 2019 by Fortuk
Big news:

We’ve always believed that games are a medium capable of delivering all kinds of compelling experiences—and that said experiences don’t need to be conventionally pleasant to be interesting and fulfilling. Pathologic 2 was always intended to be gruelling, stressful, and bleak; we believe in ludonarrative cohesion and aren’t too fond of stories that are only dark and hurtful on the cover.

However, we also believe—even firmer—in player freedom.

Pathologic 2 was balanced around three principles:

We want the player to always balance on the verge of death, but also always to have an opportunity to drag themselves out (perhaps loading a save or two back—that’s why the game keeps the full history of your saves)
We want the player to be forced to sacrifice “cool and interesting” content due to their survival needs, to be always short on time and not being able to achieve an optimal playthrough. The story of Pathologic 2 is written to be caught glimpses of, not unfold completely
We want the player to do things that feel clearly wrong, like voluntarily thrashing their reputation or using the healing items that could have saved someone. Among other things, Pathologic 2 is an exploration of selfishness—that video games often allow us to completely disregard as a factor

Judging by your feedback, Pathologic 2 is actually balanced in a way that achieves all that.

However, we have received clear feedback that the game is too hard—and we don’t think that everyone who says that misses the point of the experience. People are different and have different attention spans and patterns. So we’re fine with allowing the players to tweak the game a bit to account for this fact.

Our games have always been in a curious spot. Some people only finished the original Pathologic and The Void using cheat codes. So while in theory these players agreed with our stance on games as a medium for creating compelling experiences, in actuality they didn’t really—well—experience what we had in store for them. Which is, of course, understandable. Not everyone wants a life-changing experience every time they launch a game. Sometimes people only want a cursory glance.

Well, we’d rather give people a tweaked experience than none at all.

So, in the coming 2-3 weeks we’ll introduce a difficulty slider to Pathologic 2. You’ll be able to tweak the game mildly, within the limits of what we consider intended difficulty, and also set it the way you want, if you want.

But we hope that you don’t. Pathologic 2 is supposed to be almost unbearable, otherwise the effect is lost. We concede that everyone has their own limits to push. But we strongly advise against making the game easy for yourself.

However, we do like the notion of giving you this freedom—and this responsibility. This way, the achievement of resisting the temptation and finishing the game on intended difficulty becomes even more true and vivid. And that’s the kind of effect we deeply appreciate.
The difficulty of a game getting tweaked post-launch is normally totally irrelevant to me, regardless of whether it is to add higher or lower difficulty options. If that's what you want to change in your game then go ahead and do it, but it seems clear to me that Ice Pick Lodge doesn't want to add them and that its addition here conflicts with what sort of game they wanted to make. That's what makes this news a bit sad to me, as it doesn't sound like their artistic views have changed over time - the game would have had these sliders at launch if that had been case.
Post edited May 27, 2019 by Fortuk
the harsh resource meters as is are stylistic choices, but I can totally see why somebody would take issue. I like their attitude of "You can but you shouldn't" wrt adjustments . "Hunger" is a little metaphysical here to wrap your brain around compared to the 100+ regular ol' survival/crafting games, but yeah, it sucks.