Back in 2005, a Russian studio called Ice Pick Lodge decided to continue the fine tradition of dark and dreary slavic storytelling with Pathologic, a survival horror game quite like any other. It received critical acclaim in Russia, but was largely unknown in the West, at least until a series of articles on Rock Paper Shotgun shone a spotlight on its existence. It is one of the most divisive games ever made. People praise it, people despise it, and many more seem to love and hate it at the same time. More confusing is the fact that the very things that some cite as problems are the exact reason others adore it. It's even a difficult game to describe or pin down, leaving its very nature something of a whispered mystery, even in the face of the many survival games that came in its wake.Well, no more shall the game remain inscrutable. We break down and discuss the gameplay, storytelling and atmosphere of Pathologic in excruciating detail, as newcomers to the game. Can it possibly still stand up in the face of a modern cross examination, or is its status hugely overblown?On this episode, we discuss:How does Pathologic use its interweaved narrative to create a sense of mystery, and were we right to pick different characters to experience different parts of a greater whole?What is the brick and mortar gameplay of Pathologic like? Is it harrowing, bleak and punishing? Or simply tedious and uninspired?How do the characters in Pathologic manipulate you to their own ends? Is there any room to manipulate them back, or are you destined to only be a pawn?We answer these questions and many more on the 71st episode of the Retro Spectives Podcast!--- Intro Music: KieLoBot - Tanzen KOutro Music: Rockit Maxx - One point to anotherPathologic OST: Andriesh Gandrabur Is the gameplay of Pathologic really quite that bad? What hidden aspects of the story completely slipped our notice (I’m sure there were many). Does Pathologic 2 improve upon the things we perceived as flaws, or is it just more of the same? Come let us know what you think on our community discord server!