Why is Pentiments a superior UX game? We're so excited for Obsidians new RPG game

Why is Pentiments a superior UX game? We're so excited for Obsidians new RPG game ...

Can user experience alone make a game worth trying? Speech bubbles or glossary transitions arent what youd call traditional back-of-the-box quotes, but for Pentiment, by Obsidian Entertainment, theyd be appropriate.

The game freezes, the camera zooms out, and the previous screen is now an illuminated manuscript illustration. Endorphins gentle fizz across my endocrine system.

Andreas Maler, an artist at Kiersau Abbey near Tassig in Upper Bavaria, has been murdered. Brother Diero, your friend, has been discovered next to his body with a bloody knife in his hands. Despite the three marked objectives, I decide to wander happily through the abbey's environs until I am successful.

The Pentiments art style invokes medieval illuminated manuscripts, but there's a subtle modernity to it. Colours are warmer and smoother than you would expect, though this is probably because all you've seen of their real inspiration has faded in the last hundred years.

Ottilia, a grumpy old lady who may have witnessed another potential suspect, is the first point I encounter. Her rudeness and unrelenting disregard for the abbot's orders indicate real concern, but she persists in acting as a defense mechanism. She has done nothing but insult me and spit out my bad intentions, but I am forced to assist her.

These dialogues are conveyed via speech bubbles, in which the text appears immediately in outlined characters, which are then filled in with painterly brushstrokes, giving you an immediate impression of the whole story, and allows you to follow along as it is filled in, and strengthens the idea of a human narration. There's even the odd typo, which the author will replace and correct.

Josh Sawyer, the director of Pentiments, is a YouTube video producer who is also working on twitter's UX of showers. It's easy to get excited about what Obsidians' Microsoft stablemate, Bethesda, is doing in terms of Starfield, but im also nervous about the bugs, broken quests, and general jank that long experience with Bethesdas games has taught us to expect.

Ottilia and I gather firewood in the forest. There's a short, tactilely enjoyable minigame in which I press the shoulder buttons to break sticks down to the correct size. She then asks me to break a piece from a huge log, which has been felled for the abbot for the time being. I'm given the chance to reflect on my response, stating that it'll be significant.

Ottilia gets confused anyway: why should a piece of paper entitle anyone else to this wood other than the villagers who came first, who need it, and who tend the forest? I de-escalate the argument by saying we have enough wood anyway, and Ottilia relents, and you see how many quests in RPG games end in a fight, even if you get a perfect score on the widget-gathering prior. This not only undermines the purpose for the story, but it also highlights

Pentiment is a cozy little narrative adventure game that feels like what it is: a proud history geek with a passion for games. Its also a nice little game that shows off its versatility and care, although it's a shame. The ability to be creative with the small stuff also makes it a great sell.