Parents' Guide to

Pathologic 2

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent survival horror game tests players' moral fiber.

Game Windows 2019
Pathologic 2 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Difficult Game With Difficult Themes

This game is as difficult as it is bleak. The gameplay is non-intuitive and the dialogue is confusing at best. The intention is to alienate and confuse the player to get them to engage with the game's themes of death, humanity, and morality on a deeper level, the way that Brechtian Theatre does. It succeeds at this and then some, creating an engrossing experience that will leave an impact. It is intended for older audiences as many of its deep philosophical, moral, and existential themes are going to be missed by children. Nonetheless the game features violence, large amounts of death to disease, alcohol and substance abuse, and deals with heavy themes such as suicide so it should only be played by mature individuals.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This adventure game is tough and not for the easily frustrated, because even with newly-added easier difficulty levels, the challenge and the likelihood frequent restarts is high. Still, if you're up for a challenge, Pathologic 2 is one of the most interesting games you'll play this year. Young Russian surgeon, Artemy Burakh returns to the small Russian town where he was born to find the place grim and dark and the townspeople—even his old friends—suspicious and hostile. Worse yet, a mysterious illness is on the rise and food and medicine are scarce. The situation is desperate and creates the perfect testing ground for a young doctor who's also an emotionally ambivalent native son.

Of course, the hero's (and your) main emotion here is fear. The twilit village with its "orderlies" in plague doctor outfits, weird frog people who run the ferry system, scary kids, rampaging thugs, and witch women carrying cow skulls, is a nightmare in the making. Outright horror is everywhere, and fear colors your every decision. Do you use your limited medicine on a dying child or on yourself? Do you desecrate the dead if doing so means saving the living? Do you embrace the wisdom of your steppe ancestors or dismiss it as superstition? The mental anguish is tough to endure, but finding enough food, water, sleep, and medicine to keep yourself alive is the real challenge. Pathologic 2's depth of emotion is remarkable, mainly because it's not the sort of game you “win.” With limited time and resources, it's impossible to do everything, and you go in knowing some things (and some people) will be lost forever. On one hand, this is hard to accept. On the other, it's a great excuse for additional playthroughs. Mind you, it isn't meant for kids under 17. In spite of the game's meaningful themes, its nudity, drug use, profanity, and graphic violence make it one “thought buffet” that's meant for grown-ups only.

Game Details

  • Platform: Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Ice-Pick Lodge
  • Release date: May 23, 2019
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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