After playing an early demo of Ice-Pick Lodge's Pathologic remake in late 2016, I genuinely couldn't sleep at night. I loved the open-world survival horror original—which has since been remastered—and admired the creepy and equally dysfunctional direction in which the devs were steering this one. Now named Pathologic 2, the game's latest progress report teases its new combat mechanics, smarter AI NPCs and some of the nightmare-inducing locations that are set to feature in the final game.
Throughout this blog post, Ice-Pick Lodge underscores the importance of resource management in Pathologic 2. Like the 2005 original, crucial items have many different uses in different precincts—"Do you drink water or use it to make a tincture? Do you drink that tincture or use it on someone else to detect early plague symptoms in them?"
With this in mind, a dynamic district-by-district dynamic reputation system has been added—which means you'll be shunned by the communities you've failed to save/gone on a murderous killing spree within, but will be treated with indifference elsewhere.
The team are also working on non-lethal fights and AI that can surrender.
"Let’s face it: while the mood and the role-playing of Pathologic 2 may not be about fighting, sometimes mugging people makes fiscal sense," explains Ice-Pick Lodge. "There are several systems in the game precluding you from abusing this, like the aforementioned reputation and armed NPCs reacting to your violent actions… but some players will still be tempted to resort to violence, especially in self-defence, and we want to provide a middle ground for them. If an NPCs feels threatened enough, they will stop fighting and let you mug them. No blood will be shed."
Naturally, NPCs will probably put up more of a fight if you go after their organs, but I guess that's to be expected. Those who do wish to get dirty should know melee fights have gone through "several" iterations since January of this year, and that stamina management and movesets have been tweaked to ensure human NPC opponents react as expected.
No matter how aggressive Odonghs get, though, I can't not find them cute. Check out those encounters for yourself here—where you'll also find more on the above and the multiple other areas Ice-Pick Lodge is actively improving.
No hard release date as yet, but I for one am looking forward to/terrified of Pathologic 2.