Fallout New Vegas director's new game Pentiment announced, a 'narrative adventure most unexpected'

Here's one we've been very curious about. Since wrapping up Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire back in 2018, Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer has been quietly working on a new, smaller-scale project at the RPG studio. Now we've finally seen it: Obsidian unveiled Pentiment at the Xbox & Bethesda showcase today. It's a beautifully illustrated narrative adventure about an artist in historical Europe.

In many ways, Pentiment sounds like a narrative RPG in the vein of Disco Elysium, one where the background and experiences you give your character affects a larger story about the community you explore.

"Set in 16th century Bavaria,  Pentiment will take players on a narrative journey through the eyes of Journeyman Artist Andreas Maler during a time of great social unrest. Led by game director Josh Sawyer, this game is brought to life by a talented team inspired by illuminated manuscripts, woodcut prints, and history itself," says the official description. I expect that'll be spicy indeed, as the 16th and 17th centuries in Bavaria are, to put it lightly, a hot mess.

My theory is that the name is a reference to Pentimento, the art historian's term for the presence of earlier forms and brush strokes from a painting's in-progress form. It's quite literally the changes an artist makes over time before the completion of their work. Which makes sense for a game about an artist's life journey! It's derived from the italian word for repentance. So I guess the game could also be about that—it's kind of inevitably going to come up, what with it being set in early modern Europe and all that.

Expect more about Pentiment as the year goes on. Pentiment will release for PC via Xbox Game Pass, where it will be playable on launch. You see a bit more on Xbox's Pentiment website.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.