Pathologic 2 DLC is out next week, free for owners of the base game

Pathologic is kind of an oddball cult favorite around here (with some of us, at least) and so it was disappointing to hear that sales of Pathologic 2 were poor enough to throw the future of the game, including planned second and third chapters, into doubt. In August, developer Ice-Pick Lodge committed to free-with-an-asterisk DLC instead, a "polished and optimized version of what was once Pathologic 2's demo" called The Marble Nest while it continued to try to work things out for the remainder of the full game.

Ahead of the weekend, Ice-Pick Lodge explained the presence of that asterisk on the "free" bit—Pathologic 2 owners will get it free, it will be available as a standalone purchase for $10 for everyone else—and also revealed what it's all about. 

"Pathologic 2: The Marble Nest DLC [is] a two-hour spin-off story in the world of the Pathologic 2," the studio said. "Play for a single day as Dr. Daniil Dankovsky, a scientist from the Capital, a fighter of death, and another doctor trying to save the Town alongside the Haruspex, and uncover a different perspective on the events—and Death itself."

The Marble Nest Steam page describes it as a "self-contained story" that requires no knowledge (or memory, or comprehension) of Pathologic 2. More interestingly, it also promises a more "lenient" survival experience than the base, which is punishing enough that the developers were compelled to add difficulty sliders—a lot of difficulty sliders—to make the experience more bearable. "While you still need to manage your body, it’s less pressing," the Steam page says. "It’s almost as if the Bachelor didn’t try to cling to life too much…"

That said, it certainly sounds like a Pathologic kind of gig: "The Town is doomed. But what if Death knocked on your door and offered a chance to do it all again? Would you still struggle, or accept your fate?"

Pathologic 2: The Marble Nest is out on October 28. If you pick up the base game prior to that, you'll get it free.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.