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Pathologic 2 progress report details lockpicking, autopsies, and lucid dreams

Ice-Pick Lodge has released a fresh Pathologic 2 progress report for June, detailing some of the tweaking and tuning that's been done to the game's systems, including trading and bartering, street-level autopsies, lockpicking, and infection. "Many game systems have already been locked in place, and most of our resources go into content creation these days," the studio said. "Still, we keep fine-tuning interfaces and experimenting with sub-systems!" 

Most of the changes seem relatively minor: If you can't meet a merchant's price for something, for instance, some of them will accept other items in trade but will probably gouge you deeply. There are also numerous animated gifs demonstrating how certain game mechanics work, like lockpicking, or how parts of it have evolved: The autopsy screen has been changed to more clearly indicate how organ damage works, for instance. 

But there are also some interesting insights into how Pathologic 2 will actually play. Games can be saved manually, but only in certain places, a "compromise" solution intended to give players flexibility while preventing "abuse". Save locations "often host important characters, so if you strongly need to reload a heartfelt conversation, you will be able to do so, while save-scumming an action sequence in the street is discouraged." And aside from that, it may not work quite as you would expect anyway.

"Are you absolutely positive that loading a save just turned the time and erased the unfortunate event from in-game history completely?" Ice-Pick wrote cryptically. "Are you sure no one remembers?" 

The update also covers work in progress on autopsies, violent encounters with the locals, lockpicking (yes, there is a lockpicking mini-game), infection, diagnostics, healing, lucid dreaming, and more. It sounds weird, but that's Pathologic for you: Intensely strange but really good, if that's your cup of tea. (Those links are for the Pathologic remake rather than the sequel, but it's a fair bet that the weirdness will hold.) A release date still hasn't been announced. 

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.