Narrative RPG Pentiment is the Xbox exclusive to watch this fall

This holiday season is shaping up to be an unusual season for Xbox owners. Players don’t get an expensive game like infinite aura or Forza Horizon 5, making parents scramble for a clear gift this year. Instead, Microsoft is pushing a series of smaller titles that are set to debut on Xbox Game Pass. This list includes comedy shooter high on lifebiopunk horror game mockeryand indie darling Slime Rancher 2. But the most intriguing game on the Xbox list is also the most offbeat: pentagram.

Pentiment – Official Announcement – Xbox and Bethesda Game Show 2022

Despite all the brilliant heavy-hitters shown at Microsoft’s big fair earlier this summer, this 16th-century narrative adventure was the one I’ve been eager to learn more about. With its recently announced November 15 release date approaching, I had a chance to find out exactly how the game works during a demo at Gamescom. While the niche game may not win over Xbox fans who like great taste on a budget, pentagram He looks to expand what the platform is known for and redefine what console-exclusive looks in the era of Xbox Game Pass.

Old detective!

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, a studio known for RPGs like Fallout: New VegasAnd the pentagram It sounds like the kind of indie game that you might come across while browsing through Xbox Game Pass. It is a 2D narrative RPG set in 16th century Bavaria and has an illustrative art style reminiscent of medieval paintings. Players control an artist named Andreas Maler, who seeks to discover the truth behind a recent murder – one that appears to have been framed on one of his friends.

At the beginning of my demo, I have to make some RPG decisions that will teach the entirety of the gameplay from then on. I was asked to choose what skills Andreas had studied on his travels and what areas he lacked. I decided to make him an astrologer who is good at public speaking and also loves to get into fights (thanks to the ‘Rapascalion’ trait). religion? Not so much his strong suit.

Boat in Pentiment

These skills will become crucial during my demo as I have been given three different clues to explore. While evaluating my options, I spoke to some city dwellers. When I was trying to rock some info from a friend, I was given a dialogue option that would allow me to make a big speech promising that he could trust me thanks to my fiancé trait. He knew I was full of him, but he was touched by my words nonetheless.

Once that was done, I picked my first real thread when I questioned a local fisherman who wasn’t too happy to see me. I had the option of fighting a fight with him thanks to my agitated nature, but I thought better of it. When he decided to dump me without telling me a word, I started falling behind him while he went about his routine. In the end, that led me to a fishing hole where he was throwing a line to the side of a friend. I eavesdropped on the conversation from the safety of a hollow log, and sure enough, I heard some exciting chatter.

That’s when I learned that the game has more than just a choice of dialog options. When I listened, the game cut to a close-up of an insect crawling on me. I had to press button A to quickly clear it before I made a noise. This will happen again, but I didn’t expect the button prompt to change. I screamed, frightened the fisherman and yanked him out of the pond before I could get any chatter.

While this is the only moment I had during this part of the demo, I was loaded into a mini card game after coming to the end of my unsuccessful attempt to retry. Each player on the table gets a card to start. Next, the dealer gets rid of some cards and places one face up on the table. If the value of this card matches the card the player is holding, he wins the pot. It’s a simple little game that’s played for pennies, but it got me excited about the other exhilarating interactions around this dialogue-driven murder mystery.

Andreas paints in Pentiment.

What I especially appreciate is that games like pentagram You rarely get that kind of love from platform owners like Microsoft. They might get a few minutes of live streaming, but they are positioned as niche versions under the “killer apps” with heavy IP addresses. This isn’t a huge holiday release, but Microsoft treats it as a single release. Perhaps it’s a sign of Microsoft’s confidence in Xbox Game Pass as a system vendor rather than a major game. Perhaps it’s a sign that the subscription age is allowing platform owners to gamble more on “prestige” games, similar to how Netflix did in its heyday. Or maybe Microsoft doesn’t really have a choice given how short the 2022 list is.

Whatever the situation, pentagram It really caught my eye after only 20 minutes. It’s an excellent studio that gets a chance to create an RPG that trades in an open world shooting narrative plots. When I get the final version, I’ll make sure to get some details from that hunter, even if I need to use my obscure knowledge to do so.

pentagram It launches on November 15 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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