Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Nov 18, 2022
    As the months and years roll by, you feel those layers settling in, the weight of decisions these people have made – and that you’ve made too – shaping the history of the place. When the paint dries, you can pick up the brush again and continue the story.
  2. Nov 18, 2022
    Pentiment intertwines art, story, and even philosophy itself into a game that ought to be a benchmark for narrative games. Obsidian took the essence of the games that they are renowned for, which is none other than the "cause and effect" in terms of our choices and places them in a historical context. This is a special, virtually flawless title that we highly recommend to all those who love history and narrative games.
  3. Nov 16, 2022
    Pentiment is one of the most intelligent and most engaging adventure games I have ever played. Just like Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”, Obsidian’s masterpiece intertwines crime mystery with historical, theological and personal threads and embeds all that in a very believable portrayal of human relations. I’m convinced this brilliant game will be remembered for decades to come.
  4. Nov 14, 2022
    As an engrossing 15 to 20-hour adventure game, a chronicle of a small town and its people in turbulent times, a reverent celebration of the finer details of Late Medieval history, and a clever detective story in which straight answers are hard to come by – Pentiment is a clear champion. My gripes about it are all relatively minor, and I look forward to playing it at least once or twice more to explore roads not taken. It never suffers for its simplicity, lacking in combat or traditional puzzles, because of how effectively it tangled me up in the complexities of its gorgeously-realized world and made me want to learn all I could about its people and its past. There isn't much more to say about Pentiment, other than I can hardly recommend it highly enough.
  5. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment’s incredibly compelling characters, immersive ambience and impactful choice and consequence make it a masterfully crafted RPG. Josh Sawyer and the team at Obsidian have created a truly special game.
  6. Nov 14, 2022
    It's a magnificent thing, and this story will be lingering in my thoughts for quite some time. Pentiment takes Obsidian's expertise in branching narratives, role-playing, and building evocative worlds, then packages it all up in an exciting and unique way. I was devastated when it was over, and I'm still not over that ending. But now I'm looking forward to playing it all over again, this time with another Andreas. Maybe one who speaks Latin, studied law, and spent his wandering years in Switzerland. There are some bad choices and disastrous consequences I'd like to avoid this time too. That's the beauty of being an artist: you can always scrape the parchment clean and start again.
  7. Nov 15, 2022
    In the end, Pentiment is one of the best games of 2022 that anyone could play. The story is rich and wonderfully written, and it is not afraid to point out the hardest struggles of our past and today’s lives. The characters, same as the story itself are authentic and created thoughtfully. The gameplay of Pentiment is simple compared to other Obsidian games, and it might be too simple, but it is not something that would decrease the pleasure of enjoying this piece of art. I have lost count of many times I’ve admired the details and aesthetic of the game which becomes a full package of 16th-century culture when the music reaches your ears.
  8. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a shining example of committing fully to an idea without worrying about where it fits in today's gaming market. The result? One of the best games of the year, narrative and otherwise.
  9. Nov 14, 2022
    Obsidian has a fantastic history of ambitious RPG titles, but none feel as confident and refined as Pentiment. This is a game that truly understands the intoxicating nature of choice in video games, and rewards you with cynical torment befitting the world it portrays.
  10. Jan 3, 2023
    Overall, Pentiment is a fantastic game with minor flaws that still impresses, even if the twist at the end of the second act is very difficult to accept. Despite being developed by a small team, Obsidian has demonstrated its ability to create an immersive and demanding game that blurs the line between art and gameplay.
  11. Dec 6, 2022
    Unlike the usual historical games, it is a game that is very realistic and sometimes sad, but definitely needs to be experienced at least once.
  12. Edge Magazine
    Dec 1, 2022
    A coup de theatre that leaves us bowled over. One for gaming's history books? That's something upon which Pentiment's players can surely agree. [Issue#379, p.108]
  13. Nov 18, 2022
    Even though the almost 20-hour detective story takes a lot of time at the beginning and has been provided with little playful variety, Pentiment shines with a gripping murder investigation that captivates more intensively step by step. The team around Sawyer succeeds flawlessly in connecting interesting characters from different social classes and backgrounds to a complex web that contains many major and also intimate revelations. 
  14. Nov 14, 2022
    A powerful reminder of the versatility of videogames as a medium, visually and narratively. We "just" need talented developers willing to go for them and companies that sustain and support them.
  15. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is, despite its scarce and more than simple gameplay and its few extra hours, a game that shines with its own light in a year with great releases. The new Obsidian manages to hook you with its history and all its twists, but without forgetting its social, political and religious context; Rich in nuance and depth. An obligatory recommendation for fans of both RPG's and narrative adventures, a jewel that you cannot miss.
  16. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a compelling narrative adventure that pushes you to make decisions, and then see how those consequences play out. But it also has a dedication to showing how the people, as much as the town and ongoing intrigue, have to live with everything that goes down. It’s a murder mystery, but it’s also a decades-spanning story about people trying to make a life in a little town called Tassing. It’s gorgeous, crafted, and will certainly fit the bill for anyone seeking some historical intrigue with a complex but earnest heart inside.
  17. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment tells a tale that enthralls at the level of the personal and social alike, exploring a history that doesn't merely recreate period objects and customs, but functions as an evolving process sculpted by individuals within circumstances beyond their control. A melting pot of ideas and characters adds nuance to tightly plotted murder investigations, as does an art and scripting style inspired by 16th century scribes. The pace may feel slow at times, but for all the focus on dialogue choices, Pentiment is anything but all talk.
  18. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is the interactive choose-your-own-adventure story I’ve been waiting for my whole life. I love that I get to immerse myself in the game world without having to stress about button-mashing battles or jump scares. It’s delightfully engaging without being distressingly hard, and I’m loving every minute of it...I’ve never played anything like Pentiment, but I really hope I get to again soon.
  19. Nov 14, 2022
    This historical murder mystery isn’t what you might expect from Obsidian Entertainment, known for first-person action RPGs like The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas, but there is still importance placed on building your character and choosing how you experience the world. It explores the societal, theological, and artistic beliefs of one town during a time of rapid change, and it does so with a beautiful art style unlike anything else in video games. Everything about Pentiment feels as carefully designed as the illuminated manuscripts it draws inspiration from, delivering an enthralling mystery that is a wonder to behold.
  20. Nov 14, 2022
    A beautiful and beautifully-written narrative game that makes masterful use of its early modern setting. One of Obsidian's finest.
  21. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a beautiful journey in a historical period (unfairly, I say) not so often addressed, focused on narration rather than gameplay, almost absent. Here, perhaps given its choice structure that encourages subsequent plays, it could have benefited from a "New Game +" mode in which the dialogues are speeded up, but generally the criticisms to be made are very few.
  22. Nov 14, 2022
    With Pentiment you journey to the late Middle Ages for a thrilling story and experience the dramatic fate of an entire town up close.
  23. Nov 15, 2022
    Despite some issues with the audio and the slowness of the third act, Pentiment is a wonderfully unique storytelling experience overflowing with respect for the historical era it strives to recreate. Much like the game’s themes of stories persisting over time, I’ll be thinking about Andreas Maler and the town of Tassing for years to come.
  24. Nov 14, 2022
    As a story-driven adventure game, Pentiment is a history lesson come to life, with some intriguing mysteries to solve and tricky decisions to make. It's a vertical slice of history, and it provides a glimpse into a turbulent period through the experience of a small town. The experience can be a bit sluggish because it sometimes values historical accuracy over player comfort. Your choices impact the Bavarian town of Tassing over a quarter of a century, all while uncovering a truly interesting mystery. Tassing is the actual protagonist here, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being an integral part in its community and participating in its struggles. It's a bit special and stubborn in its delivery, but Pentiment is an interesting and worthwhile investigation of the period, its customs, and its issues.
  25. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is an excellent narrative adventure with Obsidian's quality seal. No fan of the genre should miss it. It is a unique game thanks to its incredible visual presentation and historical background. The studio manages to move away from the hardcore RPG to give us an alternative and great vision of role-playing games. It is clearly a niche game that probably not everyone will appreciate.
  26. Nov 14, 2022
    A mystery adventure set in a very interesting period, that deals with important issues and makes us feel like true detectives.
  27. Nov 14, 2022
    The availability of Pentiment from the launch on Game Pass will encourage even those who do not normally love narrative adventures to give a chance to the excellent work signed by Josh Sawyer and Obsidian Entertainment, which adds a gem of great value to the crown of Xbox Game Studios and his bright career.
  28. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a unique experience that will win over all gamers who still love living good stories with the rhythm of a pen, like the imaginary one that traces the letters of each dialogue in the game.
  29. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment's vivid art style, tight narrative, and choice-driven gameplay are a treat to experience. However, the restrictive save system and constant clicking to finish dialogue conversations can be detrimental to your enjoyment.
  30. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment won’t be for everyone. It’s bookish, sometimes a bit dry, and demands you take its questions about the nature of religion, art, and other heady subjects seriously if you want to get the most out of its narrative. If that sounds like your sort of thing, you can look forward to a rich, well-researched world you'll truly feel a part of and a fantastic story that serves up many memorable, moving twists and turns. Pentiment will leave an indelible mark on you if you just give it a chance.
  31. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a grand narrative and illustrated success. The story is true to its historical context, and the manuscripts are beautiful. The sound section is welcoming, and the presentations of the characters are humorous and transparent. This game shows you a little piece of history and human relations in context. It will teach you curious historical facts you may not know while you solve a medieval mystery: through the gossip of years and years.
  32. Nov 22, 2022
    Maybe I’m just a sucker for games in which time passes, giving a sense that this is a real place with people we grow with. Rather than concluding a game and finding out the fate of everyone through expository text, we get to see it and be a part of it. Our decisions shape their lives, and this is why games are such a fantastic storytelling medium. I, too, have to live with the consequences, not just Andreas. Pentiment achieves this experience with an expertise we’ve come to expect from Obsidian, even if the game is bogged down with some fixable game design decisions.
  33. Nov 28, 2022
    This is an RPG adventure in which you talk your way through murders and conspiracies. You’ll have to deal with the consequences of your actions and decisions you sometimes didn’t even wish to make. The visuals are stunning, as is the unique way Pentiment plays with its fonts. The only drawback is the uneven tempo which makes the final revelation feel a bit flat.
  34. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment impresses with its amazing dialogue, intriguing themes, and gorgeous visuals.
  35. Nov 14, 2022
    Above all, what stands out is the developer’s deep knowledge of and love for the period. The dialogue drips with fascinating historical detail, supported by an extensive glossary of terms. That, combined with a focus on the minutiae of everyday people’s lives, results in a game that provides a wonderfully evocative window into the past. The glacial speed of progress and preponderance of text might be a barrier, but Pentiment is a gift to any player who longs for a historical setting that’s more than a surface texture.
  36. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is an excellent dialogue adventure that takes all the best aspects of Obsidian’s previous titles and marries them to a distinguished aesthetic. The whole game feels like a medieval manuscript brought to life and there is very little out there like it. While an interest in the historical setting would obviously add to the experience, the writing alone is good enough to draw any fans of adventure games in and there are so many superb details that really show the depth of the developer’s engagement with their influences. If the past is a foreign country, then grab your passports and get ready to be illuminated.
  37. Nov 14, 2022
    With its slick aesthetic close to illuminations and its implacable authenticity, Pentiment is a scintillating tribute to the Renaissance era. It is also granted some rather intriguing crime scenes, a handful of funny scenes and above all a successful time structure and choices that really matter. Too bad that his story sometimes so laborious and a last act slightly winded are so many thorny elements.
  38. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a game filled with beautiful art style taken from old manuscripts, great characters, atmospheric soundtrack, and a murder mystery as its main story. It is a game from artists for lovers of art. And even, if it's rough around the edges, it's still a great game that will keep you entertained for more than 20 hours.
  39. Dec 2, 2022
    Pentiment's unidimensional gameplay might not appeal to everyone.
  40. Nov 14, 2022
    The Italian word pentimento is defined as: an underlying image in a painting, one that only becomes visible when the top layer of paint turns transparent with age, showing evidence that it was revised by the artist. Pentiment smartly shares this definition through its replayability by placing a new story on top of the previous one, with the player painting a new history for Andreas and the town of Tasling each time. Some players may create chaos, others will try to keep the peace, but each will be able to tell the story of Pentiment in their own way. It is interactive choose-your-own-adventure story-telling at its best, and although it feels too short, hopefully, there will be more tales and tomes like this one from Obsidian in the future.
  41. Nov 14, 2022
    A lumbering historical murder mystery with little regard for tension or pacing, but one that packs in such dense detail you can’t help but respect it. Pentiment immerses you in 1500s Bavaria and that’s the main event.
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  1. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is absolutely focused on dialogue and a simple exploration, but with these ingredients alone it has managed to capture me thanks to the quantity and quality of the themes it deals with rarely seen in the video game industry. [Recommended]
  2. Nov 14, 2022
    Nailing this sense of place and vitality is crucial to propping up its characters, who are central to Pentiment. The town’s dozens of inhabitants each have their own concerns, relationships, and secrets, and understanding — and helping — them is key to unraveling the mysteries of the town. But their struggles and dreams aren’t simple. They deal with poverty, political repression, and unfair hierarchies, and don’t always agree on the solutions to their issues. In this way, Pentiment doesn’t fall into the trap of conflating their political and personal demands with modern ones — but it does highlight that, despite its archaic trappings, the people at Pentiment’s core are nuanced, and their issues reflect those of today in complex ways. [Polygon Recommends]
  3. I can’t recommend Pentiment enough. It’s an enthralling murder mystery (with a satisfying conclusion, I might add) and its use of Europe’s rich history during the 16th century as a backdrop is incredibly astute for a detective tale focused on faith and truth. Pentiment can sit nicely next to the likes of Paradise Killer, Disco Elysium, and Return Of The Obra Dinn as some of the best mystery games on PC. This is definitely one for the history books. [RPS Bestest Bests]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 110
  2. Negative: 25 out of 110
  1. Nov 17, 2022
    Now this game isn't for everyone, it's slow paced, cerebral, nuanced and about time period that many people will care little for and know evenNow this game isn't for everyone, it's slow paced, cerebral, nuanced and about time period that many people will care little for and know even less about. However, in terms of the Genre it comes from and what it's trying to achieve it's a masterpiece. Brimming with thoughtful artistic choices, good puzzle design, well written characters and an intriguing murder mystery than never holds your hand. Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2022
    Overrated trash game, pathetic and horrendous piece of **** Overrated trash game, pathetic and horrendous piece of ****
  3. Nov 15, 2022
    Отличная игра, сюжет и детективная составляющая 10/10. Ролевая игра с отличными диалогами. Тут нет боевки как в Disco Elysium, но игре это неОтличная игра, сюжет и детективная составляющая 10/10. Ролевая игра с отличными диалогами. Тут нет боевки как в Disco Elysium, но игре это не мешает. В общем советую. Full Review »