Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. Nov 28, 2022
    Pentiment is a superb game that marks an important step forward for its genre. Quiet, contemplative and intelligent, it is a shining example of what happens when a team is allowed to expand their horizons and take risks.
  2. Nov 22, 2022
    Pentiment is one of the most interesting games I’ve played in 2022, going far beyond even what most RPGs can manage when it comes to player choice and consequence. Between its setting, its graphical style, and its fantastic story, Pentiment demands your attention.
  3. Nov 15, 2022
    I started playing Pentiment wondering what I had gotten myself into. The first hour was slow, a lot of reading, and a lot of religion. But once I got into it, I couldn’t stop playing. Utterly addictive like a novel I couldn’t put down. Pentiment was a highlight of my year, and one of the best games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Covering an abundance of topics, including losing people before their time, and loss of a child, there are many options to create great discussions if you want to talk about this game with others. I look forward to talking to my friends after they’ve had a chance to experience it. It’s not perfect, I don’t think any game is, but about as perfect as you’ll find. This game will likely divide players, but those who enjoy narrative driven stories, historical settings and perhaps even a murder mystery will surely find something to love. Pentiment is a perfect jaunt through an imperfect part of history.
  4. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a game that will stick with you for a long time after you play it. Its unique blend of thought-provoking discussion, historical accuracy, and challenging a player’s morals all work to push players to consider everything going on in the game and weigh the pros and cons of heavy decisions that must be made with limited information…It takes a very special work of art to make an observer feel as much as Pentiment does, and the game manages to do so consistently throughout its entire runtime.
  5. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a complex medieval thriller, where mystery is as important as themes like love, death, passing of time and weight of our choices. Obsidian Entertainment excels in Pentiment, showing us what they can do creating powerful narrative, characters and story. Undoubtedly a GOTY contestant.
  6. Nov 14, 2022
    We found Pentiment to be utterly addictive and would compare our playthrough to reading a great novel that we could not put down, which feels apt since the game is stylized as a medieval storybook. While the game looks simple, there's an incredible amount of depth and those who like to lose themselves in a good story will enjoy every moment...The game was a little bit too long when compared to other narrative adventure games, and this risks some players not making it to the closing credits, but we're mostly nitpicking. Like their protagonist Andreas, Obsidian has created a masterpiece that not everyone will appreciate, but those who do will remember for years to come.
  7. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is the kind of masterwork that Andreas chases early in the game, and it's equally as flawed, biased, subjective, and captivating as the pieces he's inspired by. Play it and decide for yourself whether it's worthy of that kind of comparison. That's the point.
  8. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is about that phenomenon, and also a manifestation of it. It's one of the most engaging and accessible works of living history ever commissioned, and the fact that it exists at all - let alone as a major platform holder's first-party RPG heading into the Christmas season - is a miracle worthy of the saints.
  9. Nov 14, 2022
    A gorgeous, towering watermark for choice-driven narratives, enlivening a heartfelt medieval saga to surpass the greats in prose and play.
  10. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment's gameplay — or lack thereof — may deter some would-be players, but those who become invested in its lovingly crafted world set in distant past, emotional and human narrative, and gripping murder conspiracy are guaranteed to fall in love.
  11. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a true achievement of marrying story, style, and theme into a magical and cohesive whole. In lieu of 3D graphics that try too hard and still fail to represent an authentic-feeling world, Obsidian’s artists opted for a more illustrative aesthetic to tell their gripping story of a murder in an abbey, a choice that resonates throughout the entire game. While it might not satisfy every player, especially those expecting a more traditional RPG or adventure experience, those who can immerse themselves in Pentiment’s vision of 16th century Bavaria will find one of the best games of the year.
  12. Nov 14, 2022
    One of the most well written video game stories ever told. It transports you to a different time and place, and leaves you longing for more.
  13. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a narrative gem and artistic beauty, but it could be perceived very differently. Give it a try and it will surprise you.
  14. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a vibrant adventure that fully embraces its time period, artistic style, and sense of mystery. It’s methodical pacing and focus on dialogue won’t appeal to everyone, but Pentiment knows what it wants to be and does it exceptionally well.
  15. Nov 17, 2022
    You won’t play a game like it this year, or even from the past few years lest you dabble in the narrative adventure field, and even then Obsidian’s new opus is pretty distinct. Its writing is among the best I’ve experienced for this style of game, while the cadence of its unfurling mystery is such that the game draws you into its world ever so slightly, you’ll barely realise how deep you are into it before it snags you in its binding. Just go into it with an open mind and the desire to sink yourself into a good book, then let the game do the talking for you and strap yourself in for one of the year’s most unique offerings, and one of its best.
  16. Nov 24, 2022
    Pentiment is an unconventional masterpiece. Those who embrace the game - despite its slow start - will be presented with a compelling story with absolute world-class writing and a touch of humor. The game grabs you by the throat and won't let go until the credits roll across the screen.
  17. The game’s name refers to the reappearance of an element in a painting that an artist had painted over. As much as characters in “Pentiment” might fight to maintain the status quo or to turn away from history and heartbreak, they’re no match for the forces that send humanity hurtling forward. While I initially started “Pentiment” hoping for a riveting distraction, what I ended up with was a game about uncovering history and past trauma. In many ways, it is more admirable, brutal and perhaps healing to just face these problems head on.
  18. Nov 14, 2022
    A pure narrative wonder that will make you want to be discovered and rediscovered over the years.
  19. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is an artistic triumph, and a fantastic choice-based adventure game/RPG with a protagonist that you can genuinely mould to your liking to make everyone's experience with the game likely to turn up different versions of events. It's refreshing to play something so laser-focused on a single setting, and captivating to see how the town and its people change both with time and based on the events that play out around (and because of) Andreas.
  20. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a remarkable achievement in storytelling. If I were to play again and make different choices I’m sure I would discover new dimensions to these characters I’ve come to know very well. Thanks to the game’s aesthetics, its meticulously researched writing, and the pedigree of its development team, the story of Andreas Maler is well worth experiencing. The game gracefully balances serious themes, soap operatic twists, and some very funny moments, revolving around a large cast of diverse, complex characters. Obsidian may have taken a risk making a game so unlike anything else they’ve made before, but the gamble has well and truly paid off. It’s not just a game for lit nerds.
  21. 90
    Pentiment goes all in as a dialogue-heavy historical murder mystery that you won’t want to stop playing. You will question your actions throughout the game because your choices truly matter. No two endings will be the same, which makes you want to replay the game to delve deeper into the mystery. How will your story end?
  22. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is one of the most unique and clever games we've played in a very long time. It may be the fabulous art style that first draws you to this one, and it really is quite the looker, but it's actually the very obvious care that's been poured into the narrative and the exacting detail in every aspect of the world-building here that ends up selling the whole thing so well. With a story that really goes some places, tons of history to learn about, lots of fantastic characters to meet and plenty of fun and surprises along the way, this is one medieval murder mystery you should absolutely check out as soon as it hits Xbox Game Pass.
  23. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a stunning piece of work, with a rich story, gorgeous artwork, and fleshed out characters that keep you hungry to learn more.
  24. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment shows that even with a small team, Obsidian can create a narrative masterpiece. Its clever systems allow players to craft a unique experience through a gripping story fueled by some of the strongest character writing I have ever seen. Don't let the graphical direction fool you; this is a beautiful game through and through. I can only hope to see more of these types of unique gaming experiences from Xbox Games Studios.
  25. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment does what it does with a magnificent blend of dialogue, characters, and narrative. The winding path you’ll take has plenty of off ramps, and while all roads lead to Rome, the journey there feels unique to you. It’s so fascinating getting to your specific ending, you’ll probably even play it again to see what other decisions look like. Pentiment might not be for everyone, but for the genre, it’s a magnificent and compelling work of art.
  26. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a slow and deliberate novel of a game. Though quite lively at times, this is still a game that asks players to read long, intricate conversations and remember scores of characters in a historic setting. The mystery is interesting, and the history is fascinating, but if these aren’t enough to pull you through, you might want to look elsewhere. For patient players, Pentiment is a game like no other, teaching lessons on history, community, and the nature of life itself.
  27. Nov 14, 2022
    A brilliant take on narrative adventure games by Obsidian. Pentiment is an awesome portrait of XVI century Europe and a compelling game about the sense of history, religion, tradition and personal beliefs. Sometimes the narrative structure is constraining, but overall the writing is amazing, the style is great, and the bibliography become part of the game in a clever way.
  28. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is not going to be popular. I do think however that it will become a cult classic… It’s a unique, dazzling work of art that will stand the test of time for as long as we remember it.
  29. Nov 21, 2022
    Pentiment is a unique game because of its historical style, which excels. The well-written dialogues manage to continuously captivate, although at times this can make the game very slow. Nevertheless, a title that is absolutely worth playing, as it is a work of art to watch and fun to experience.
  30. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment's art style is a playful work of art without equal, but it can also inspire with its story.
  31. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is mature in a way few games are. It exudes passion for the time period and subject matter, treating every character and issue with respect and reverence. If you want an adventure game that responds to your choices and trusts you to discover its narrative on your own terms, Pentiment is a must play.
  32. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is, for better or worse, a sort of big interactive comic book showing a huge love for European medieval history, with an intriguing plot and great artistic design but with a great deal of text to read and interactions limited mainly to map exploration and dialogues. A fascinating title, mainly thanks to its subject matter, but definitely not for everyone.
  33. Nov 14, 2022
    A truly innovative murder mystery that really makes you consider the consequences of not only your actions, but the actions of those that came before you. The narrative is at times a little too bogged down in complex lore, but it's a story to be remembered.
  34. Nov 15, 2022
    At least visually, Pentiment is unlike any game in the marketplace, and its execution is never less than impressive. As a reflection on the role of the artist and the fundamental, unchanging nature of the human experience, it can be thoughtful, amusing and moving. The game’s mechanics, some of the writing and pacing definitely take a back seat to the aesthetics. Taken as a whole, playing Pentiment is another great reminder that not every videogame experience needs to overwhelm the senses, challenge reflexes or be the product of market research. Pentiment might not be for everyone, but that’s ok. Not for everyone is sometimes exactly what we need.
  35. Nov 14, 2022
    Even if it's not a particularly ambitious production, Pentiment is a small gem that shows all the love for the late Middle Ages and its art in every single aspect.
  36. Nov 20, 2022
    Pentiment is one of those games that seem simple but enclose you more than what they show from the outside. It is a narrative with a strong classic adaptation, which many lovers of the middle ages and the genre will love. It is not the perfect game, but it will give us a very interesting story.
  37. Nov 16, 2022
    Pentiment is clearly not a game like the others. An investigation game set in the Middle Ages on the side of Germany, the title developed by Obsidian requires an effort of concentration from players unaccustomed to so many dialogues. Despite this, Pentiment is doing well with a captivating story, pleasant gameplay, despite sometimes readability problems in the story, because of its many dialogues.
  38. Nov 15, 2022
    Obsidian already has its name established in the market, but Pentiment came to present a new talent from the producer. The game explores an impossible-to-ignore narrative and a progression scheme that captures the attention of any player, even those who are not fans of the genre. This is an invitation to Celtic music, rural landscapes, medieval habits and ancient arts such as illuminations and woodcuts. The story of a murder becomes the perfect excuse to explore the disturbing streets of Tassing, a city full of secrets to be revealed.
  39. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is an incredibly enchanting adventure game that really is like no other. It doesn’t quite have the same depth and ingenuity that Disco Elysium has, but what it lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in charm. After a slow start, this murder mystery really becomes the talk of the town.
  40. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment might just be one of the weirdest AAA-games released this year. By stripping gameplay down to little more than walking and talking, this medieval crime drama feels like a visual novel that took the genre’s title a little too literal. The graphical style is heavily inspired by the illustrations of medieval books, which ties directly back into the main character’s background story as an illustrator. With an excellent story, great dialogue and too many mysteries for just a single playthrough, this odd little gem is one that may take some getting used to, but will reward you for your patience with a story more interactive and deeper than most.
  41. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment manages to bring a unique experience to a catalog increasingly focused on big blockbusters.
  42. Nov 14, 2022
    A Dark Ages mystery whose gameplay and dialogue are as unique as it’s daringly unconventional premise and visuals.
  43. Nov 14, 2022
    With a deeply interesting plot that rewards diligence, Pentiment is a tale of pure brilliance. Using a depth and intricacy that defies the game’s simple aesthetic, Obsidian’s latest proves incredibly difficult to put down until its drama has played out – and when all’s said and done, you will want to do it all over again.
  44. Nov 14, 2022
    A game like Pentiment doesn’t come around often. Top developers like Obsidian Entertainment usually leave smaller productions like this on the editing floor. The vast majority of games with fantastic stories usually ask players to kill something, solve puzzles, or have some other gimmick to it so that they remain engaged. Pentiment dares instead to rely on its craftsmanship, authenticity, and choice-based dialogue, trusting that the murder mystery is enough of a draw to pull players in. And despite some minor quibbles, Pentiment succeeds in its pursuit, creating a fantastic generational period drama with a wonderfully original vision.
  45. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a short but sweet adventure from Obsidian, one that plays to their strengths when it comes to dialogue and gives players enjoyable mysteries to figure out. While there are hiccups at times with the story structure and the climax, it’s still a captivating journey through a rather tense period in history, but one that also seems oddly calming thanks to its likeable characters and visual flairs that bring Tassing to life.
  46. Nov 14, 2022
    If you enjoy story-driven affairs with choices that impact the world in which you’re playing, Pentiment is worth a playthrough. The historical narrative adventure is perfect if you don’t want to play something that requires a high level of skill, but you still want to enjoy a rich history and impactful choices.
  47. Nov 14, 2022
    Learn to move at Tassing’s sedate pace and patience will be rewarded as a seemingly simple murder mystery makes way for a rich portrait of village life and the difficult choices that come to define it.
  48. Nov 17, 2022
    Pentiment plays like a living storybook. You walk, talk and act in a medieval style book that is written as you progress. The game leans heavily on storytelling and its historical background. The game is special in a good way. It's not for everyone, but if you're remotely interested in this turbulent times or a good murder mystery, you should really try this one out.
  49. 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.
  50. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment is a graphic adventure like no other. We love the medieval setting and writing, but it is slow paced and not every player will enjoy its simple mechanics based on dialogues.
  51. Nov 18, 2022
    Pentiment is not a bad game, it’s just not one that I have no real interest in; It’s more along the lines of an interactive, mystery novel than a video game. While I loved the storybook art style, the overly stylized font was just too much to look at for long play sessions. And Pentiment tends to drag on a bit too long for my taste, but for those that have a love of history, murder, religion, betrayal, secrets, walking from left to right/right to left and reading your video games; then I think you should try Pentiment, especially at the price of $19.99 or included with your Game Pass subscription.
  52. Nov 14, 2022
    While Pentiment doesn't make the best first impression, and the lack of music robs it of atmosphere and character, it's well worth digging into if you're a fan of well-written narrative adventures or games that require you to conduct investigations. You'll soon come to love - or loathe - its cast of characters, and with plenty of fun puzzles to solve, minigames to engage in and meaningful choices to make, it's rewarding in ways that other games in the same genre space rarely ever manage.
  53. Nov 14, 2022
    As a mystery to be solved and a mediation on how stories evolve over time, the game's focus wanders and ironically comes to fixate on elements like presentation and background lore that can all too easily overwhelm the basic tenets of telling an engaging story.
  54. Nov 14, 2022
    Pentiment strives to exist somewhere between a history book and historical fiction, not quite committing to a detailed look at history or fulfilling a narrative arc. This is a detriment to the game's conclusion, dampening my memories of the game save for the stories of individual characters. I retain a soft spot for the wise Illuminata and her conversations with Andreas about literature and religion, and I have a parental fondness for a young peasant girl who I watched grow from a gurgling toddler to a young woman. Witnessing their lives play out is a narrative delight, only enhanced by the creative use of Pentiment's different fonts to better convey a person's societal station or education. But limiting how much time the player actually has to engage in the game's best parts hurts the overall experience too much.
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  1. Nov 14, 2022
    A brilliant narrative adventure that is filled with intelligence and heart. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. Nov 15, 2022
    Pentiment sheds the dice rolls and combat to emphasize the branching conversations and compelling narrative that Obsidian is best at. And the result is an engaging page-turner that can only really work as a video game. [Quick Look]
  3. Nov 14, 2022
    If you’re looking for a clever murder mystery with interactive narrative decisions, beautiful 2D art, and a wonderful historical fiction treatment, you owe it to yourself to check out Pentiment. [Review impressions]
  4. Nov 14, 2022
    We commend the work of Josh Sawyer and his team for this masterful writing and atmosphere. Being one of the very few out of this year's Xbox Game Studios' sweatshop, Pentiment truly is a hit! The adventure is credible, wonderfully blends historical, religious and socio-cultural contexts while proposing an advanced writing and an absolutely sublime and singular graphic layout in the video game industry. According to its creator, Pentiment will clearly not please everyone, but the result here exudes passion, giving life to a niche work of art with an excellent replayability. It is undoubtedly very personal for Josh but this seals the deal for Obsidian: that is what a real gemstone looks like.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 261 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 65 out of 261
  1. Nov 16, 2022
    A beautiful very borderline game so not for everyone, it's literally like reading an interactive, animated book. The game manages to immerseA beautiful very borderline game so not for everyone, it's literally like reading an interactive, animated book. The game manages to immerse you in the story, in the setting. It also addresses many important issues, which we often do not think about, but which we should think about. I understand, however, that many did not like it, even if seeing a vote 0 is really embarrassing for these people, so a game that I personally evaluate 8/10, I would give 10 just to make up for the staggered average of these jerks, but it would be like lowering yourself to their level. Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2022
    One of the most unique games I have ever played. So thorough and deliberate and nuanced. Very big fan.
  3. Nov 16, 2022
    Great game with a history focus. Great art style that can make some not enjoy it but i liked it