Sometimes, you will realize that, you have in your mind that kind of choice which is gonna do everything a make-over. It’s the moment of decision without a bit of hesitation, pushing you into the abyss with faith being your only shield against the darkness. Anyway, I’m goin’ to share the story about me spending the last 3 days struggling to decide whether to restart my 3-hour-played video game or not.

For your information, I’m playing Pathologic 2. It’s a kind of combination between thriller and narrative game, also being the remake and sequel to the 2004 horror survival PathologicActually, the game IS amazing! The game puts you in the view of a surgeon, whose father needs help at hometown, a town drown in plague. Eventually, you will realize that he has been murdered while people consider you the killer. In-game world is also fracturing, being full of frightening bird-people, gigantic bulls and slenderly dark reflections which reveal the utmost inner secrets of people they connected to. Its setting is a mixture of unforgiving ruthlessness and quirky singularities.

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Above: Pathologic 2

The game also features a number of strange things concerning time and death, which leads me to the “restart or not” struggle. Once you get seriously beaten or die of starvation, you don’t actually die. In fact, you will find yourself waking up at somewhere you don’t know, and the more you wake up in this way, the weirder the world becomes. And above all, time progresses, removing a range of your objectives and options. This game seems to be designed not to make you pleased: Even though you’re wisely using the time you have, you gotta face with ambiguous, contradictory options. These result in your taking responsible for somebody’s untimely destiny regardless of your actions. It is undeniable that this game’s failures can easily drive us frustrated. However, we may have a chance to entertain one of the most intriguing story victories and results.

Jezz, I messed up Pathologic 2's world during my first in-game hours, which is absolutely not a comfortable experience. In detail, so as to grasp a specific effect; while being disoriented and stressed, my character finds himself in the middle of an impossible situation against incomprehensible super-nature, not to mention deal with it. In fact, players should sympathize with their controlling character as well. Yet I still feel that the number of mistakes I’ve made are unnecessary. I realized that saving a child from poison only attributed to my smashed face by some random toughs on the street.

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Above: Pathologic 2

Although I finished it, after all, there was barely any help for me. I didn’t have any meds supplies; to make the matter worse, my relationship with the in-game pharmacist was so terrible that he wouldn’t release me even a second-handed Band-aid. Also, there wasn’t much money in my pocket and food was completely zero. I attempted to hang on by completing tasks for my figure’s old buddy, who was currently a cocky criminal boss, yet a lot of people in town are still in favor of punching into my face, most of which share with each other the hatred for my daring bravery.

But this ain’t mean I gave up. In fact, I felt myself on the edge of making things out. Probably, the difficult beginning would yield me a good story as the game progresses, especially when Pathologic 2’s primary idea is to make you fail and try again for numerous times. On the other hand, you are at the starting point of the game, of course you would want the best achievement early, right? If I played for the second time, I would be able to avoid all of the foolish mistakes I made in the first run. The experience I earned when playing old games has shown me that having a good start equals to better results. The improvement can be trivial, tiny but extremely helpful when the game becomes much harder later, like a minor figure who survives or saving more supplies in your inventory. Pathologic 2 doesn’t follow this pattern, yet for all the trouble I got, I still have no idea what I can acquire or miss.

Above: Pathologic 2

Next is about the time I spent on the game. Had one hour in-game and you can’t help having that annoying sense of regret? Do a restart! Why the hell not? Two hours in-game and your brain still transmits the feeling of dissatisfaction to your entire body? Restart! Of course, two hours is a different story, yet it can’t be everything. You know, you can only get a refund on Steam after 2 hours of purchasing. No problem. Playing a game for 3 hours and cannot help feeling disappointed inside? Hell with it. 3 hours is like forever. I don’t think you would want to dump an eternity into the trash bin like that. Well, how can I recommend you do that, in the name of goodness? I can’t help thinking about all the friends I could hang out with, all the positive lives I missed or all the things in my to-do list I have procrastinated for months, I could’ve done if I had had 3 hours free in my life. How fool I was wasting that time.

Also, in case I choose to restart, will I have enough patience to progress to my current checkpoint? Or will I just waste my precious time, again? Will I have the same thought, “I hate doin’ this stuff over and over again”? There are other really attractive games in my drive consolidating this school of thought, like Outer Wilds and Void Bastards. It seems I got stuck between rock and a hard place now.

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Above: Outer Wilds

Let me make it clear again, this ain’t a problem. It’s totally a brain-made issue, no doubt. In spite of technology’s constant advance, this person is still obsessed with the idea that, every tiny, minor decision in life would actually relate to matter of life and death. It’s a shitty problem, I know, but that’s what I’m facing with. Anyway, nevermind, I can just simply throw all of that in-game anxiety away and spend another 100 hours in The Witcher 3, one more time.

Above: The Witcher 3