Developers Ice-Pick Lodge have released to the general public The Marble Nest, a teaser game previously available only to backers of the Pathologic Kickstarter campaign. Pathologic is a re-imagining of the 2005 original of the same name that won several Game of the Year awards in the developers’ native Russia. The Kickstarter campaign for the remake raised nearly $335,000.
According to the developers, Pathologic will take place in an old, isolated town on the Russian steppe, where players will take the role of a healer investigating and attempting to cure a strange disease that confounds medical logic and all who attempt to resolve the mystery. The game will take place over the course of twelve days as players work through the town’s unusual culture and traditions and negotiate with the feuding families that rule the settlement.
Ice-Pick Lodge have said that they intend to mix roleplaying, adventure, and survival mechanics to tell a dark and dreamlike story in Pathologic. The developers intend to build a large open-world spanning the town and its surroundings, a cast of NPCs who respond to the player’s actions, a local economy that responds to events in the game, and the management of hunger, fatigue, and immunity, the last of which is probably the most important for players to beware. The main plot event, the epidemic, will be incorporated into the gameplay, and will evolve as the game advances.
The Marble Nest is a separate game set parallel to the main Pathologic story. It features some, though not all, of the mechanics that will be included in the full game. The teaser game is several hours long and is designed to give players an introduction to the disease-afflicted town the main game takes place in.
In a statement, Ivan Solvtsov, Producer at Ice-Pick Lodge, said, “We started working on what became The Marble Nest as an internal prototype, but it quickly blossomed into something we felt was representative of the tone and style of Pathologic. We gave it to Kickstarter backers in late 2016 as a surprise gift, and it went down really well – but we also got some really fantastic feedback from those early players. So we decided to polish up the game based on that feedback, and release it to the world, as a taster of what people can expect when the full game launches later in 2017.”
Pathologic will release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in Fall 2017.