Did you ever play Pathologic 2? It was a little game that came out out in 2020 and served as both a remake and sequel to a series that earned itself quite a dedicated fanbase. Folks really enjoyed the bleak Kafka-esque tone and story of Pathologic and while it’s arguably too weird for its own good, it’s a singularly individual experience that should be played if you enjoy a bit of macabre strangeness.
We’re talking about the past here, so let’s look to the future instead! Ice-Pick Lodge is back with a new game titled Know by Heart that’s absolutely nothing like Pathologic but still looks pretty interesting…
A trailer for the game dropped late last week and shows off a tale about living in post-Soviet Russia. You’ll be playing as Misha, who’s stuck in a dead-end job in a small Russian town where the sins of the past are still very much apparent.
Provided a chance to escape the tedium of his life when a childhood crush arrives back in town, Misha reconnects with friends yet the history that split them apart threatens to do it all over again. From the gameplay trailer, Know by Heart looks to be a standard adventure game that focuses on character choices rather than puzzle-solving, which is certainly the preferred method if you want to evoke emotion that isn’t, “Why am I dumb?”.
The normality of the trailer certainly confused me though. As pointed out by PC Gamer, this looks to be strangely… tame for Ice-Pick Lodge. The studio is known for making some of the wildest, most bizarre games out there and while Know by Heart looks like it could deliver on an emotional, thought-provoking journey, it doesn’t have the surrealism of previous games.
Maybe the developers just wanted a break? One has to assume that constantly making weird games instills a certain fatigue in the creator’s creativity. Perhaps Know by Heart is the change up the studio really needs or maybe it’s just a passion project that they’re desperate to share? Either way, I’m excited for it to launch later in 2021. You can check out the Steam page for the game here.
Last Updated: January 6, 2021