Though Pentiment doesn’t look like your typical pre-Black Friday game from a major publisher like Xbox Game Studios, it’s maybe hitting at just the right time–after all, all the forthcoming holidays likely mean a lot of new Xbox players are joining the ecosystem. With Pentiment landing in Game Pass on day one, it could be a sleeper hit after receiving mostly positive reviews. Both new players and tenured Xbox fans may be wondering: How long does it take to beat Pentiment? It’s a good question given the novelty of such a game. Is it a five-hour game? A 30-hour game? The answer is actually somewhere in between, so keep reading as we explain the time investment you’re in for with Obsidian’s talky 2D RPG.
How long is Pentiment?
Pentiment is split into three acts across approximately 15-20 hours of gameplay. Though it’s an RPG, the world is structured in such a way that you can’t do everything available to you on any given in-game day. This means that you’ll necessarily miss some content–it is, in part, a murder mystery, so not all leads can be followed. It also means that multiple playthroughs can unfold differently, both between players or even if you’re just reloading a save and going down a new path.
The day-night cycle of Pentiment essentially restricts your actions so that choosing to follow one lead will sometimes remove or temporarily block other opportunities. It’s quite like Night in the Woods in that way, if you know that reference. As a journeyman artist turned momentary private detective, Andreas Malers can’t be in two places at once, so while this isn’t the sort of RPG where you’ll ditch the critical path for five hours as you min-max your sorcery stats, some branches on this elaborate story tree will simply take longer to go down, hence the range of hours.
Excitingly, the game uses a no-wrong-answers approach to its investigative gameplay. Maler can pursue any lead he wishes, make accusations, and come to conclusions that make the most sense to the player who happens to be controlling him. While the lack of definitive answers was a pain point for our reviewer, as mentioned in our Pentiment review, Obsidian would defend it as a feature, not a bug. Will you jive with such an open-ended outlook to a story–especially a murder mystery of all things? That’s for you to decide.
Pentiment is available on Xbox and PC, including Game Pass, from November 15.
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