Why Confession Makes You Send Innocent People to Death
The story of Pentiment is like a murder mystery, but by withholding objective answers, the game forces players to question the very idea of justice.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Pentiment.]
Obsidian's Xbox console exclusive Pentiment is set up like a murder mystery, but it doesn't care if players convict innocent people, unlike traditional mystery games. While aspiring artist Andreas Maler was working with monks on his masterpiece at Kiersau Abbey, visiting Baron Lorenz Rothvogel was murdered. This cast doubt on many of the monks in Kiersau and the townspeople of the adjoining town of Tassing. Taking on the role of Andreas, the player has limited time to investigate the murder and draw a conclusion. However, there is no definitive answer, but the player can still decide who gets executed for murder.
^ The original trailer revealed that Pentiment is a unique narrative RPG full of intrigue. Pentiment is probably the best narrative-focused game since Disco Elysium, which also took the form of a murder mystery. Another murder occurred in the second act of the game, when Otto, the leader of the local dissident movement, was killed. This chapter introduces more politics again, led by Disco Elysium. Disco Elysium's core mystery has a definitive answer for players to discover, and the Pentiment makes them ask themselves if they're convicting the right people, or if they Let the real murderer go free.
The guilt Andreas faces for sending someone to his death is a central theme in "Pentiment". Whether or not the man was guilty of murder, their friends and loved ones have reason to blame Andreas for the execution of the convicted murderer. In the context of the 16th-century Pentiment, there were few advanced investigative techniques or physical evidence to point to objective answers. Pentiment makes gaming history a classic of the modern genre, and the unique sense of guilt and ambiguity surrounding its murders is part of its unique identity. Players will never know who killed the Baron or Otto, but they know exactly who Andreas ordered to die.
Pentiment Explores Consequences Of Punitive Justice
The omission of objective answers sets Pentiment apart from other murder mysteries such as L.A. Noire, Heavy Rain, and Phoenix Wright. Disco Elysium casts the player as a police officer, whereas most mystery games give players career-based reasons to hunt down the killer (or survival-based reasons, like the Danganronpa series). Andreas is not a professional investigator (although he may have a legal background if the player thinks he has one). He's just an educated and smart guy Someone who actively seeks answers.
Pentiment's shift in focus, unlike other games, constitutes a murder investigation. This uniqueness makes Pentiment one of the best Xbox games of 2022, and one of the most unusual games of its kind. Instead of focusing on the person who actually committed the murder, Executed is framed as another victim, and the player is forced to choose one. They might choose based on whom they have amassed the most circumstantial evidence against, or simply which suspect is the least sympathetic. Penment forces players to distinguish between what is legal and what is moral, thus questioning the concept of justice.
The critique of justice in Pentiment is taken from a different angle than The Last Of Us 2's revenge narrative, but both games advance the idea that violent, punitive measures against those who may have misbehaved will only further fuel hate and hatred cycle of bleeding events. Neither game offers even token healing as a response to violence, only punitive measures—an eye for an eye, and execution for murder. Part of Pentiment's flawless grading quality comes from its historical roots, looking back A time has come when authoritative voices can more definitively determine who pays for a crime than facts.
Pentiment Critiques The Notion Of Justice And Corporal Punishment
Although investigative methods have improved since 1518, in too many cases the concept of justice remains as primitive and barbaric as ever. Regardless of whether the factual conclusions reached are right or wrong, a system presided over by individuals in positions of authority determines the fate of the allegedly guilty party. Confession illuminates the guilt inherent in the system itself, making it clear that, as far as punitive corporal punishment is concerned, justice is only a sanitized term for revenge, and execution remains murder.
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