Reviews - Updated on April 4, 2022

Chinese clone of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, which came to PC from mobile phones. I can see directly how many of you grimaced. But, as they say, do not rush to bury him. In fact, Pascal’s Wager made a local sensation on mobile platforms, the development leader was a former Konami employee, and the game cannot be called a clone at all. How will she be able to interest picky PC-boyars in the Definitive Edition version?

Colossus on sick legs

As in FromSoftware games, at first nothing is really clear in the plot of Pascal’s Wager – well, except that everything around is bad and the world, shrouded in heavy fog and immersed in darkness, is dying. And some Couriers (we play for them) fight monsters and seem to be trying to save the world.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Couriers immediately evoke an analogy with the Hunters from Bloodborne.

At the same time, there are still some Colossi, whose cemetery we are looking for. Then it becomes clearer and more interesting. It turns out that a long time ago the sun sank in this world (literally, in the sea!), Everything plunged into darkness, and people began to go crazy. And the Colossi just became the salvation – giants that illuminate the rural and urban lands adjacent to them. But then they were struck by a disease, many died, the rest get sick, move somewhere, or even they are knocked out by fragments of a meteorite.

And so the couriers, led by a former knight named Terrence, set off in the footsteps of the Colossi. And Terrence also has a personal story – he is looking for his wife, a red-haired witch, who seems to have been sentenced to death and hanged, but either in visions or in reality he sees her alive.

Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Her name is Teresa and she always disappears…

Friends in a carriage

In general, everything is dark, mysterious, gothic and romantic. And this story is presented in more traditional ways – there are videos, dialogues, intelligible tasks and quests. At first, Terrence travels with a pretty girl named Viola and a talking owl, Glenn. Then other characters join them – the mysterious masked warrior Norwood and the blind nun Benita.

You can communicate with them and trade in a wagon on which we move between open locations – it serves as a kind of base.

Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

In the wagon, you can also choose where to go next.

The characters have their own story and personal quests. And their attitude towards each other – Viola, for example, at first does not trust Norwood. This, of course, is not Dragon Age in terms of the level of elaboration of relations between partners, but it was still a pleasant surprise for me to meet this in the “soullike”.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Viola and some other characters can change costumes.

During the cleaning of locations, there are more or less interesting tasks, merchants and well-organized situations, accompanied by cut scenes. For example, we agree to help a girl find her mother, but in the end we are captured, on the sacrificial table, and only at the very last moment comes salvation.

There is a long and dramatic story connected with this girl and her mother, who, like other women, was taken to give birth to monsters to the leader of the local cult. And there are such in each of the regions that we visit in the story.

Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Sometimes the quest can even give out … an egg.

Already in the next zone, we communicate with a headless warrior, nailed to the wall with a spear (more precisely, with his ghost), who was killed and beheaded by his own bride. In general, the plot, quests, their presentation and the “lore” itself in Pascal’s Wager are implemented well. In some ways there is a similarity with the methods and style of FromSoftware, but in some ways you can clearly feel the individuality and unique atmosphere.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

But there really isn’t much choice here.

According to the patterns

Roughly the same can be said about the gameplay. Enemies in battles hit very hard, you can dodge and parry, spending stamina. “Souls” fall from defeated opponents (here they are called Sendril bones) – this is a universal currency for which we both upgrade attributes and trade.

There are also “bonfires” (here – altars), where we not only rest, restoring health, a supply of healing potions and the composition of enemies at the level, but also pump the main attributes of the character, and study new abilities, and create the same potions and artifacts with performance bonuses.

Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Artifacts can also be bought from partners in the wagon, but they ask for rare resources.

Artifacts, by the way, are allowed to be improved for rare materials and reforged when another is destroyed for the sake of one, but another useful effect is added in return.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Some of the resources can be exchanged with such a frog.

There are many abilities, as well as artifacts. There are passive ones, like increasing the number of potions and their effectiveness or increasing damage from the back. And there are active ones – so, we learn new special attacks that are used for rage points, or, for example, open up the opportunity to sneak up on the enemy and deliver a powerful knockback.

This blow does not immediately kill, but it will not be difficult to finish off later.

Figured out for two

There are several fundamental differences from FromSoftware games in Pascal’s Wager. Firstly, after death, we do not lose all souls (that is, bones), but a certain number of them, but immediately and forever – there is no need to run anywhere for them. Secondly, on locations you can switch between different characters. Yes, yes, in the wagon we choose with which of the partners to go on a mission. And this is actually a choice between the second class and additional, interesting mechanics in their own way.

Viola is a gunslinger who uses a variety of ammo (some shock, others bleed) and is unable to dodge.

Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

But still, she is also able to fend for herself in close combat.

Norwood is a defense specialist that is almost impossible to break through. Moreover, the coffin acts as a shield. Through normal attacks, Norwood accumulates Filth, and when it becomes too much, he can only fight with this coffin – it accumulates rage, which turns already powerful blows into a very strong weapon. The only problem is that both Norwood’s attacks and dodges are quite slow.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

He fights with his bare hands.

But the class of the blind nun Benita is difficult to determine. On the one hand, she actively uses elixirs that speed up her healing and provide protection, and on the other hand, she spends her own health with each attack to convert it into Pure Blood, which is necessary for special moves.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

But first, Benita will have to fight.

Each character has his own set of abilities (but the artifacts are the same for everyone), which you need to learn for special crystals. Attributes are also pumped separately for each. And all this gives a choice – you can try different partners, change classes and styles, focusing on the pros and cons of each. Most of the time, I still played Terrence and upgraded him, but the other three are also useful in their own way. And it cannot be said that one of them is frankly weaker or stronger than the others. In any case, the mechanics of partners gives what is happening sharpness and variety.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Allies also participate in quest scenes.

Do we sing a song to the madness of the brave?

Finally, when any character fights monsters, they gradually lose their sanity. And if you do not follow this, taking potions of “sane mind” in time, then after some time the game will switch to the “Anomalous” mode, which will cause damage to the character.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

The image is blurred in this case.

And if you continue to fight in this state, then the “crazy” mode will turn on – the enemies in it are stronger, but the coolest resources fall from them. True, soon the hero will see a ghost, which is very difficult to defeat. This is especially dangerous in fights with bosses – when the frenzy mode is turned on, they restore some of their health and begin to use new attacks.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Avoiding madness in such situations is difficult, but possible.

Adequate complexity

For many, it is also important that the gameplay in Pascal’s Wager does not cultivate sadomasochism. Yes, ordinary enemies hit hard, some carry out unblockable attacks, under which it is better not to substitute, sometimes someone unexpectedly jumps on you from above or throws something unpleasant and poisonous. The characters themselves, even if they know how to block, do it slowly – you need to block in advance, and not try to parry an enemy attack at the last moment.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Norwood is a very slow but healthy character.

Nevertheless, ordinary opponents are easier here than in FromSoftware games. In fights with bosses, especially in insane mode, you will have to work hard, but nothing is impossible there. Including because in the event of the death of one character, another will come to replace him. Yes, and at any time you can call a bird and return to the wagon to restore health and buy artifacts there.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Terrence moves faster.

And you can also return to already visited locations and grind resources and experience to become even stronger. Although there is no particular need for this. For some, all this is a minus, because they want a more serious challenge. For me – a plus, because I played, followed the plot and passed, and did not suffer. And yet it is by no means an easy walk.

Monsters can attack several at once.

For those who do not have enough thrills, I can advise the challenge mode, where you need to fight in crazy mode with already open bosses.

In this mode, you can be killed with one attack.

Problems on PC

What can warp in the PC version of Pascal’s Wager is outdated graphics and animation (especially for character models) with an abundance of “soap”, as well as a not very convenient camera. And the interface could be better adapted to the passage on a personal computer. But purely technically, the game is well optimized – no long downloads and fps subsidence. In addition, the Definitive Edition includes all additional materials and DLC for the game.Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition game review

Landscapes here, of course, gloomy.

***

Pascal’s Wager: Definitive Edition on PC certainly doesn’t make the same impression as it does on mobile platforms, where it has largely had no competition. On computers, outdated graphics and angular models are immediately evident, although there is nothing critical here either – the picture conveys a gloomy atmosphere. And the level design pleases – they are branched, which makes their exploration in search of chests, resources and quests only more interesting. But most importantly, the game, despite belonging to the “soullike”, has its own face and ideas. And given that Pascal’s Wager: Definitive Edition is fully translated into Russian and costs only 400 rubles on Steam, fans of the genre are not recommended to miss it.

Pros: interesting plot; colorful and mysterious characters; exciting gameplay that combines the traditions of “soullikes” and your own ideas; good level design, where there are many opportunities for non-linear exploration; Plenty of character customization options.

Cons: for some, the game may seem too easy compared to other “soullikes”; on PC, the graphics look outdated, and overall the game is not well adapted for personal computers.

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