Empathy: Path of Whispers


Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Pixel Night

Publisher:    Iceberg Interactive            

Released:  May 2017              

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 64 bit (32 bit NOT supported)
  • Processor: 2.5 Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti or ATI HD6950 or equivalent
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 9 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Audio



By flotsam


Empathy: Path of Whispers

Pixel Night

There is much to like in this game – the surrealistic (above ground) settings, the soundtrack, the drip feeding of the events that occurred, the stories of the people no longer here, the solitariness, the exploration.

Unfortunately it gets overwhelmed by the excessive repetition of a particular game mechanic.

First things first. We all know that pushing great big buttons rarely ends well, despite the exhortations of the disembodied voice, and the result of this one is to fling you somewhere or somewhen else. A short walk and you are outside, in a ruined vista of broken buildings, dilapidation, and a giant Atlas holding up something a way off in the distance.

The only thing you took with you before the button push was a hand-held scanning device that was, the voice said, likely to be useful. The little note that came with it explains how it works.

The game doesn’t look pretty, drab and low res, but given the dead-ness of things I thought it worked well enough. It had a good “feel”, and while the story takes a while to get going, the way it is dribbled out through short exclamations and memories makes it an interesting narrative jigsaw. Subtitles help, as I found it difficult to distinguish some of the different characters just from their voice and they tell you who is talking. The end was a bit of a letdown, another button to push, but I quite enjoyed the solitary exploration and piecing together of this broken world.

I didn’t even mind the backtracking, although there is a lot of it. Had I mastered the nuances of my little device there might have been a bit less, but I can’t say for sure.

The said device serves two functions. It enables you to locate various items you need to find in order to trigger the memories contained within them, and it lets you access those memories by matching the frequency being emitted by the item. If it sounds intriguing, it isn’t. Not in operation anyway.

You have to match the amplitude, frequency and bandwidth of the wave form being given off by the item, and while it isn’t difficult it is a little fiddly. The problem is you do it over and over and over, and it is really the only puzzle in the game. There are some activities involving finding and using items, but these are few by comparison to the number of times you have to play this little puzzle game. I confess that well before the end it had sucked all the enjoyment out of my wanderings.

Which is a shame. You might feel differently.

The game uses a combination of the mouse and keyboard, and you have complete freedom of movement, which I always like. You can die by falling off things, or being knocked off things, but the game just puts you back before the fatal moment and you try again. There is a little bit of jumping about, but nothing that would remotely make this an action game. It is a solitary exploration adventure, punctuated here and there by some other things. You can adjust settings to suit.

If only you could turn off the scanner.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB


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May 2017

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