^Stay tuned for our video essay with beautiful 4K footage.
Buses is a beautiful piece of historical fiction. Set in a small Bavarian town during the Protestant Reformation, it uses a historically inspired art style to tell a compelling tale of loss, love, and everything in between.
It’s one of those games where a Game Pass subscription feels like you’re kind of cheating on the system. But it’s also the kind of game that really illustrates the value of a first-party subscription service, as a discovery engine for the user, but also as a wealth-spreading mechanism that makes it easier to craft things like Pentiment in the first place.
It’s clear that there’s a huge audience out there for historically-focused games: Assassin’s Creed’s indelible success as a franchise juggernaut is testament to that. Other titles like Ghost of Tsushima and A Plague Tale: Requiem place great emphasis on the realism of their historical settings. The painstaking work that goes into balancing gameplay and aesthetics with real research into the past will not go unnoticed by gaming fans.
But Pentiment isn’t an ultra-budget photo-realistic action game with motion capture and combat: it’s a small, intimate study in how art can shape our perception of the past, and it’s something of a conversation between us and our ancestors. And it has an eccentric visual style that might be hard to sell for some users. It doesn’t seem destined for mass appeal – so it’s a wonderful thing that it finds itself as a first-party RPG offering from a major platform owner as the holiday season approaches.
That should be Starfield. But the story has a weird old way of working, and it’s a real boon to all of us that Pentiment gets a chance to shine.
Check out our full review for an in-depth look at this beautiful RPG and why we think it’s one of the best games of the year.