Set in 16th-century Bavaria, Pentiment tells the tale of the small Alpine town of Tassing and the simple people that dwell there. We play as a Nurembergian artist named Andreas Maler who is living in Tassing while he completes work on a piece for the local monastery, and through him we meet the residents of the town and share in their struggles during a period of political and religious upheaval.

It's a cruel time and a hard life, made harder still when a visiting Baron is murdered in the town and the abbot fingers Andreas' friend for the crime. From here, Andreas launches a private investigation into the matter, which involves talking to the local peasantry and clergy, unearthing clues as to who might have had a motive for offing the Baron, and pulling at threads that hint at a more sinister plot lurking beneath the surface of the town.

The storytelling is at times glacial in its pacing. It's trite to say that a game isn't for everyone in a review since that could broadly be said about any video game, but it's worth mentioning that if you're not a fan of slow-burning fiction, or excessive reading, or spending time chatting with sullen-faced peasants about which one of their kids didn't survive the winter then perhaps this isn't a game for you.

While Pentiment lives and dies by how the story grabs you, worth mentioning also is the wonderful animation work and the delightful art style of the game. It's like a painting brought to life, each location in the game beautifully realised in severe black outlines and colours that pop off the screen. There's no voice acting in the game, so you'll spend most of it hearing little but the chirping of birds and the shuffling of feet, but a sparse employment of music is used to poignant effect.

We were largely enthralled during our dozen or so hours with Pentiment. The mystery at the heart of the narrative remains compelling throughout, but it was the smaller moments that warmed our hearts; breaking bread with friends, sharing in their joy and heartbreak, watching lives play out, and generations pass, in a world on the cusp of dramatic change.