The Inquisitor is the debut project of The Dust studio. It is a gloomy adventure game in the genre of dark fantasy, the events of which develop in an alternative universe invented by the writer and journalist Jacek Pekara.

  • Developer: The Dust S.A.
  • Publisher: Kalypso Media
  • Release date: February 8, 2024

The Inquisitor project is based on the dark fantasy series of the same name written by Jacek Pekara. In his series of novels, the reader is immersed in the world in which Jesus came down from the cross and conquered Rome. In the cities of an alternative Europe of the XVI century, in addition to people, there are demons, sorcerers and witches. Protection from otherworldly forces and the protection of the inhabitants from them take on the Inquisitors – people whose hearts burn as brightly as the fires on which they burn the wronged.

The main character of the work, Mordimer Madderdin, one of the inquisitors, is ready to help everyone to cleanse the soul from the vicious – even through terrible agony. In the “I, Inquisitor” series, the reader follows his adventures and his fight against otherworldly evil. Pekara’s books are steeped in mysticism, revenge, and complex questions about the nature of good and evil.

In The Inquisitor we are expected to get into the skin of Mordimer, and the Poles tried to carefully transfer the book character into the game, creating a hero with unshakable faith in his mission. Madderdin has a deep knowledge of demonology, does not tolerate blasphemy and is ready to mercilessly punish heretics, because mercy for the inquisitor – a sin.

It is September, 1533 from the Nativity of Christ. On behalf of the Holy Office, Mordimer arrives by ship to Keningstein, a small town on the banks of the Elbe River, to check out information about a vampire who has settled there.

Literally from the very beginning The Inquisitor helps us to get into the role of a harsh inquisitor. As soon as Mordimer sets foot on the city streets, he hears one of the guards making rude remarks about him. After that the game gives us a choice – to show leniency to the unreasonable ambal or to turn this well-meaning respectable lad into a trembling, almost pissed in his pants creature with a few creepy phrases. And there are plenty of such situations in the game, which is the main attraction of The Inquisitor.

Gathering information about the vampire, Mordimer will be drawn into the political intrigues of Keningstein, encounter ritual murders and try to understand what role the local clergy play in this. In short, everything is just like in the sturdy medieval detectives.

The Inquisitor features the usual mini-games for the adventure detective genre, like inspecting the scene for clues, interrogating and eavesdropping on conversations. The Inquisitor meticulously notes all the information he receives and the characters Mordimer meets in the course of the story in his diary. The characters, by the way, are mostly memorable.

There are no pointers or even HUDs in the game at all, and the only tool for finding your way is prayer, which works here like a witch’s sense. At the same time, the developers introduced Quick Time Event scenes into the game and even organically wove a simple combat system into it.

There are no claims to the mechanics in general, except for the fact that the collection is tense. Throughout the city scattered papers with recipes for some dishes, menus of some eateries, not having for Mordimer meaningful load of love letters or errands from some unknown persons to others.

Mordimer will also be visited by visions of the past, and when he has gathered enough information, the inquisitor will be able to find a quiet place to pray in order to immerse himself in another world.
In the other world, he will appear before us in scaly robes and filled with light, and will wander the islands hovering over the abyss to find and unite the fragments of images into one coherent vision.

Obviously to diversify the gameplay even more, The Dust has added stealth mechanics to the game. In another world, the Inquisitor will be hunted down by a flying octopus, which he calls the Darkness, and some brats. To avoid encountering these creatures, players will have to hide and resort to prayers.

There is a sense that stealth could have been dispensed with. On the other hand, the other world is not too tense and does not take much time.

The dialogs in the game can’t be called outstanding, but they didn’t seem empty to me either. Most of them convincingly convey the characters’ personalities, whether your interlocutor is a cardinal or an idle commoner.

As for the look of the game, if you look at the details, the visuals can really seem cheap. But in general, The Dust, having rather simple graphical elements at its disposal, did a great job on atmosphere and scenery.

The mud-covered streets of Keningstein, crooked like snakes wriggling in pain, are filled with jostling noisy people who trade, quarrel, pray, curse and beg. You can meet merchants and artisans, rich men and beggars, hear singing and crying, and see scenes ranging from festivities to crime. It’s an interesting place to wander around.

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