Vive la France! Et bienvenue a Passpartout! Or rather, welcome to our preview of Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist. When I saw this demo pop up during Steam Next Fest, I was intrigued, despite never having played the first game. I’d heard good things, but it had never caught my interest enough to actually get me to sit down and play it. A free demo on the other hand? Count me in!
While Passpartout 2 is, technically, a sequel, I dove right in while only knowing the concept of the first game and didn’t have any trouble figuring out the plot. You play as Passpartout, a French artiste, who seems to have previously been famous and has now lost his way. Within two minutes of starting the game is evicted from his housing and sent back to the mainland with nothing but a pocketful of lint. The character inspires sympathy right off the bat, both from the player and from other characters in the game who do what they can to help him make it back on his feet.
The game makes it clear, however, that you will be starting from the bottom and working your way to the top through grit. Using borrowed supplies, sketch paper fished from trash bins, and fulfilling requests from members of the community, you set out to make your fortune! Probably remake your fortune, actually, because if the first game ended with you as a depressed artist alone on an island I can’t imagine that would pull many people to play a sequel.
In the small section available to play in the demo we already meet a variety of other characters including Passpartout’s loyal friend Benjamin, eccentric sailor Harry, and Graffiti artist “Banky” who really, really wants in with the local gang of punks who have been evicted from their building. They’re all quirky and funny, populating the world with a broad array of people and really bringing it to life. While I’m not sure I’d want to live next door to any of these folk, it’s definitely fun to do some favors for them.
In the first Passpartout game, what really made it such a unique concept was the gameplay, which I’m happy to say has carried over into the sequel. Playing as an artist allows you to actually create art, and you can bring out Passpartout’s easel and start actually drawing and painting your own works of art. Indeed you have to, from repainting a danger sign for Harry to designing a new protest sign for the punks, everything that you do in the game is real art that you create yourself. It’s really such a fantastically unique idea for a game that I personally really love, more so now that I’ve played through it myself.
Passpartout’s art style is also an interesting deviation from the mainstream. For an art game, I was expecting to find things rendered with watercolor backgrounds, perhaps with all of the characters and objects hand-painted or maybe for everything to have a shaded pencil style. Instead, Passpartout is all rendered in 3D but each of the objects is designed to look like it was handcrafted in real life. Small pigeons look like they are those little wooden models you pop out and put together yourself, a beach umbrella is styled to look like a drink umbrella and all of the characters look like they were modeled out of clay. There’s always something new to notice and fun details to see as you play through the demo, and it’s a ton of fun to just wander around and look at the art itself.
Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist's demo is an incredible amount of fun, for gamers who are artistically inclined. It really gives a good feel of the game in a nutshell and while small in scope, it teases things like art supplies you’ll get to use later in the game and an overarching plot involving the Museum of the Masters. If you’re a fan of art, looking for gameplay that’s definitely different, or just want to see a tiny drinks umbrella rendered in 3D, we give our seal of approval to Passpartout 2.
TechRaptor previewed Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist on PC with a copy downloaded by the reviewer. It will be launching for PC when the paint has dried.