A Plague Tale: Innocence – Review
Follow Genre: Action-adventure, stealth
Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

A Plague Tale: Innocence – Review

Site Score
9.7
Good: Story, Graphics, Great stealth gameplay
Bad: Slow pacing is not for everyone
User Score
9.8
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (5 votes cast)

Focus Home Interactive is known for many titles, but for some reason we don’t often think of this Publisher when naming big releases. The publisher is known for games such as Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, Mudrunner, Farming Simulator and many other titles, but they truly got the people hyped for their latest release, A Plague Tale: Innocence. The game takes us to the Dark Ages where the Black Death was running rampant, killing a lot of the common populace, with a lot of consequences that ensued. We find ourselves in the shoes of a young noble girl, who has to take care of her brother in the midst of hordes of man-eating rats, the inquisition at their doorstep and many other perils. We were very intrigued when we saw early footage of the game, but we were mostly blown away when we finally got to play this game.

Story

Amicia de Rune is the daughter of a nobleman in 14th century France. She is living a fairly happy and comfortable life, even if she has to make do with a brother, Hugo, who is being sheltered by her mother because he is ill. Due to this, she never sees her brother and rarely her mother, as she spends all her time with her son, rather than Amicia. Still, Amicia has nothing to complain about, until the day she finds a corrupted part in the forest close to the castle she calls home. When straying a bit off the usual path, she finds a blackened part of the forest that consumes and kills her dog. When arriving at the homestead things get even worse when soldiers of the inquisition come knocking, kill her parents and try to grab Hugo. Amicia is forced to run away and keep her brother out of the inquisition’s hands. When they are thrown in a plague-ridden world, things become rather tricky, especially when she learns that Hugo is special and somehow linked to the infestation of rats that is currently spreading.

The flow of the story is great. Each chapter feels like a finished episode of a grand tale, and during the actual gameplay there is a lot of talking and dialogues that contribute to the whole. We can easily say that this game is very story-driven.

Graphics

Graphically this game is amazing. You’ll be thrown into 14th century France, where the inquisition and the plague are raging on. You’ll see dirty and ravaged cities, dark forests, big buildings to explore, a beautiful castle to reside in, all with plenty of clutter making things feel alive. Cities have different alleys, and there are a few sidetracks to wade through, each looking amazing. The foliage is impressive, the different characters look good and detailed, and it’s simply fun to play through the different chapters of the game from a graphical point of view. The animations are superb, and even the guards, who look alike, have small differences such as different helmets, small changes in their armament and weapons, and so on. Overall this game feels better than most exclusive titles, even though this one is a multi-platform release.

Sound

The graphical aspects of A Plague Tale: Innocence transcend the qualities of many AAA titles, the sound design is top notch as well. While most of the music is ambient in nature, the voice acting is superb. There are more than enough dialogues by different characters, both in cutscenes as well as actual gameplay, making the game feel alive. Overall the game feels like a cinematic experience, rather than a mere videogame.

Gameplay

A Plague Tale: Innocence describes itself as an action-adventure stealth game, which neatly describes all the different aspects of the game. As you’ll be playing the game through the eyes of Amicia and Hugo, you’ll have to make do with their limited skill-set as children. Amicia can use her sling to take out enemies, light fires and later on use other ammunition to grant other effects, but overall the combat in the game is kept to a minimum. You’ll mostly be sneaking around guards, solving puzzles to bypass the plague rats and finding clues on what the hell is going on. The gameplay is kept simple enough for those who have less experience in heavy action games or those who just want to enjoy the story. You could easily state that A Plague Tale: Innocence is a very cinematic experience, even if there aren’t an abundance of actual cutscenes. During the gameplay there are many conversations which drive you forward, while you solve puzzles and find your way through the many different areas the game will throw you in.

As stated above, the actual gameplay is quite simple, but the game gradually gets more complex as you progress. You will get more spells for your sling, which can light fires, extinguish flames, attract rats, and so on. You’ll soon get used to the lighting mechanics of the game as well, as the plague rats are afraid of light, meaning you’ll get killed if you wade too far in the dark. Daylight chapters often consist out of sneaking past guards and getting somewhere undetected, keeping the combat portion of the game at a certain minimum. The length of the game is quite decent as well with around 16 chapters, each spanning around thirty to sixty minutes.

Conclusion

With A Plague Tale: Innocence we might already have a contender for the Game of the Year award thanks to its thrilling story, great gameplay, astonishing visuals and overall concept. You’ll be treated to a very cinematic experience that puts you in control of what is going on. If you’re looking for a game that offers just enough difficulty, a lot of thrilling scenes and more than enough intriguing content, then you should look no further. Not getting the game is no excuse as it’s out on all mainstream platforms, except for the Nintendo Switch.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
A Plague Tale: Innocence - Review, 9.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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