Friday, 19 July 2019

A Plague Tale: Innocence ★★★★★


A Plague Tale: Innocence, developed by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive, is a dark and sinister story-driven adventure game set during the Black Plague in France in 1348. You are tasked with trying to survive in an unforgiving world where you not only have to confront and deal with the knowledge that more than half the population are dying in the streets, but also combat the Inquisition at the height of the Hundred Years War.


You play as Amicia de Rune, who is looking after her sickly brother Hugo and trying to survive in France. The Inquisition are after Hugo for reasons unbeknown to you, so it will take all your wits to survive and keep the enemy away from both of you. The story is an interesting one full of twists and turns, and you’ll meet many a curious character along the way which helps to keep the experience fresh. It’s a thrilling and heart-wrenching personal tale of two siblings trying to survive despite all the odds stacked against them.

‘A Plague Tale: Innocence’ is such a refreshing surprise in a world of what feels like it consists solely of 30-40 hour open-world games and first-person shooters. (no disrespect to either genre, but there are rather a lot of them).  The game will take you just over 10 hours to complete and is more akin to a game like the ‘Uncharted’ series which sadly just aren’t being developed much anymore.  The gaming community always will want more and more content in-game, especially if it can be updated online, so a developer and publisher releasing this sort of game gives me hope that there is still a place for it in the modern gaming world.

At its heart, the game is focused around stealth as you play a character with limited combat abilities. There’s a lot of hiding under tables and sneaking around the streets of archaic France to avoid encounters with not just humans but also the real fatal enemy in the game...Rats! We’re not talking a few rats, either – there are millions of them spreading disease across the country, swarming around in vast numbers (hundreds, sometimes thousands) ready to kill you straight away and send you all the way back to your last checkpoint. I’m usually a fan of our furry tailed friends but I’ve never felt quite so much disdain towards them since playing ‘A Plague Tale: Innocence’.

The best way to combat the rats is with light, from whatever source that may be, as they will generally scurry away once they see it. This can be used to your advantage when fighting the Inquisition too, as a well-placed rock to an enemy holding a lantern, for example, will set the rats upon them in a truly grotesque manner, which I must admit is quite entertaining to initiate.

The game is absolutely stunning graphically.  It is sometimes quite sad seeing the world filled with dead bodies piled up in the streets but it is impactful because it looks almost real, and in a way gives a quite strong idea of what living in such a time must have been like. The serene beauty of the French landscape can be observed in quieter moments that really lend to the style of the game.

I wouldn’t say that the game is particularly re-playable after your first play-through as it’s so story-driven unless you’re going for the full set of achievements or trophies. However, it’s priced at around £40 currently, which is less than many of the AAA games currently on the market.


As a full product, I can only say that ‘A Plague Tale: Innocence’ is a must-buy. These sorts of games are few and far between nowadays and I do hope that the game sells well, even with it being quite short compared to games out recently such as ‘Rage 2’. “Quality over quantity” is definitely appropriate here, and even though you won’t be playing it for very long, you’ll enjoy every minute of it. 

★★★★★
Hannah Read

A Plague Tale: Innocence at CeX


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