A Plague Tale: Innocence is an action-adventure game that was released on the 14th May 2019. It is available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The game was developed by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. Asobo Studio aim to create quality for every type of player along with true moments of thrill and challenge. “Asobo” also means “Let’s Play” in Japanese. Focus Home Interactive have worked on some major titles over the years, such as Vampyr, Bound by Flame and World War Z.
Surviving the Plague
A Plague Tale: Innocence tells the beautiful story of two noble children. You play as Amicia, who is fighting to survive with her brother, Hugo. Throughout the game Amicia and Hugo become closer and begin to bond. As they grow closer, you will become emotionally invested in these characters. When you begin the game, Amicia is in the woods with her father and the family dog, and this is where you learn how to move, sneak and how to use Amicia’s weapon, which is a slingshot. After the tutorial and a good chat with Amicia’s father, things become extremely dark. This opening to the game sets everything up to show you that it is going to be a very dark and mysterious tale.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is full of suspense with a lot of graphic and gruesome moments. It also has elements of other games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Assassin’s Creed because there is a lot of sneaking and stalking involved. The game is quite big in terms of the amount of space that it takes up, which is down to the amount of patterns and rhythms that the enemies follow.
When you have completed the first part of the game, you will have the ability to improve your equipment and weapon. The key to building Amicia as a strong character is to pick up everything you see. You can find materials for improving your equipment everywhere you go. Unless you are in a rush or are trying to escape from somewhere, take a second to stop and scan the area for anything that might be useful.
The greatest thing about A Plague Tale: Innocence is the amount of detail that has gone into it. It is absolutely full to the brim of both beautiful and disgusting moments. The game is just all around very good looking. The graphics are great, especially during some of the lighter moments. These lighter moments don’t happen very often but, when they do, they are visually stunning. The game includes hundreds and hundreds of rats. So detailed is the game that, the closer you get to these rats, the more they react. They are extremely disgusting and creepy.
As I mentioned, the game gives you a tutorial at the beginning. A great thing about A Plague Tale: Innocence is that the tutorial is very easy to follow. On the whole, the game is quite easy to follow. Somehow you always know where you need to go without it being obvious.
A Plague Tale: Innocence also offers players extremely quick reaction times. There are a lot of moments in the game where you will need to make a quick getaway. This will test your reactions, as well as the game’s reactions because you will need to perform these actions in a hurry. This might include things like jumping over or climbing up something. These moments give the player a real sense of panic, and you will find that the game reacts as soon as you initiate an action.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a great game, but it is definitely not without its issues. One of the main issues with the game are the large number of glitches that it has. There are a lot of issues when it comes to Hugo (the brother). There are times when he will need to climb through a window or climb up something, and he will kind of disappear and reappear. He will shift from one area to another and back again. This doesn’t really cause a problem with the gameplay, but it does kind of break the immersive aspect of the game.
There are also glitches with the rats. I think because there are so many of them, it was probably hard to give them some definition. There are times when the rats will merge into a blur, or they will run through solid objects. Again, it doesn’t really stop you from progressing, but it takes away from the impact they are supposed to have.
Another issue is that the voice synchronisation for the characters is completely off. The actual dialogue will have breaks in it when the characters finish a sentence, but the characters’ lips will keep moving. This also happens when the characters stop speaking altogether. The game also includes quite a bit of bad acting. When a character is sad or scared, their facial expressions either don’t show it or show it too much.
A Plague Tale: Innocence can be quite unrealistic at times. Because Amicia’s weapon is a slingshot, I can’t help but think, “Why wouldn’t she just pick up a sword or an axe that is lying around and use that?”. There is a part quite close to the beginning where you will need to fight a big guy wearing armor, and you will use the slingshot to ping off his armor and then kill him. Death by slingshot is just a bit unbelievable. Saying that, I kind of understand that she is a young girl, so she probably can’t swing around a big sword. Also, the weapon does come in handy at times for knocking things down or distracting enemies.
During a lot of the darker parts of the game, like when the rats are around, you will need to pick up small sticks to burn for light that go out after a short time. Another way that the game can be unrealistic is during these times. Somehow holding a very small stick completely impedes the character’s movement. I would understand if it was a huge torch, but with the size of the stick, there is no way that this should affect Amicia so much. Whilst holding the burning stick, the character moves extremely slowly and can’t complete simple actions, like opening a door, climbing ladders or climbing over a ledge. In a real life scenario, this wouldn’t be an issue.
A Plague Tale: Innocence Overall
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a visually stunning game with beautifully gruesome moments. Overall, the game is great. It is dark, mysterious and tells an amazing story about a brother and sister. Hugo (the brother) is extremely dependent on Amicia (the sister) for everything. He can be a bit whiney and a lot to handle, but the bond that grows between them is amazing.
As I mentioned, the game definitely has some issues that mainly lie with it being unrealistic in parts and having some issues with glitching. The great thing is that, even with these issues, the game is very immersive. You will find yourself panicking when the character is trying to escape, but the game has great reaction times. You will also find yourself rooting for the characters to survive.
Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: Xbox One, PC, PS4
Release Date: 14th May 2019
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