Developed by:Asobo Studio Published by:Focus Home Interactive Genre(s):
  • Action Adventure
  • Stealth
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • PC
  • Sony
  • Cost:$49.99 ESRB Rating:MATURE Players:1 Release date:May 14, 2019 Reviewed on:PC

    A Plague Tale: Innocence

    Every year, there are developers and publishers who bless us with indie gems. Games that defy the norms defined by an industry filled to the brim with the typical triple-A experiences and games as a service. By utilizing a compelling story, unique gameplay elements, an imaginative spin on old conventions – basically the things that make them stand out – they’re able to showcase their value. Developer Asobo Studios and publisher Focus Home Interactive’s A Plague Tale: Innocence is another addition to this list of gems. In fact, it deserves its own category of brilliance…

    A Plague tale puts players in the shoes of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo, the two children of France’s royal family. Though they were of noble blood, they didn’t lead pampered lives. They stayed in a rural part of the country that had been invaded by a foreign army. Hugo, suffering from a mysterious illness, had been locked in the family estate since birth; his mother would take care of him/search for a cure. His mysterious illness seemed to gain the attention of the Inquisition. Their leader, Lord Nicholas, lead his men to the royal estate in search of Hugo, prompting both kids to flee for their lives. If that wasn’t bad enough, the countryside was also being ravaged by the Black Plague and a (seemingly) supernatural swarm of rats.

    The story slowly unfolds as the kids trek across dangerous territory. Along the way, they’ll need to sneak past soldiers, confront shady characters, and contend with the ravenous rats that lurk in the shadows. At first, the focus is on Amicia and her role as the older sister. She’ll struggle to care for him during this time of crisis; she barely knew her brother before suddenly being placed in charge of his well-being. This is conveyed to the player in multiple ways. Gameplay wise, you’ll be able to command Hugo to either stay or follow. Leave him alone for too long and he’ll start calling for help, alerting nearby enemies. Hugo isn’t completely useless of course. His small physique enables him to sneak through door cracks and small openings in walls to unlock doors or grab an item. He can even help Amicia push heavy objects needed to solve puzzles.

    The dramatic moments where you are forced to utilize both character’s strengths separately, provide a decent amount of tension. That’s not to say that things are calm when they’re working together. Since Hugo is unarmed, it’s up to Amicia to subdue foes. When a conflict is unavoidable, Amicia can rely on her sling – an item she got from her father for hunting. She can use it to either knock out an unaware enemy or distract them by slinging rocks at objects in the environment. Eventually, Amicia will learn alchemy in order to craft more dangerous projectiles and consumables. She’ll also be able to upgrade her sling’s effectiveness, aiming speed, and ammunition capacity using materials found scattered about the environment. You’ll have to manage your resources efficiently to craft the desired items.

    She can also utilize the rat swarms. Apart from acting as a barrier that keeps the children from reaching certain areas, they’re also a living part of Amicia’s arsenal. Scared of light, the Inquisition’s soldiers carry lanterns when on patrol to keep the rats at bay. Knocking them out of their hands with the sling will result in the soldiers being eaten alive by a nearby swarm.

    Amicia and Hugo’s relationship is strengthened over the course of the game. They’ll learn a lot about each other, work together to survive deadly encounters, and basically showcase what it means to be a family. Their dynamic relationship is only a part of the equation though. As it stands, A Plague tale features some of the best storytelling, dialogue, and character development in recent memory. It’s easy to become emotionally invested when everything is written so well.

    The same can be said for the game’s visuals and sound effects. The game’s trademark revolves around the swarms of creepy rats, waiting for you to take one-step into an unlighted area. The attention to detail seen in their sparkly eyes, their near constant spine-chilling hissing/squeaking, the way they burst out of the ground – it all paints a terrifying picture of A Plague Tale’s world. The realistic characters models, highly detailed environments, and moving score also help in this regard.

    A Plague Tale: Innocence is undoubtedly one of the best indie titles release this year. It offers players a great story, simple yet interesting gameplay mechanics, and a mesmerizing score. All wrapped in a quality package; it’s visuals rival that of popular triple-A titles. In other words, Asobo Studios should be commended for their efforts. They’ve created something special here!



    A Plague Tale: Innocence is one of the better indie games released this year.



    Like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, A Plague Tale is an indie game with triple-A quality graphics.



    The musical score, dialogue, sound effects – it all sounds great.

    Replay Value:


    The game is rather entertaining. That said, most won’t want to replay it after the credits roll.

    Final Score:


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