A Plague Tale Innocence developed by Asobo Studios and published by From Software is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and its Games Pass.
A Plague Tale Innocence flew by me when it was released and I completely missed it, I intended to play it but unfortunately never got round to it. When it was announced on the Games Pass I quickly downloaded it and made it my mission to complete it due to all the positive praise and awards.
A Plague Tale Innocence puts you in the shoes of Amicia, a young girl who must take care of her sick brother Hugo. Not fully understanding what the disease is till much later on in-game Amicia must set off to find a cure after he family were murdered and life destroyed. The year is 1348 and the 100-year war rages on. Not only is there a war but the plague has hit and rats are swarming all around devouring anything in sight. The children will see things along the way that no person should ever experience, from war-torn fields, villages full of people gone mad and so much more.
The story is breathtaking and emotional, to say the least. The characters are likeable and you do end up finding yourself getting attached and wanting the very best to happen and in the games rare happy moments you’re relieved to see them laughing, smiling or having a bit of banter between the friends you make along the way. Such a dark world has been created here but one that you often don’t see within games. Such detail has been put into the making of it that it’s a very harrowing adventure. It never felt like the heaps of bodies, the overall gore placement was just to wow an audience, it felt like it was all there to paint a picture of how bad it really was and boy did it paint that picture well. From spending so many hours within these horrific places to get a little break in-between and see the sun shining on a beautiful river is a pleasant feeling until you progress forward and over the bank, just millions of dead soldiers are rotting away with looters picking at their corpses. Asobo Studios have created such a piece of art here.
The gameplay for me was quite a mixed bag, I didn’t hate it at all, but there are many moments where you must be stealthy and sometimes for people like myself who aren’t stealth masters it can get a bit frustrating. It’s more the moments vs human enemies that I sometimes found a bit infuriating but I never hated it or felt like putting the controller down. There are however some really exciting moments, I found the rats such a unique mechanic. Along the way you’d be faced with puzzles and trying to get past the hordes of rats using light to your advantage and the enemies disadvantage. Many puzzles included using lights to get to certain areas, lead rats into the enemy or to unblock your path. The rats could also be used against the enemy to devour any that stood in your way. I enjoyed the rat side of things, I just think later in-game there are a few stealth moments against the humans that I really struggled with but that is down to my skill. I say my skill because the AI react quite realistically to their surroundings, if you extinguish one of the torches an enemy might be carrying or a safely lit area is suddenly made dark, they will run for their lives and you can hear and see their desperation.
If you own Games Pass I can’t recommend this game enough, the story is damn good and the world that they have created is one not to be missed out on. If you don’t own the Games Pass I still recommend you go out and buy it. With A Plague Tale Innocence, I didn’t get the same feeling I do with other games, this one felt different, rather than an entertainment product I found myself getting engaged within its story and feeling the emotion many of the characters and side-characters felt in-game not only that but the environments that brought it all to life. Its one that I feel can be put up there with The Last of Us and the Metro Series. The story is one that you get fully immersed in rather than feeling like, ah it’s just a game I’ll finish this and play something else later, this one makes you think and feel. I did feel sometimes in some sections it dragged it out a little bit but overall an enjoyable title that I’m glad I jumped upon when I had the chance.