A Plague Tale: Innocence is one of a handful of games that I’ve played, which was not on my radar at all and turned out to be a totally captivating experience. Available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, A Plague Tale: Innocence is developed by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. If you enjoy narrative driven experiences, there is no doubt that this game is for you.
Let’s take a look at what makes A Plague Tale: Innocence such a captivating and compelling experience.
A Plague Tale: Innocence Details
Platform: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Reviewed on: Xbox One X
Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Genre: Action-adventure, stealth
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
A struggle to survive insurmountable odds
A Plague Tale: Innocence takes place in France during the Hundred Years War in the 14th century. And, follows the tale of young Amicia De Rune and her little brother Hugo—both of noble decent. Sick since birth, Hugo’s mother Beatrice has kept Hugo isolated from the family and outside world looking for a way to cure him.
The game beings with Amicia, her father, and family dog hunting together in the French countryside. It doesn’t take long until something goes wrong and Amicia’s dog and life long friend is savagely attacked and killed by something unexplainable and mysterious. As the two quickly return to the De Rune estate, the English Inquisition arrive looking for Hugo—slaughtering anyone and anything in their path.
In an attempt to save the lives of her children, Beatrice helps Amicia and Hugo escape from the hands of the Inquisition. Amicia and Hugo set out to find Hugo’s doctor Laurentius in hopes of a cure. I don’t want to give too much away about the rest of the story but as you can see, the begging chapters start off with a bang that had me hooked.
I found myself so engrossed in the game’s story that at times I totally forgot I was playing a video game. Maybe because it is an original story with characters I’ve never met before but I simply could not put the controller down. From the way the characters interact and build relationships with each other to the way the story is told and unfolds is pure brilliance.
A near perfect blend of action, adventure and stealth
In addition to the game’s captivating story, I really liked A Plague Tale: Innocence‘s gameplay. It can be best described as a blend between action, adventure and stealth. Amicia is equipped with a leather sling shot that can be used in a multitude of different ways.
In the beginning, rocks can be slung to attack enemies, break chains, and to cause distractions. As you progress through the game you gain the ability to upgrade your sling shot’s ability to improve accuracy, timing and so on. Additionally, you learn how to craft items for use in your sling shot that will start fires, attract rats to certain areas, and even melt guards’ helmets with something called Devorantis.
However, A Plague Tale: Innocence‘s gameplay also involves stealth elements to it. You need to keep a keen eye out on your surroundings. Every corner, door or room could have Inquisition soldiers on the hunt for you. Furthermore, there are puzzle aspects to the game where you must distract the rats to make it to a new place or divert them to devour guards.
Nothing is ever too difficult that you become frustrated with it. Yet, at the same time I never felt the game was too easy. The game flows almost flawlessly, which allows you to enjoy the story and its gameplay elements harmoniously.
Outstanding visuals and presentation value
Asobo Studio did an excellent job recreating 14th century France and the essence of the era. Character models are stunningly detailed as well as the various locales that you visit during the game. From the French country side all the way to abandoned run downed castles, everything looks fantastic. Additionally, the sheer number of rats that can appear on the screen is amazing.
There are various characters that you interact with and join you on your journey. Each and everyone of them is well voiced and their behaviours, in addition to their actions, help create a bond between you and them. I experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions throughout the entire 17 chapters of the game and enjoyed every single minute of it.
Music helps sets the mood when needed. And, the squeaking, hissing and chattering sounds of the rats will make your skin crawl. Overall, Asobo Studio did a fantastic job on the game’s presentation.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is one of 2019’s best games so far
Without a doubt in my mind, I can honestly say that A Plague Tale: Innocence is one of my favourite games of 2019 so far. The story, gameplay and presentation are all top notch and superbly executed. If I had to nitpick, the only thing I could say that needs improvement is the game’s replayability.
Pretty much once you beat the game, you are done with it. Sure, you can go back to get achievements and trophies but that’s about it. But you know what? I am totally fine with it. The 15-17 hours of enjoyment I got from the game is 100% worth it, and in my opinion, is perfect.
If you are looking for an original narrative driven game with varied gameplay and exquisite presentation value, you can’t go wrong with Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence.
+ Captivating original story
+ Phenomenal production value
+ Both story and gameplay flow perfectly
+ Great mixture of action, adventure and stealth gameplay
– Not a lot of replay value after you beat the game
– Some may find the game to short in length
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF A PLAGUE TALE: INNOCENCE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5