A Plague Tale: Innocence Review
"Swarms, Upon Swarms of Rats"
May 21, 2019 at 5:28pm
This is probably the most unique narrative driven adventure I’ve played this year. A Plague Tale: Innocence is a story that follows a young woman named Amicia as she aims to protect her little brother during a very dark period in history. The setting of this tale takes place in 1349 as a deadly rat based plague sweeps the lands of France. At the same time, the Inquisition is involved and it’s a deadly situation with some possibly mystical elements being layered within this experience. With there being a heavy focus on story, it’s largely a linear game with elements of stealth thrown in.
For the most part you’ll be moving around at a steady pace, taking in the beauty and lore of the land. There are truly just some lovely moments, but those are often sunk with the gruesome yet awesome appearance of those rats. The little monsters are just everywhere, it’s amazing to witness. There’s action here too as you move between cutscenes and gameplay to understand what exactly is happening. It plays out in a mysterious way as you see this deadly disease ravage the country and the places you once called home. This is really well put together as it uses similar areas in fresh ways that felt sorrowing and distinct. There are some neat puzzles as well, nothing too intense yet at the same time some of them involved minor layers of depth.
This is very much more of a casual viewing as you’re not directly running around, but it’s a nice and calm journey through one sinister point in history. It provides a solid length, a tale you get invested in and many characters that are interesting. It largely revolves around youth which is something you don’t see in games often, and it works perfectly in this.
Presented in the third person perspective you’re largely locked with your little brother while playing. It’s mostly a defensive focused combative game, but you can take more of a charge over time. You’ll have access to a sling that is used to complete puzzles, eliminate enemies and to get those rats swarming around. Over time you’ll gain more advanced alchemy based tools for the sling and that will change your choices in how you tackle situations.
The world gives some elements of choice during stealth segments as the environment opens up a bit. You can create distractions, go more on the offensive or just be really sneaky. The checkpoints are fair, and it might take a couple times to get things just right. The world itself is just gorgeous here, the density and quality of the every location is simply stunning. I was blown away by the details, and how authentic everything felt. The luscious forests, the desolate bodies over flowing battlefields and even the regular houses that have been marked from the plague. There’s a sense of wonder within every area you visit, and the many things you do.
There are even collectibles to be found if that’s your sort of thing. To go further on that, there are even special moments that can be triggered by visiting the right spots, and these brought a great sense of joy whenever I would encounter one. Grabbing a lovely flower for Amicia, or perhaps seeing a hidden sight.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is an excellent experience that delivers an emotional story, with characters you care about as they adventure through a gorgeous world. The environments are stunning, sorrowing and just mostly surprising. You’re never sure if it’ll be a calm venture, or one that’s filled with rancid death. I want to make a fine point note that the rats are extra gross. This is a great feature as they’re so unsettling and everywhere.
You see them crawling through bodies, scattering when you use fire and just being there in so many unique ways. I’ve really set this review up so that there’s a bit of mystery here around them. They’re in full force within this game and you’ll be just blown away by how they’re used. I thought the general setting was great for this, you grew to care about the characters and the narrative was fantastic. The puzzles were solid and I liked how this had a well balanced mix of action alongside softer moments that made this journey more worthwhile.
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A Plague Tale: Innocence Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Evolve PR
Rating Overall: 9.0