Monday, 27 May 2024

A Plague Tale: Innocence Review

The middle ages were a challenging time, with deadly plagues, bandits, and questionable medical practices. But A Plague Tale: Innocence takes it to another level. In this game, set in the 14th century, two children must make sacrifices to survive. While it offers a harrowing journey, it can also be a bit of a slog.

A Visually Breathtaking Recreation

Asobo’s recreation of France in 1349 is visually stunning. The heartbreaking tale of two young orphans, Amicia and Hugo, is compelling and hard to look away from. Amicia, a 15-year-old girl, is tasked with caring for her younger brother, Hugo, who is ill. Together, they navigate through rivers of black, flesh-eating rats while evading Inquisition soldiers. While there are some awkward dialogue moments, the emotionally driven narrative captivates, drawing players into a political conspiracy.

A Touching Relationship

Amicia’s role as Hugo’s protector is heartwarming. Guiding him through obstacles, shielding him from dangers, and sending him on missions creates a bond akin to sibling love. Hugo is an innocent and adorable child, making their relationship genuinely touching.

Gameplay Hurdles

Although the narrative drives the game, the gameplay itself has its challenges. The main threat to the children’s safety is the plague of black rats, which can overwhelm any living creature. Most puzzles involve finding fire to create a safe path, and a simple crafting system allows players to create consumables. However, the components necessary for crafting are often conveniently placed near the puzzles, reducing the need for exploration. Additionally, the puzzles tend to have obvious solutions, lacking the satisfaction of cleverly overcoming challenges.

Stealth and Combat

When not dealing with rats, players must avoid Inquisition soldiers determined to separate the siblings and leave them to the rats. Amicia has a sling and can throw rocks at enemies, with auto-aim assisting in hitting them accurately. However, the stealth mechanics can be underwhelming, with basic patrol routes and limited environment options. Most stealth sequences require more patience than strategy, resulting in a lack of tension and excitement.

A Bittersweet Experience

A Plague Tale: Innocence is a game of mixed fortunes. The tear-filled journey of Amicia and Hugo through rural France offers moments of adversity. However, the simplistic puzzles and clunky stealth mechanics prevent it from becoming a truly memorable experience. Ultimately, it is an adventure that is captivating but ultimately forgettable.

FAQs

Q: Is A Plague Tale: Innocence a challenging game?
A: While the gameplay has its hurdles, it is not overly challenging. The puzzles have straightforward solutions, and the stealth mechanics can be underwhelming.

Q: What is the main threat in A Plague Tale: Innocence?
A: The main threat in the game is the plague of black rats that can overpower any living creature. Players must find ways to navigate through them safely.

Q: Can players engage in combat in the game?
A: Yes, players can engage in combat using Amicia’s sling to throw rocks at enemies. However, the game generally encourages stealth and evasion rather than direct confrontation.

Conclusion

A Plague Tale: Innocence offers a visually stunning recreation of 14th century France, coupled with a compelling narrative of two young orphans. The strong emotional bond between the siblings adds depth to the story. While the gameplay has its shortcomings, such as simplistic puzzles and underwhelming stealth mechanics, the overall experience is captivating. Although it may not leave a lasting impression, it is worth embarking on this journey through a plague-ridden world.