A Plague Tale: Innocence, developed by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive, brings on the journey of two siblings in 14th Century France. After an attack by the Inquisition, Amicia takes her sick younger brother Hugo and the two flee their home. Forced to navigate a plague-ridden land with enemies hot on their heels and a mysterious illness plaguing her brother, Amicia must do whatever it takes to keep what’s left of her family alive.
The game begins with a sweet scene between Amicia and her father as he teaches her/you to hunt, giving you all the tools you’ll need to fight and hide later. The moment ends on a dark note and when something attacks them and they barely make it out alive to run home and tell their family. And then… well that’s when all hell really breaks loose.
One of the biggest things that stuck out to me about A Plague Tale: Innocence was all of the gorgeous audio. The music was really on point – haunting and full of tension, it always set the mood when I was about to turn down a dark corner or walked into a sticky situation. The voice acting was also absolutely brilliant – I loved every performance (even the heartbreaking ones!).
The relationship between Hugo and Amicia is strained at best. Having been hidden away for most of his life due to his mysterious illness, the siblings hardly have a relationship and when they’re thrown together in the wake of their parent’s death, it makes teamwork rocky. One challenging mechanic I actually liked was keeping Hugo close by. If you leave Hugo on his own for too long, he’ll panic and alert enemies. Yes, it sounds super annoying in theory – but I love how realistic of a detail it is. What child would want to be left alone in the presence of bad guys? It just made Hugo’s character that much more believable!
Amicia was a refreshing heroine too. In an age of overpowered or highly-trained heroines wielding guns, swords, and bows, it was really interesting to fight a boss that towers over you and can kill you in one shot, with nothing but a sling and rocks… a sling that she wields in a very deadly manner may I add. I still found myself screaming ‘take that axe on the ground!’. Who knows, maybe later on in the game there will be a chance for Amicia to show off other hidden talents. For the majority of the time, it only takes one hit to kill Amicia and that meant I did A LOT – but again, a child who is up against a giant mallet? Yeah, makes sense. She’s not super-girl. Amicia’s vulnerability just makes fighting with her that much more challenging and forces you to be tactful.
There’s a fair bit of collecting in the game – lots of supplies to keep your eyes out for, for when you come across a workbench. You’ve got the opportunity to upgrade not only your sling but your ammo pouches and other things of the like which is cool. Overall, this area seemed a lot of what we’ve seen in plenty of other games like The Last of Us.
I really loved how this game forces you to use the (stunningly designed) environment – a particularly stressful thing when you’re being chased through tight stone streets by crazed survivors or trapped in dark tunnels filled with plague rats whose only weakness is light. The game’s puzzles are just the right amount of challenging – not enough to make you want to ragequit, but also don’t be surprised if they give you pause or you die a couple (dozen) times.
If I’m being honest, I loved everything about A Plague Tale: Innocence. There wasn’t one element of the game that I would have changed. This haunting tale is a perfect blend of horror, action, and intrigue. I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game and uncover the secrets behind the siblings and the plague!
A Plague Tale is available for preorder now and officially releasing May 14th on PC, PS4 and Xbox One!
If you haven’t already, check out the chilling trailer below and let us know in the comments – will you be joining Amicia and Hugo’s journey?