Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Focus Entertainment
Release date: October 18, 2022
A copy of the game is provided by the publisher.
Although the finale of A Plague Tale: Innocence can be considered as not requiring a continuation, nevertheless, after it a lot of questions remained, primarily regarding the illness of Hugo, the younger brother of the main character of the game, Amicia, and the future of the characters.
Well, the sequel is ready to satisfy your curiosity. The action of A Plague Tale: Requiem takes place six months after the finale of the first part. Amicia and Hugo, their mother, and the young alchemist Luca, whom they met in a previous adventure, roam the world as Prima Macula slowly devours the boy, causing hordes of plague rats to periodically break out to the surface, desecrating all life.
In his dreams, the boy constantly sees some kind of island, where, as it seems to him, you can find a cure for the curse that he is forced to carry in himself. Amicia does not believe him unconditionally, but agrees to go to a mythical place, clutching at straws in the hope of saving her brother.
On this journey, the heroes will meet new friends and, of course, enemies. A Plague Tale: Requiem does not leave Amicia alone, constantly throwing her companions, even in cases where Hugo is not participating in the adventure for some reason.
This was the case in the first part, but now the allies feel better developed and more interesting. For example, Lucas has noticeably grown and become more reasonable. Knight Arno, who agreed to accompany the heroes to the island, seems benevolent, but pursues goals known only to him. And the pirate Sophia, on the contrary, gives the impression of a rude woman, although later she reveals herself from a completely different side.
With villains, too, not everything is clear. There are one-dimensional villains, and rather complex figures with understandable motivation. In general, the game skillfully plays with accents, knows how to create an atmosphere opposite in mood in the same location. Often this is achieved through the most direct contrasts: for example, in the city where Amicia and Hugo rested during the day, walked around the market and watched the holiday, a nightmarish invasion of rats begins at night with large-scale destruction and terrible deaths.
But sometimes the authors act more subtly: for example, one of the episodes of Requiem resembles Ari Astaire’s Solstice – the ominous calm of a sun-drenched town, strange rituals and incomprehensible behavior of local residents inspire a sense of alarm. However, the episodes familiar from the previous part with mountains of bodies and other terrible evidence of a deadly plague still prevail here, we are more likely to have a body horror than a psychological thriller.
The path of Amicia and Hugo lies through new territories, but they have old enemies – soldiers and rats. The ways to counter them, in general, have not changed, although the list of available means has expanded. The sling and the pot, familiar from Innocence, can be loaded with various “projectiles”: tar and fire to set fire to the target, or, on the contrary, with a substance that will extinguish the flame – for example, if the enemy wandered into an area with rats, naively believing that the torch will protect him.
At the same time, the sling only helps against lightly protected soldiers, it will not be possible to break through the armor with it. In this case, a crossbow will come to the rescue – a powerful weapon that allows you to kill the enemy with one shot. It cannot be considered an ultimatum – there are very few bolts, and Amicia does not know how to craft them. Therefore, the crossbow remains a weapon of last resort.
And another tool for solving puzzles: you can tie a rope to the bolt and shoot, for example, at a jammed door or other element of the environment. There are enough such problems here, although there are not so many of them that they begin to annoy; All in all, A Plague Tale: Requiem won’t indulge puzzle lovers by offering rather primitive challenges.
In the sequel, the girl grew up and matured, now she is more willing to enter into open battle with opponents. The road behind becomes littered with corpses, and the player invents new ways to eliminate enemies: someone can be sneaked up and pushed into a fire or hearth of rats, someone should be charged in the forehead with a sling or in the chest with a crossbow, and someone will be able to pour resin and set on fire. It is interesting that both Amicia and her companions reflect on the topic of murders and often note that they could have been avoided.
And indeed, Requiem gives you a choice, allowing you to go through locations on stealth. In the sequel, the arenas have become much more spacious, they are filled with shelters and objects with which you can distract the guards. In this regard, the game is very similar to The Last of Us series with its large multi-level areas, many turns and shortcuts. Amicia, like Joel, can use a “disposable” knife to instantly kill the enemy – such a lifesaver in case the girl is cornered.
Here you can hide in tall grass and sneak along fences, throw stones at metal chests and extinguish lamps to let the rats rush to where the enemies are. Even the companions are ready to help Amicia: Hugo directly controls the rodents, Sophia distracts the soldiers with a magnifying glass, and Arno rushes into battle with a sword and shield.
However, stealth is not difficult. Patrolmen stubbornly do not notice the heroine, not to mention partners, with whom scenes can arise here, as in the aforementioned The Last of Us. Once, sitting in the grass, I had to watch how Sophia, who had run for cover, ran into a guard: the characters hesitated for a few seconds, but eventually dispersed and went about their business.
Unlike the first part, the failure of the covert passage of the location does not lead to the death of the heroine: Amicia has every chance to run away and hide from the eyes of the enemies, and after a while they will calm down and stop searching. And even if the enemy catches the girl and knocks her down, she can get up, stun him and leave. And if you get to the exit point from the area, even the crowd chasing the characters will not be able to do anything against the trigger: they will simply slam the door in the nose of the opponents.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is a linear narrative game, and as such, a lot of it is based on triggers. If in relatively open locations there is little room for experimentation, then in other episodes the developers do not allow you to get beyond their plans: for example, puzzles can only be solved the way the authors intended, and the alternative way you invented simply will not work.
You don’t need to hide from rats, but they don’t become less dangerous from this. As in Innocence, here the heroes are faced with a real sea of rodents: covering the earth like a living carpet, they devour everything that goes beyond the saving circle of light. This is connected with the inconvenience that stretches from the first part: it is worth taking an extra step, touching at least one rat – as Amicia will sharply slow down and most likely become food for creatures. Given that the controls become more viscous when a girl travels with her brother holding his hand, this often leads to random errors and is very annoying.
Ways to avoid meeting with rodents remained the same – light and fire. Amicia will fire a lit projectile at torches and extinguished fires, pour tar and set it on fire, stick burning bolts into plank walls, push carts turned into an impromptu torch. Resin can be thrown into a burning fire to create a more powerful source of light for a short time and scare away critters.
Sometimes, in separate episodes, there are too many rats, and then it remains only to run away from them, choosing the right direction in a split second. These are purely scripted scenes, and here the aforementioned control roughness is especially evident: several times during the chase I managed to unsuccessfully fit into a doorway or linger at a high threshold, after which I had to go to the checkpoint.
Since Hugo is associated with the plague, he can directly control the rats, and now the boy moves directly into the pack, and does not lead it from a distance. Under his control, the swarming mass can penetrate wherever there is no light, and kill the guards who find themselves in its path. In addition, Hugo is able to “scan” the environment, marking opponents: he “feels” them due to the connection with the rats swarming underground.
As for the possibilities of Amicia, the sequel introduced the mechanics of passive skills, which open depending on the chosen style of passing. For example, if you prefer stealth, the girl will eventually become quieter and move faster. And if you openly attack enemies, the heroine will receive skills that contribute to better endurance.
There are also crafting and equipment upgrades that are familiar from the first part. Amicia can create projectiles on the go by combining alchemical reagents she finds while traveling. She also acquires tools and resources to improve her equipment: this allows, for example, to load a crossbow faster, modify a sling for a double shot, learn how to process reagents into resources, and so on.
Crafting materials are stacked in abundance in boxes that can be found at almost every turn. You will have to hunt for materials to improve equipment – carefully study locations, explore branches, periodically solve simple puzzles. Wandering into a secluded corner, you can also find collectibles and witness an optional scene – a small but pleasant reward for inquisitiveness.
Moreover, the world of A Plague Tale: Requiem is interesting to learn. The game combines corridor areas with large spacious locations, and one of the territories can be compared in scale to Madagascar from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – here you can go in any direction, watch the locals and look for secrets. The charm of such a vast space can only be spoiled by the presence of invisible walls, which the heroes regularly run into.
Finally, I would like to note the sound in the game, and first of all, the voices of the characters. A Plague Tale: Innocence and A Plague Tale: Requiem should be played with French voice acting for the best authenticity, and the actor who plays Hugo should definitely be presented with an award at the next The Game Awards – he’s so good. The characters often communicate in whispers, which in some places creates an ASMR atmosphere, the sounds of the environment realize a reliable three-dimensional scene, and if you play with headphones, the immersion is 100%.
If there was a recipe for creating the perfect sequel, it would say that the sequel should be larger, more diverse, more dynamic. A Plague Tale: Requiem is just such a game: at the same time similar to the first part and at the same time gives the gamer a little more than the original gave. The conclusion is clear: if you liked Innocence, then you will be delighted with Requiem.
Given the difficult situation with the purchase of digital copies of games in Russia, we recommend that you take a closer look at the Videoigr.net store, where you can buy A Plague Tale: Requiem on disk.
Reader Rating0 Votes
A fascinating story in the entourage of France of the XIV century
More locations, events and adventures compared to the first part
New game mechanics that allow you to actively kill opponents
Less dependency on stealth
Updated leveling and crafting
Captivating landscapes – both beautiful and frightening
Very good sound and great acting
Too much in the game is tied to scripts and triggers
Shooting mechanics are still crooked
The pre-release version for PS5 is very uneven in performance