A Plague Tale: Innocence – Xbox One Review
I don’t like rats, I mean I really don’t like rats and even more so after playing A Plague Tale: Innocence.
The game takes place in Medieval France, you start on a hunt playing Amicia who is out with her father and their dog, this introductory sequence shows you the basic controls and teaches you to use your sling, it also starts to open the story up to you through the conversations with your father.
You learn of your younger brother Hugo and the sickness that your mother is working tirelessly to cure that has separated you from both your mother and brother whom you hardly know.
On your return to the house the story takes a turn and you are thrust into your adventure taking your brother along with you.
The game generally follows a stealth adventure game path with puzzles to be solved throughout, there other elements intermingled throughout such as some resource management and also some crafting which you use to create alchemic skills, some of these skills are absolutely key in your ability to solve the puzzles in your way and are gradually introduced.
There is no need to worry that the game descends into a tough resource management slog though as the supplies you need are plentiful and you can usually find more than enough on your journey.
The main thing that you will come across as part of the puzzles is the hordes of rats that you need to find a way past, these hordes are massive and terrifying, they can strip a corpse in seconds (shudder).
Generally it will involve you either baiting them away with something to eat or scaring them off in various ways including coaxing your enemies to come towards them with a lit torch and that is where the most effective strategy lies……Fire, those gruesome little monsters with huge gnashers hate fire.
The game does a good job of making it seem like you are finding your way through an expansive world on your own while it is actually leading you through a fairly scripted closed world, this isn’t too much of an issue but eventually the illusion does start to fail a little and you do feel quite guided, without giving away too much in terms of the approximately 15 hour storyline the real star here is the relationship between Amicia and Hugo, the younger brother having hardly ever been out of the house is pretty helpless, he needs you to hold his hand and stray to far away and he will start to wail causing you all sorts of problems.
The story is well structured, compelling and heartfelt, I really enjoyed working my way through it, the other elements such as the tension of the rat hordes just supplement it well.
Graphically on the One X this game looks fantastic, the transitions from cut scenes to action are seamless and really do a good job of keeping the atmosphere of the story flowing.
Overall I really enjoyed the game, there a few minor quibbles in terms of the guided nature of the flow and the fact that towards the end you really do realise that you cant really go too wrong. There are not too many consequences to making poor choices either but I wouldn’t let this put you off what is essentially a very good game.
With thanks to Koch Media for the review code.