Want a great story based stealth game with puzzle elements? This game will be perfect for you!
A Plague Tale: Innocence is game you might start playing because you’re interested in the unique setting, but you keep playing to experience the story. I was hooked in the story right after the first chapter, and it is the reason I played this game right until the end. I was so eager to see where the characters ended up and find out the reason behind all the rats. I had a few problems with the game as it was clear this wasn’t a triple A title, nevertheless I am so glad I played A Plague Tale right through to the end.
Story Story and setting is the strongest selling point for A Plague Tale. Taking place in medieval France, you play as Amicia. When the Inquisition come to take her brother away, you have to escape with him. Then a plague seems to have broken out with millions of rats. The story delves into the backstory of why the Inquisition wants your brother Hugo and what is causing the plague. I really love the unique super natural world of all the rats. I also fell in love with all the characters that you meet along your journey. Apart from Hugo. I couldn’t stand his voice. Also he was just annoying, I know kids can be annoying sometimes, but Hugo came off as just plain dumb. The constant “AMICIA AMICIA AMICIA” coming from him was irritating, but didn’t really take away from the main story. The voice acting was a bit off here and there but again nothing too much to take away from the story. The boss battles were great fun; I genuinely felt outmatched against them and had a blast beating them. I just wish there was more of them. SPOILERS: So the main antagonist behind the inquisition is an old pope like guy called Vitalis. But he doesn’t turn up until over halfway through the game. He does seem evil, but he also feels a bit random. The boss fight with him at the end is simple but challenging. Overall I feel like the games ending is a little rushed and I would have liked the game to go on for a few more hours, and explain a few more things.
Gameplay Gameplay isn’t A Plague Tale’s strongest feature. Don’t get me wrong it is quite enjoyable, but it just seems a bit basic. You will have to navigate around levels avoiding enemies and solving puzzles. I did really enjoy the gameplay but it feels like its all been done before. I did like that you character felt underpowered, using only a sling as her main weapon. Unlocking different ammo types gave the combat a puzzle element to each engagement. I liked that at the start of the game, ammo was scarce, forcing you to be super careful when spotting enemies, most of the time you would have to just try to get around them without getting spot. However after a few upgrades and new types of ammo, combat was a bit easier and stealth wasn’t required as much. Especially the last few levels, I was just taking everyone out very easily. If you like stealth games (which I do), A Plague Tale is definitely a game you will enjoy. Despite my gripes with it, I really did enjoy navigating around enemies and rats, solving the puzzles that are the levels themselves. Its nice that such a story focused game has these gameplay mechanics that will keep you engage with the game, and that it’s not just another walking simulator.
Visuals So I don’t know how I feel about the visuals in A Plague Tale. I don’t think the actual graphics and textures are very good, however the lighting is amazing and the visual scenery really immerses you in this world. The easiest way I can describe my troubles with the visuals is; a single rat model in this game isn’t anything mind-blowing. The model is quite static, no fur and you can barely make out its legs. However when over 1,000 of them appear on screen, the visual entity of the rats is epic! And that pretty much describes the visuals in this game, the player models are nothing new, the building and environment textures are basic, but put it all together with some stunning lighting and the game can be very pretty. The lighting in this game is such a key element, it is used to get around enemies and to solve puzzles. The light coming from the fire feels natural, it flickers and creates shadows like real flames would. I did encounter a few graphical glitches. When I would move the camera, there would be a sort of outline around the main character. It would still look like the scenery, but would it was more like a lag from the previous background. I also need mention the sound design that really helps sets the setting of this world. As it takes place in medieval times, the simple string soundtrack sounds perfect. It really reminds me of the Witcher soundtrack, which isn’t bad at all.
Overall Opinion I really enjoyed my time with A Plague Tale: Innocence. I was so intrigued in the story, I loved the characters apart from the “AMICIA! AMICIA! AMICIA!” boy. The gameplay was fun and engaging, and I loved solving all the puzzle themed combat encounters. The sound design and visual environments are perfect for the very unique setting. I was really looking for a story focused game recently so this fit that slot perfect for me, but it is clear this game wasn’t made on a triple A budget. That wasn’t too much of an issue for me, but might be for other players. If you like the look of A Plague Tale’s setting and like story-based video games, then give this one a go. I’m sure you wont be disappointed.