So this game seemed to come out of nowhere and really caught my attention with the story driven elements.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is developed by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. It’s a tale of a young girl, Amicia De Rune and her younger brother Hugo (who suffers from a mystery illness) fleeing to survive through plague and the Inquisition in Medieval France.
The game is classified as a stealth-action-adventure game but for those of you have played stealth games before it stands out from its predecessors as a beautiful, enthralling masterpiece that takes you on an incredible, emotional experience.
It’s hard to find anything to criticise about the game and you can comfortably finish the story in about 15 hours, which seems short but my experience of playing the game didn’t feel short, it felt inspiring.
Perhaps the first credit should be given to the graphics which are meticulously crafted. Using motion capture, the level of realism is phenomenal and the level of detail in each environment is meticulous. The lighting effects even on older HD TV’s stand out and unlike many stealth games I didn’t have turn up my brightness on my TV up to be able to navigate even the darker environments.
The gameplay is smooth and seemless and is deeply entwined with narrative. You spend much of the early part of the game quite helpless and escaping but as you develop more of Amicia’s skills and learn more you have to fight harder and adopt different strategies in different scenarios. There are plenty of puzzles, stealth sections and escape sequences to make it interesting and to combat the slow pace that stealth games often suffer from.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this game is the narrative immersion. The story is deep and enthralling, with great voice acting and music to go along with it. At no point do you feel disconnected from events or forget what it going on. At no point do you feel you have stepped away from the story to play the game. It is focussed and story-driven. You are led through the game and challenged to adapt to circumstances.
You cooperate with other characters, who have other skills but they never overshadow Amicia’s role who has her own skills, primarily with the slingshot.
To say that I enjoyed this game would be an understatement. It was an experience to play and the AAA titles could learn something from studying this title. It was far more enjoyable and emotional than most titles out there and the price tag was reasonable.
I would highly recommend this game as there is almost no room for criticism.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a beautiful crafted work of art that plays very smoothly. If I was to score my review I would give it 5 out of 5.