Review A Plague Tale: Innocence - Fear, Death, and Hate in Medieval France

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May 14, 2019 the French studio Asobo released unexpectedly cool

and dark adventure stealth action A PlagueTale: Innocence. Developers who have ambiguous Fuel and a couple of cartoons playing cartoons have risen to a new level and were able to tell a catching, atmospheric and cruel tale. This is the right mix of The Last of Us, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Brothers: a Tale of two Sons. Details in the review.

Mid XV century. France. The country is plagued by two evils: the Inquisition and the plague. And both misfortunes come to the house of the nobles de Runov. The servants of the Holy See came for the younger son of Hugo. The boy has an unknown disease, so the church became interested in him. The father does not give up his son and dies, and the mother asks his sister, Hugo Amice, to flee with his brother to an alchemist who knows how to shelter the children and help Hugo to cope with the disease.

In addition to the main plot strings, where an important roleplays the generic curse of de Runov, the creators of A Plague Tale: Innocence skillfully built the history of the relationship Amity and Hugo. The girl is 15 years old. She is important and honest, but during the game she goes on desperate steps and sacrifices for her brother. Hugo spent five years and spent most of his life in his room with his mother and was tormented by illness.

The child barely knows the sister and the strange world behindwindow, so everything he saw for him becomes a revelation: mountains of corpses, cruelty, deception, hordes of rats, burning infidels, the beauty of the forest, moonlit night, city streets and new acquaintances. As the story progresses, Amity and Hugo will acquire friends and enemies. Both those and others complement the story with their stories and personal tragedies, but the main villains are too stereotyped.

Gradually, the overall focus of the game is changing. If at the beginning of A Plague Tale: Innocence is an atmospheric pseudo-historical tragedy with elements of mysticism, then fantasy is added to the plot. This does not make the story worse, just with each chapter the game turns into a gloomy tale, and the relationship between brother and sister against the background of the atrocities of the Inquisition and the plague mora sometimes fade.

Gameplay A Plague Tale: Innocence also seems simple and understandable, but gradually elements from different genres are added to it. So, in the beginning it is adventure and simplified stealth. Amitsiya and Hugo are children, therefore there is no question of any equal opposition to the enemies. Brother and sister can hide, bypass the guards in the bushes or distract them with shots from the sling of Amition. Over time, a simple throwing weapon becomes a sophisticated tool in the massacre of opponents. With it, you can even kill a soldier or defeat the hordes of rats.

Sling and other equipment Amice allowedpump, and friends share with the heroine recipes improvements shells. For example, an ordinary stone breaks the soldier’s unprotected head, but the guard in armor will not overcome. Therefore, there is a stone with acid, which will make the enemy take off his helmet and open up to strike with an ordinary stone. Other recipes are able to extinguish the fire or protect against rats, or, conversely, attract rodents to the right place - each of them helps in their situation. As you can see, the developers squeezed the most out of the banal and inconspicuous weapons.

True, even such a powerful fantasy was not enough forthe whole game, so towards the end of the story, the new tricks were over, and the heroine used combinations of shells. But in the final, the player is given an unexpected, unusual and very powerful weapon, but it is impossible to tell in more detail, otherwise there will be spoilers.

Gradually A Plague Tale: Innocence becomes an adventure action, which is complemented by simple riddles and puzzles. The latter are usually based on the game with fire, because rats are so afraid of it. In some places the flame needs to be extinguished, in others it must be lit, in the third it is necessary to unfold the lamps, in the fourth one to roll the cart, and so on and so forth. It is very difficult, so the puzzles are solved quickly and without assistance.

With a general presentation of the game at Asobo Studio everything is fine. The French developers turned out to make from a passive adventure game an exciting game, from which it is often hard to break away. All thanks to the skillful manipulation of genres and the correct location of events. Katstseny change atmospheric campaigns on locations, which are diluted with stealth and light battles, after which they give to solve puzzles, and then again immersed in history. Everything is verified, thought out and does not give to be bored.

In addition to the proper presentation of the plot Asobo Studiosucceeded in another. With a modest budget and a small development team, A Plague Tale: Innocence turned out to be a very beautiful game, the screenshots of which I want to share with everyone. The creators squeezed the maximum out of their engine and made a work of art from each location. They skillfully play with shadows and lighting, glare of the sun, moonlight, fire and other elements of the landscape.

But it can not be all perfect, so the consthere is, but they are not critical. Where they did a good job in the picture they missed, or could not, bring to mind the facial animation of the characters and the general view of the cutscene. The characters have unnatural facial expressions and scarce emotions, and the figures are angular and unfinished. This is offset by excellent acting and well-chosen voices.

Separate complaints cause optimization on the PC. I passed the game on PS4 and there were no problems. But PC boyars complain that the game is demanding on the hardware and often drops fps to indecent indicators. Asobo Studio has released a couple of patches and hopefully they worked on the bugs.

Voice acting in A Plague Tale: Innocence is also good, and the melodies of the composer Olivier Deriverier (he wrote music for 11-11: Memories Retold, Vampyr, Alone in the Dark and other famous games) provided the lion's share of the overall bad mood of hopelessness. Russian subtitles are adequate. There are no hard errors in the translation, but there is one big joint. In the original of the boy's name is Hugo (Hugo), and localizers translated this name as Hugo.

A Plague Tale: Innocence is a beautiful and soul waving adventure that skillfully plays with history and correctly interferes with imagination. This is a cool story, albeit a naive, but touching tale with amazing graphics and simple, but not boring gameplay. The meager mechanics of adventure stealth have been worked out to the limit, but there are problems with optimizing on a PC, which is easy to fix with patches. Not pleased with the price tag A Plague Tale: Innocence on consoles, which means here it is better to wait for a discount. But the price of a PC is adequate, so it is recommended to buy and play the game on this platform as quickly as possible. It is worth it.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Adventure, Stealth, Action

PC, Xbox One, PS4

Number of players

Asobo studio

Focus Home Interactive


release date
May 14, 2019

PS4 games can be bought in the online store MOYO