Asobo Games’ latest title A Plague Tale: Innocence is an atmospheric third person adventure that not only tests you against endless swarms of rats but also tests your stomach.

Set in medieval France at the start of the Hundred Years War, it has a engaging, gothic setting for you to explore.

You play as Amicia, the teenage daughter of a nobleman and the sole carer of her sick brother Hugo. The siblings wander ravaged areas of the country together in hope for a cure.

Combat is fairly simplistic with not much in terms of variety. You can upgrade your slingshot to distract guards and also open up new paths for you and Hugo to travel through. You can get crafting materials to help you create some concoctions to help you out in sticky situations but that’s as deep as it gets throughout the game.

Amicia and Hugo must survive in war torn France

The story length varies from 12-15 hours depending on your skill, although at times proceedings were a bit hollow. Some of the puzzles feel like they are there to pad the game out with little value to the story. The puzzle settings and backdrops are well designed but at times they still come across as underbaked.

The game is at its best when you are at a tense point in the story, surrounded by horrible blood-thirsty rats waiting to pounce the moment you make a mistake. The puzzles require you to use all your abilities and knowledge to navigate, often having you on the edge of your seat. Seeing yourself fail and be swarmed by the rats is unsettling and you never feel comfortable around them again.


Some puzzles feel hollow

The voice acting is wonderful and gives you a real sense of the characters. The connection between brother and sister shines throughout the story, and seeing the sense of hatred and love for these digital characters is heartwarming and very accurate to a sibling relationship in real life.

Control-wise, things are a tad clunky but this is manageable in a game of its nature. On occasion there are some rough animations that stick out like a sore thumb. For instance, you might find yourself turning in a circle to look around, and Hugo will move at such a pace to continue holding your hand that it breaks the sense of immersion that the game manages to cultivate elsewhere.

The setting and story are well crafted

Verdict

It’s not often you call a rat-infested torchlit game beautiful, but it’s this setting that really makes some of A Plague Tale’s moments gripping and memorable. The bond between the protagonists also really gets you caring for the characters.

Besides the minor issues of the game feeling a little padded out, A Plague Tale: Innocence does a great job of creating a single player experience that’s meaningful and enjoyable to play throughout.

Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Price: £39.99 – £44.99

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