Of titles Story-Driven we have played galore, but never as the bewitching A Plague Tale: Innocence, who right from the start has always put on the table some interesting cards, which have allowed themselves to be watched carefully by an increasingly numerous audience.
The developers have always been ready to clarify the type of game right away, highlighting what the game was designed for: the story.
It is a production that revolves around the narrative but which also leaves room for some bite of action, due to a gameplay that forces us to interact and act in a certain way in order to carry out the plot.
We have been offered the opportunity to review A Plague Tale: Innocence, given the offer so delicious, we could not refuse it and therefore we launched ourselves towards this new promising adventure.
The beginning of a journey
The plot features protagonists Amicia e Hugo, two brothers linked by a destiny intertwined by their family. The first is very tied to his father, with whom he spends more time. In fact, the first game session will see us busy with the latter, while Hugo is more tied to his mother, given that due to an "illness" he is forced to remain segregated at home, under the attentions of the mother who is working on a cure.
Basically the two brothers do not know each other, since one is not allowed to meet the other, on balance they are two complete strangers.
Due to a nefarious event, the two are forced to flee far away, towards a destination indicated by their mother, thus facing the dangers that life has reserved for them. On the other hand, this journey is also a way for the two to bond, and finally get to know each other.
The plot is set in the late Middle Ages, a very difficult time as history has taught us, given that the cruelty and brutality of the time was very explicit. To all it must be added that the lands of A Plague Tale: Innocence they are afflicted by a plague as imposing as that of the Black Death and by infected rats, the latter a prominent element in the game.
The plot is not primarily based on a single objective, but is a mixture of elements not to be underestimated, where for example the love and brutality of the world are enhanced by well-structured scenes. To this is added a cast of characters that are always useful and never put by chance, always trying to keep the narrative alive and arousing the interest of those who are experiencing the adventure of the two young heroes.
Even the dialogues are written in a masterly way, the touch of class lies in tracing the way of speaking of the times, all adorned with a high-quality English dubbing, although our advice is to play it in the original language: French.
The scenes we will experience are structured in such a way as to leave something to the gamer, always trying not to fall into the banal cliché. The protagonist, Amicia, shows for the whole duration an indissoluble tenacity, also punctuated by moments of weakness.
It is nice to see how the script is functional, as well as the realization of the backgrounds of the characters, all very empathic and plagued by their problems. To enhance the narrative incipit, the setting comes to the rescue, which perfectly traces the medieval period, trying to propose, in the right doses, that intense dark oppression that occurred during the inquisition in the period of the late Middle Ages.
Even the slightest noises contribute to the creation of a well-structured and never out of place picture.
A convinced Story-Driven
The "gameplay" side of the game is not so vast, given that we are faced with a third-person adventure that gives us the possibility of being able to carry out actions only for the pure continuation of the narrative, without trying to greatly enhance this sector.
Our heroine will only be able to defend herself with her slingshot, which will be expanded by additional "ammunition" as we continue along the main narrative.
The enemies do not have a very thick artificial intelligence available, in fact in the early stages of the game it will be almost easy to get around them avoiding even the slightest contact. The difficulty manages to become marked after the half, in which some mechanics related to rats will come into play, putting the spanner in the works of the player who wants to pull straight towards the final goal.
The puzzles that hinder our passage are almost always simple to solve, it will be enough to think a few minutes to be able to continue without any problem.
The beauty of the Middle Ages
The game environment is well structured, and exploration will play a fundamental role if you don't want to run out of the right ammunition. Around the map it will be possible to discover some collectibles and almost always well hidden. It will also be possible to upgrade our equipment Amicia, to do this we will need the right materials and tools, which can be found in the various game maps.
Once we have a workbench available, we can decide whether to upgrade our equipment or our containers. We had the opportunity to enjoy the title directly on the PC, which defended itself quite well with a respectable graphics sector.
The lighting effects are very rich and the maps almost always have a very inspired level design.
Technicalities beyond the plague
The only drawback is possible to see it in some texture a little smudged and treated only marginally, but after all we have well-kept polygonal models. Unfortunately we cannot say the same of the animations, often in the excited phases we will have the opportunity to see quite annoying interpenetrations.
Despite everything, on a 1050 TI we were able to enjoy it properly A Plague Tale: Innocence, Asobo's graphics engine did an excellent job.
As we told you earlier, the audio sector is absolutely functional, dubbing manages to defend itself properly and to give the right expression. The soundtrack is touching and always manages to be consistent with the narrative, Olivier Deriviere has managed to package an OST of excellence.
In conclusion we were delighted by A Plague Tale: Innocence, thanks to its very touching and well-structured plot, we were able to enjoy a story-driven title without ever feeling bored. If we add to everything an excellent soundtrack and an inspired setting, we have an unforgettable dish.
We are happy with the work done by Asobo Studio, it is a production that we will hardly be able to forget. Absolutely recommended!