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A Plague Tale: Innocence - Review

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  • A Plague Tale: Innocence - Review

    I don't usually do reviews about games, but decided to give it a shot for this game, so bear with me. I'll divide the review in three parts, covering story, gameplay and audiovisual, each worth 3 points. The last point is awarded based on merit, for games that truly are exceptional.


    A Plague Tale: Innocence

    Release Date: 14/05/2019
    Developer: Asobo Studio
    Available on: PC (Steam, MS Store), PS4, XONE.
    Price: $44,99 / £39.99
    Reviewed on: PC/Steam

    A Plague Tale: Innocence is a action-adventure game with a focus on stealth developed by Asobo Studio, an independent French studio. This is their first attempt at a game this ambitious, as they mostly worked making ports for other games, and they quite succeeded in my opinion. A Plague Tale: Innocence was inspired by Naughty Dog's smash hit The Last of Us, and they don't lag behind it in a single aspect. The game narrative is involving, the gameplay is good and the graphics are stunning and detailed.

    STORY

    Set in 1348 France, during the Hundred Years' War, the story follows two siblings quest for answers and struggle to survive after losing their family and home during an Inquisition raid, just as a mysterious plague erupts. The playable characters are Amicia, the older sister and a valiant hunter, and Hugo, the little brother whose illness seems to be the key to solving the plague and is of great interest to the Inquisition. The pair must make their way through a ravaged country to understand exactly what is going on, doing their best to avoid guards and a truly outrageous amount of plague rats: over five thousand of the critters can swarm you at any given time. Along the way, they meet new allies, mostly other children orphaned by the war, who will aid and guide the siblings. Just be careful so they don't become rat meal.
    That's when "Innocence" from the title comes to play: Amicia's top priority is keeping her brother alive, and if that means killing someone, so be it. Just be careful, though: Your brother is always watching you, so your actions have consequences.
    Score: 3/3

    GAMEPLAY

    The game is mostly comprised of stealth sections, where you have to evade enemies by hiding behind objects or in the middle of tall grass and creating distractions for patrolling guards while dragging your little brother around. If that description reminded you of The Last of Us, you aren't too far off. The key difference here is that while Joel was pretty competent at fights and Ellie could take care of herself, Amicia only has a sling that requires a perfect headshot against a unprotected, unaware target to be dangerous and Hugo is too little to do anything without direction and will start crying loudly if you let go of him for too long. Thus the game has a much bigger focus on stealth, which can become quite a bore after some time. Thankfully the game shakes things every once in a while with new tools and abilities, as well as changing the playable character to Hugo to give that difficulty boost when you get too comfortable.
    Score: 2/3

    AUDIOVISUAL

    A Plague Tale: Innocence easily rivals and often even outshines any triple A you can find. Even without 4K textures, the level of detail in characters and ambient are impressive. You can make up every single strand of hair on Amicia's head if you look close enough. The forests are impressive and rich in color and sound, and the villages burst with life, or more commonly, death. Even with the sizable swarm of rats packing the screen, I have not experienced any significant framerate drop thanks to some clever tricks by developers. I have not seen any bugs either, and the configuration menu is full of options, including the ability to adjust the HUD for a more immersive experience without any icons.
    The voice acting is pretty good, however, since the game is set in France, the voice actors have to make an "French" accent that reminds me of Cassandra from Dragon Age. I recommend playing the game with French audio for a more immersive experience. And be sure to correctly select your audio device, as sound awareness is important to avoid being blindsided.
    Score: 3/3


    OVERALL RESULTS: A Plague Tale: Innocence is a wonderful story-driven game that only has marginal flaws. I'm impressed by the quality a relatively unknown studio could deliver.

    SCORE: 8/10
    If I was in Survivor, I wouldn't throw Aidy off a cliff to win immunity. I would just throw him off a cliff.

  • #2
    Arbitrary point system, boring wall of text.

    Comment


    • Thomas_JCG
      Thomas_JCG commented
      Editing a comment
      Every point system is arbitrary, and wall of text? It's not even ten lines per subject, and there's plenty of spacing.

    • ethansito
      ethansito commented
      Editing a comment
      Thomas_JCG You have to take into account here who you are talking to.
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