A Plague Tale: Innocence tells the story of Amicia de Rune and her brother Hugo, who is suffering from a mystery illness. Early on in the game their family are attacked which leaves the siblings fighting for their own survival. The game takes you on a journey of discovery, not only about the illness that Hugo has but how these two siblings have to become closer than ever before in order to stay alive. If you haven’t already guessed the game is set against the backdrop of the Black Death, and the game isn’t afraid to show you how badly it affected humans and animals along the way.
Amicia has a slingshot as her only weapon, with this she can shoot rockets at enemies heads to kill them, or at metal objects to distract them enough to allow the children to pass by safely. The stealth section are fairly simple, you’ll just need to make sure your timings are right. You can direct Hugo to crawl into small spaces to open doors or fetch objects, however moving too far away from him causes him to shout for you, grabbing the opponents attention.
It’s not just humans you’ll need to avoid, as you progress through the game you’ll see the devastation the rats have caused and how dangerous they can be if you get caught out. You’ll make use of light, which scares the rats away, you’ll light fires, or use torches to move around the simpler sections, while the tougher sections expect you to move rats into traps using light beams. Again, there isn’t anything too taxing about the puzzles although there is an element of trial and error.
You can of course use the rats to your advantage to kill the enemies. Removing light around an opponent while rats are present will result in a grizzly death. None of the puzzles section are particularly difficult although there is an element of trial and error. If you are stuck at any point in the game, wait around and the game will point you in the right direction.
As the game progresses, the siblings meet other orphans along the way that introduce some new gameplay mechanics, Amicia is able to request help in different ways from her new acquaintances. The other orphans also help improve her arsenal, eventually you’ll be able to start and extinguish fires as well as, causes enemies to rip off their helmets in pain to expose their heads for that deadly shot with a rock. You’ll collect resources as you move through the game to allow you to craft the different effects and you can also upgrade your equipment at tool benches, to improve accuracy or reloading times for your sling.
Later on in the story it becomes apparent what Hugo’s illness is which add a new dynamic to the game, I figured out what it might be early on but wasn’t sure. The final few chapters introduce some boss fights, which all follow a certain pattern, and once you have mastered them it’s fairly easy. The very final fight is a bit of a slog, but i enjoyed working out what needed to be done to win.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a beautiful looking game, despite the devastation around you, when you manage brief respite from it all you get to see the beautiful french countryside in all seasons and the developers have done an amazing job. The voice acting is excellent and at certain points, especially as a parent it’s all a bit chilling, it’s all topped off with a wonderful soundtrack.
There were a couple of times were the game left me feeling a little frustrated, at one point in an early chapter my game corrupted and for no reason which left me having to go back to the beginning of the chapter and on two or three occasions the game just seemed to stop working. During one battle enemies were meant to appear from different directions, which they did, but they just seemed to get stuck in the environment, which required another restart. Generally though the game played with no issues.
I completed the game in just over 10 hours, and apart from going back for collectables there is a little reason for me to go back an play again. However the time I spent with the game was really enjoyable, the story is full of twists and turns and I found the ending really enjoyable. This is a game well worth checking out.