A Plague Tale: Innocence - Review Roundup
Some reviews for A Plague Tale: Innocence.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is definitely among the gaming surprises of 2019, exceeding expectations in the best possible ways. With its gripping tale, charming characters and solid gameplay mechanics, the game is a must-have for those who like single-player games with a strong focus on story and character development. Even if the tale does not take in you, A Plague Tale: Innocence still offers a solid third-person stealth experience that fans of the genre will surely appreciate.
I’ve been very positive about A Plague Tale so far, and it is indeed a good game. After a couple of scenes you’ll notice the same corpse models being reused as rat set dressing, things like that, but those aren’t the sorts of things I care about. What does let A Plague Tale down is three boss fights that interrupt the flow of a game that otherwise seems to have a strong sense of what it is. The first is, I suppose, getting you to understand how to use your sling offensively. The second is, likewise, teaching you a new skill. I can allow these. But the third is just annoying. And, worse, funny! It ends up making the rats, who were previously such a malevolent presence, look silly. Come on, man.
The scene of crossing a battlefield, with hundreds of lifeless bodies piled over each other, only to see a swarm of rats bursting out of a horse’s bloated corpse is just one of multiple sights that A Plague Tale: Innocence inevitably etches into your mind. Although its stealth and puzzle mechanics aren’t exactly fresh, having what’s, quite possibly, the most powerful representation of the Black Death in the medium, even if stylized, is reason enough to see Amicia and Hugo’s journey to its end.
Of course, the game isn’t without its flaws. For all of the variety the gameplay provides in terms of dealing with enemies, its puzzles are all fairly easy and straight forward with few that require more than a passing glance to understand and solve.
There’s also the considerable gap between the quality of Amicia and Hugo’s story arc and characterization compared to the supporting cast’s.
Asobo Studio has crafted an exceptionally dark atmosphere that brings the journey of its innocent characters to life. Both action and stealth-oriented players will find something to love in the mechanics despite their leading nature towards a particular playstyle. Those that love an immersive experience will be engrossed by the highly detailed, grim world. Some frustration with later levels may hinder the impact of the ending, but, regardless, A Plague Tale is a gorgeous game with endearing characters and smooth gameplay that showcases the potential of Asobo Studio.
VG24/7 No Score
There’s a lot lifted from other games in A Plague Tale, but somehow there’s nothing cynical about it. This is a full-hearted reach for the big time of AAA storytelling that succeeds in the most important departments, thanks to its sparkling polish and subtle characterisation. It’s one of a handful of games for which I could tell you the personality traits and motivations of not just the protagonists, but four or five secondary characters. Consider this review a carrier: Asobo Studio is a name that’s going to spread.
Apart from that though there is very little to dislike about A Plague Tale. It is a game that excels in the areas of storytelling and atmosphere, has rock-solid gameplay, engaging puzzles and some exceptional voice work that brings it all to life. This is a game that burrows under your skin, seeps into your mind and won’t leave you until the final credits roll. Frankly, any adventure gamer out there shouldn’t hesitate to buy this game, it is wonderful.
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Release: In development