A Plague Tale: Requiem is a really sturdy sequel from developer Asobo Studio. When the unique A Plague Tale: Innocence launched again in 2019, it stunned many people (myself included) merely on account of how a lot the action-adventure title flew below the radar previous to launch. With greater expectations in place for Requiem, my largest worry concerning the follow-up installment is that Asobo would not be capable of shock me in the identical means the second time round. Luckily, this has confirmed to be a false assumption.
In practically each conceivable means, A Plague Tale: Requiem is a much better game than that of Innocence. Not solely does it develop on the game’s central characters, Amicia and Hugo, in compelling new methods, however it additionally clearly boasts a bigger price range, which implies that Asobo was in a position to do rather more by way of scale. Not solely is Requiem in a position to fill the display screen with tens of 1000’s of extra rats in comparison with Innocence, it additionally implies that Asobo was in a position to concentrate on smaller elements of the game as properly. Environments are way more detailed, textures look far improved, and lighting seems to be extremely lifelike. While I’d have loved the addition of a better framerate, although, I additionally did not discover myself bothered by the locked price of 30fps.
Rats have been the star of the present in A Plague Tale: Innocence, and that is extra true than ever with Requiem. While there are nonetheless hordes of rats that Amicia, Hugo, and different companions should trudge by way of within the game, it is the sequences the place literal rat tidal waves seem that put to disgrace something seen in Innocence. Requiem has a far larger scale, which has allowed Asobo to create some wildly creative setpieces that seem a number of instances all through the game. It’s these moments, particularly, that made Requiem really feel that rather more akin to Uncharted or The Last of Us, that are two franchises that Asobo has clearly drawn plenty of inspiration from.
As talked about, A Plague Tale: Requiem additionally does fairly a little bit of attention-grabbing character work with each Amicia and Hugo. Set months after the occasions of Innocence, Requiem sees Amicia and Hugo in search of a treatment to the latter’s unusual illness. While this throughline plot motivation does not deviate a lot over the course of Requiem’s tough 15-hour runtime, it is the methods through which Amicia and Hugo reply to their numerous conditions that I discovered to be exemplary.
Amicia, particularly, is a really sturdy central protagonist that goes by way of quite a few moments of weak point and strife all through the story. And somewhat than making an attempt to always make her an ideal hero, Asobo leans into her shortcomings and reveals her at a lot of her personal worst moments. It makes her character really feel extremely relatable and actual, even within the midst of a narrative that may really feel supernatural.
Outside of the principle forged, Requiem additionally brings aboard a variety of new characters that I rapidly discovered myself getting behind. Writing throughout the board on this game is sort of nice, which is what makes it simple to get connected to every character, regardless of how briefly they could seem. Beyond the “good guys” which might be seen within the game, the brand new villains and different numerous foes that present up are simply as intimidating for a similar causes. My solely problem with the antagonists is that they’ll really feel a bit nebulous at instances. Many of the baddies which might be seen within the opening hours, particularly, are fairly nondescript and appear to solely seem as a means of making battle.
Perhaps the most important flaw with A Plague Tale: Requiem is that it could get a bit stale to play. The stealth mechanics and numerous gadgets that Amicia has at her disposal are novel at first, however the majority of her usable gadgets are unlocked fairly early into the game. As the hours go, it begins to really feel like most fight encounters play out similarly. Asobo does an honest job of making an attempt to make every chapter really feel a bit totally different from the final by way of the inclusion of temporary new mechanics. More usually than not, although, I felt like I used to be simply making an attempt to push by way of to the subsequent main story beat somewhat than benefit from the pursuit of taking down or sleuthing previous troopers.
Where the gameplay of Requiem does shine, although, is when you have to get previous the seas of rats that always encircle Amicia and Hugo. These sections are primarily simply large, rat-infested puzzles and infrequently aren’t that troublesome to determine. Still, it was the sluggish nature of working my means by way of these rodent mountains to keep away from dying that I repeatedly discovered thrilling. The puzzles themselves aren’t essentially onerous, however it’s the stakes at hand that made every of those sections really feel extra engaging than they in any other case would.
Even although it isn’t with out some faults, A Plague Tale: Requiem is probably going one of many higher video games I’ve performed this yr. In a time the place story-driven motion video games are beginning to develop into extra sparse, Asobo continues to show with Requiem that it is very a lot able to aiding with carrying the torch inside this style. I’m unsure if we’ll see future Plague Tale titles come about sooner or later, however given the leap that has been seen with Requiem, I’m positively hoping that this is not Asobo’s last outing on this area.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A Plague Tale: Requiem is out there now and is playable on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A duplicate of the game was supplied by the writer for the aim of this evaluation and it was performed on an Xbox Series X.