A few months back, I finally managed to get my hands on a PlayStation 5, and the first game I bought to play on the console was A Plague Tale: Innocence.
I had been interested in playing it for a while and since its sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem was coming out soon, I decided for it to be the first game I would play on the PS5.
Overall, I really enjoyed Innocence.
Sure, plenty of its mechanics seemed pretty dated, with the enemy AI in particular being quite stupid, but the game came from a smaller studio which still managed to make the game fun, despite its limitations, and create an interesting story with compelling characters to follow.
Over three years from that game’s release, the sequel, Requiem, has been released and, after playing it, I can say that it improves on its predecessor in a lot of ways.
The story is still set in Medieval France and once again follows Amicia (Charlotte McBurney), her little brother Hugo (Logan Hannan), their mother Beatice (Lucy Briggs-Owen), and young alchemist Lucas (Kit Connor), after supposedly stopping the Rat Plague in the previous game.
However, after multiple incidents, the Macula in Hugo’s blood begins to awaken again, plunging the country into an even larger rat infestation.
Desperate to protect her little brother, Amicia decides to take Hugo to a mysterious island he dreams of, in the hopes that there is a means to cure his affliction there, meeting another cast of compelling characters along the way, like Arnaud (Harry Myres) and Sophia (Ellie Haydon).
The story of A Plague Tale: Requiem is another good one, with plenty of standout moments for almost every character.
I do wish that Melie from the first game had returned but the rest of the cast is just as interesting.
Chief among these characters is Amicia, whose journey to protect her brother is very compelling and results in a lot of tragedy along the way.
There is one moment in this game that actually had me tearing up and Asobo Studio did an excellent job at pulling on our heart strings.
Another thing they did a great job at was improving the gameplay from the first one.
As I said earlier, the enemy AI in Innocence was quite poor.
You could literally just walk into a bush after being spotted and the enemy would instantly lose sight of you.
In comparison, the AI of Requiem is much better, along with the stealth mechanics.
Now, if you are caught, you don’t instantly die, and you also have a lot of new opportunities for stealth kills, like with the crossbow, which you can level up along with other mechanics.
You can even use Hugo’s ability to control the rats a lot more, which is fun to use.
Speaking of the rats, though, holy hell are there a lot of them in this game.
There are quite a few chase scenes with swarms of rats that number in the thousands if not millions.
It is amazing what Asobo Studio was about to achieve with the graphics of the rats.
The quality in graphics extends to the environment as well, both in beautiful and disgusting ways.
There were many times I stopped to look at the beauty of the world Amicia and Hugo were standing in, and there were even some times when I felt like I wanted to hurl when looking at the disgusting graphics of Amicia struggling through a river filled with rotting, fly-ridden corpses.
So, there were quite a few gameplay improvements with Requiem, although not everything is stellar.
Due to the limited combat mechanics, the numerous segments where waves of enemies were sent Amicia’s way felt very tedious.
At least it was not as bad as in Innocence, where the sling sometimes felt broken, often leading to an instant death way too many times.
Despite this, and a few other mechanical issues, I would say that Requiem is an enjoyable game and a more than worthy sequel to Innocence.
It improves the gameplay in numerous ways and provides a story that is both tragic and beautiful.
I looked forward to seeing what Asobo Studio does next.