Beware the rats!
2019 saw the release of A Plague Tale: Innocence, a dark adventure set in 14th century France, during the Hundred Years’ War. Those of you that know your history will be aware of a little something called the Black Death; a plague that was widespread around this time period across Europe. The game was very well received, being praised for its atmosphere, music, and well-crafted narrative, and thus the sequel was announced in 2021. But what is it actually about? Beware of spoilers for the first title, as we take a look at Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Requiem.
Set six months after the events of the first game, Requiem places us back in control of Amicia de Rune, who, along with her brother Hugo, have escaped their home and travelled south to find safe haven. Hugo is still afflicted by a mysterious disease, and the uncontrollable powers the affliction has cursed him with are bringing chaos and destruction wherever they go. Not only that, but Amicia is struggling to overcome the guilt she feels at having killed so many people to protect her brother in the previous title. Being forced to flee once again, the siblings hear a tale of an island off the French coast that may hold the answers to saving Hugo.
The story sounds deep and emotional, with an emphasis on the struggles of the leading duo, and if it’s anything like the first game, players can expect a well-told tale of death, tragedy, and protecting the ones you love at any cost. But what of the gameplay?
Requiem plays similarly to its predecessor, a third-person action-adventure with stealth elements. You’ll have to survive against soldiers of the French Inquisition, as well as deadly hordes of rats that are spreading the plague. Perhaps the biggest change seen is the expanded combat system, with Amicia now able to to equip weapons such as blades or a crossbow in order to take out enemies.
Fire also plays a big part in not just the combat, but exploration as well. Amicia will be able to craft items to help extinguish flames, or cause them to spread wildly out of control, keeping both rats and soldiers at bay. Hugo has a few tricks of his own, with the ability to control hordes of rats to overwhelm opponents, or use them to solve puzzles found throughout the much larger environments.
Finally, a new skill system has been introduced, meaning that if a player prefers to take a non-lethal, stealthy approach to any encounter, they will gain skills that make Amicia and Hugo more proficient in sneaking around undetected. Combined with upgradable equipment, there is a lot of freedom of choice in A Plague Tale: Requiem, so that anyone can enjoy this tragic tale of two siblings in search of peace.