A Plague Tale: Innocence, or a Light Beam Saving from the Approaching Plague

A picturesque and captivating view

In the first trailer, a piece of the story and the setting were already revealed to us, namely France in 1348-1349. These were the times of the plague, in case anyone has forgotten.

The game is full of drama, with the main characters surrounded by darkness, and all we have left is a glimmer of hope for a good ending.

We are treated to beautiful visuals and magnificent musical accompaniment, but at the same time, gameplay is shown, and something that will be remembered by everyone: hordes of rats taking over everything around.

The gloomy atmosphere is created by the play of light and shadow, accompanied by dramatic music. The combination of all this greatly affects the perception of the game, but it is worth discussing each aspect separately.

The plot

Character interaction in a captivating story

Father and daughter Amicia were walking with their dog in a colorful forest when suddenly the dog ran off somewhere. It turned out, after a wild boar. Amicia decided to hunt and test her sling in action, but only wounded the animal. It is well known that you cannot leave a wounded animal – it is extremely inhumane.

In search of the boar, she notices that the forest becomes gloomy, more and more frightening, and literally a moment later finds a dead, gnawed animal. It seems that he is not alone here. Amicia starts anxiously looking for her dog and hears a quiet whimper, which leads her to him.

But here’s the thing, the dog is halfway into a pit from which an incomprehensible slime is oozing. The poor animal gets sucked into it. Father and daughter return to the castle alone.

It is already clear to everyone that it will not end well here, right? And I’ve only told you about the first ten minutes of the game. It only gets worse from here. The parents are dead. Amicia escapes with her sick brother Hugo after the Inquisition invasion. They have only a small hope left in the alchemist, who should know how to cure the disease.

A character immersed in a dramatic setting

The path to salvation is thorny, chaos and death reign on it. The main heroes have to pass through mountains of corpses on the battlefields, just to reach the final goal.

Of course, it is worth mentioning that closer to the end of the game, mysticism appears, which looks a bit… silly against the general background. Yes, with its help, the gameplay becomes more diverse, but since everything initially revolves around the plot, the atmosphere begins to slowly crumble. After such a thing, the story looks a bit confusing.

The game of shadows and light

We were promised that the game would predominantly feature dark locations, and that our only salvation would be a light source, be it a torch, a lamp, or a burning haystack. However, there aren’t actually that many of such locations, and there are light sources everywhere.

An intense scene illuminated by light

Once one of them is tied to the light, the lighting in the game works beyond praise. The way the main character holds a torch in his hand, driving away hordes of rats, looks impressive, vivid, and, most importantly, beautiful.

The music… Oh God, it’s beautiful. The music intensifies when you try to escape and when everything is turned upside down. As soon as everything subsides and the music calms down, all the tension subsides, and you feel like you’re catching your breath before starting to run again. It scares, causes alarm, but at the same time, you enjoy it.

We are shown different layers of society living in the Middle Ages. At the beginning, we are in the role of the nobility and see the luxury of that time, but soon everything changes, and we have to survive in poverty. In particular, I would like to mention the realism of the characters’ clothing and the war-torn settlements.

Characters facing challenging situations

The roads are covered with leaves, sticks, each tree is unique. Further, we are shown the city streets, meticulously crafted houses. The texture of the dirt on the road looks beautiful! Traces are visible on it, grass sprouts in some places, everything looks great.

Are rats really that dangerous?

An intricately designed level

The developers talked about how much effort they put into creating realistic rat behavior. They move chaotically and avoid light, but for some reason, you don’t notice much attention to detail. If you corner the rats with light, they simply gather in one pixel and then disappear.

The genius of it all is that the rats are an interactive area that kills you after a certain amount of time spent in it without a light source. In open locations, they look more alive, but their freedom of movement is limited. By the way, sometimes you have to run right over them. Three seconds, and they leave nothing of you. They don’t really evoke fear. They don’t have time.

Some projectiles created by Amicia ignite something, while others extinguish. Of course, playing with fire is not the only thing, and as you progress, you will discover several other types of ammunition for variety.

It’s not surprising that each element of gameplay is gradually revealed. But even in the final chapters, something new appears, so I definitely give the developers a plus for that.

I also want to mention the variability of the ways to progress. You can play stealthily, so that no one notices you, or try to kill everyone in your path: the choice is yours.

A well-lit and detailed scene

What’s the bottom line?

First and foremost, this story is about a sister and brother, about their relationship. A Plague Tale: Innocence plays with your emotions, evokes empathy. They feel alive, you can see how their personalities change as the story unfolds, and you believe in them.

There are very few games like this now. It has a magnificent plot, wonderful musical accompaniment, and an incredible atmosphere. The game always keeps you on edge and only occasionally allows you to catch your breath. Briefly. And it won’t have time to get boring because it is short enough.

A Plague Tale: Innocence
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Action, Adventure
Asobo Studio
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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