Experience an extraordinary adventure in one of ancient history’s most dramatic eras. As you try to flee the Inquisition‘s unstoppable forces, guide Amicia and Hugo to safety.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is an incredibly exciting journey that immerses the player in one of medieval history’s darkest and most dramatic eras.
Asobo Studio packs a priceless pearl, bringing to the market a magnificent product that excels for numerous distinguishing features, such as breathtaking settings and a goosebumps narrative.
The game is available starting May 14, 2019 for PlayStation, Xbox and PC. Asobo also released the game for Nintendo Switch and next-gen consoles starting July 6, 2021.
A Plague Tale immediately immerses the player in the life of the young Amicia de Rune: a fearless and reckless girl, fleeing the merciless troops of the Inquisition.
It’s a dramatic story of redemption and hope. Amicia will have to accompany and protect her little brother Hugo from all the adversities that will surround them, trying to find out what lies behind the unknown “Curse of the Middle Ages”.
If you’re not yet aware of this project, I invite you to join me in this new and exciting journey to discover A Plague Tale: Innocence!
A narrative masterpiece
The year 1348 marks a dark period for the Kingdom of France. As the Hundred Years War is putting the armies of France and England to fire and sword, a new and dark curse approaches.
The advent and spread of the Black Plague makes the people shy, sick and furious. While people die alone and left to fend for themselves, the merciless forces of the Inquisitor reign supreme and unchallenged over these lands.
And it is precisely here that the story of Amicia De Rune begins. A young girl from a noble family who lives in the thriving countryside of Aquitaine with her parents and brother Hugo.
Hugo is sick from birth: his illness is an extremely rare disease whose cure is not clear even to the wisest alchemists.
It is Beatrice‘s duty (mother of Amicia and Hugo) to protect and “lock up” the little one in her family’s mansion, to hide him from the greedy eyes of the people.
The narrative comes alive from the very beginning. During a hunting trip Amicia, accompanied by her father Robert, sees the first tragic effects of the disease hit their poor dog.
A revolting entity that has emerged from the ground devours the little Lion, terrorizing the De Rune family. The rats show themselves for the first time in a dark and incredibly powerful form, swallowing Lion with the force of a vortex.
The troubles for the De Rune family have just begun. As soon as Amicia and Robert return home, the forces of the Inquisition arrive, led by Lord Nicholas.
The Inquisition has one target: they have to find Hugo and tear apart anyone who tries to protect him.
It’s an extremely tragic and dramatic moment that will lead to the death of Robert and Beatrice at the hands of Lord Nicholas himself. Despite the crude looting, Amicia and Hugo manage to escape from the house, avoiding the immense cruelty of Lord Nicholas.
Before dying, Beatrice orders Amicia to go to the home of doctor Laurentius. The only man able to cure Hugo’s disease.
And it’s in this moment that the true story of Amicia and Hugo begins. A journey in search of hope and redemption, where fraternal relationship becomes something indispensable for survival.
A solid, mature and exciting narrative that stands as one of the many pillars that are part of a captivating and convincing project.
The horrors of medieval France
A Plague Tale: Innocence makes the setting and game atmosphere two of the distinguishing elements that enhance the player’s identification in one of history’s most dramatic periods.
Asobo intends to play with the player’s moods, overturning scenarios and settings. All of this results in a varied and always intriguing mix that piques our interest.
The atmospheres make the gaming experience unforgettable, bringing the player to live in close contact with famine, disease and death itself.
I loved the modeling of all the elements aimed at composing a historically characteristic setting that transports the player into an adventure of light dark shades.
I was also extremely impressed by the care that the development team wanted to give to every little detail. The sensation of the sudden transition from one setting to another is nothing short of creepy!
A praise to the artistic direction for the choice of wanting to represent disease and war in its most naked and raw form.
The horrors and cruelty of war will inevitably mark your path, making you live an incredibly realistic and dramatic experience.
From the ashes I will rise again
A Plague Tale: Innocence breaks through the hearts of players, focusing the attention of the latter on the psychological evolution of the protagonist.
Let’s try to identify for a moment in Amicia’s story: she is an orphan, wanted by the Inquisitor’s troops and homeless.
The disease’s emergence and spread make her life a living hell, causing people to be perplexed and concerned about her and Hugo.
Amicia also has the important task of looking after her little brother, acting as his sister and mother at the same time. An impossible mission for anyone.
Continuing the story of A Plague Tale we will gradually reveal her personality, discovering an incredibly strong, courageous and enterprising young woman.
On the other hand, the protagonist will discover her true strength only through the deep bond she will establish with Hugo.
It will be this bond that will allow the two brothers to protect each other and stay alive.
There was no other choice
The gameplay of A Plague Tale is characterized by a strong stealth component. A choice that I find understandable and indispensable, especially if we think of Amicia’s young age and her total inexperience with (almost) any type of weapon.
While exploring the various game areas, the player will be asked to control both Amicia and Hugo. We can also order the little one to follow Amicia, or order him to stay still to explore or clean up the area from dangers.
The game, in most cases, will allow the player to hide, sneak into the bushes in order to avoid the enemy.
Although there is no solid combat system, in some cases the player will have to resort to brute force to get rid of the soldiers.
The use of the sling will in fact be essential for Amicia both to solve most of the environmental puzzles and as a blunt weapon.
Another important element in terms of play is linked to the crafting system: an important component that will allow the protagonist to upgrade weapons, objects and learn alchemy.
These last will act as useful tricks to solve the most intricate situations such as extinguishing braziers or putting soldiers to sleep through soporific compounds.
For the most avid platinators there will also be 50 collectibles, divided into 26 curiosities, 13 flowers and 11 gifts. To complete the game 100% it will therefore be necessary to explore each area and pay attention to every little detail.
Despite its apparent simplicity, the gameplay of A Plague Tale still manages to be appreciated, bringing a light game system that almost accompanies what is in effect a delightful and touching narrative.
One of the criticisms that can be leveled at the game is the lack of various difficulty levels and a real combat system. The first hours of the game are in fact really too simple, also because of an AI that is not always perfect.
I repeat, as mentioned above, that this choice is however perfectly consistent, given the age and inexperience of the young Amicia.
The final verdict
Before revealing the final verdict and the vote, it’s necessary to make some small but important premises.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a video game of exquisite workmanship, which has nothing to envy both technically and artistically to the great productions.
The sound design and the exceptional work done on the dubbing are that extra something that make the Asobo title something unmissable and necessary to play at least once in a lifetime.
So what makes A Plague Tale such a fascinating product? In my humble opinion the settings, the narration and the characterization of each character that the player will encounter, are the hallmarks of this title.
Each environment and each specific situation differs from the others in one way, and that is to always communicate a specific state of mind in the player’s mind.
I would have liked more attention to AI and greater attention to the balance of difficulty, but the gameplay also has its own reasons and, despite these small flaws, it fully convinced me.
What are you waiting for? Get ready for a thrilling and touching adventure and accompany Amicia and Hugo on a journey full of mystery and twists.