This is one of those games I had only heard good things about and finally picked up this month. I’ve been powering through it, mostly because the story is so good I want to know what happens next!
A Plague Tale: Innocence is about Amicia and Hugo De la Rune, two children who are orphaned after the Inquisition attacks their home. 8-year old Hugo was the one they were searching for and his estranged sister Amicia is suddenly charged with protecting the brother she barely knows. The story of the power behind the mysterious plague of rats and the story of their growing relationship drive the game forward.
I was a little nervous when the game started and I realized that Amicia would be charged with protecting Hugo. I think most gamers cringe anytime they come across an escort mission in a game, worrying about the dufus NPC walking into a room of bad guys while you’re just trying to figure things out. But luckily Hugo isn’t like that.
Hugo clings to Amicia’s hand for most of the game, which keeps him from wandering off. Many of these sections are also stealth, but I was impressed by how each section was really an elaborate puzzle – determining how to distract guards and sneak past their cones of vision. Occasionally, Amicia will need Hugo’s help, and you can direct him to climb into a small space to unlock a door for her.
Little moments like the screenshot above, when Hugo would find a flower and gently tuck it in his sister’s hair, telling her the meaning of the plant…it was very sweet and exactly the kind of sibling relationship you would expect from these two. I immediately felt connected to their story and wanted to protect Hugo while also letting him finally see the world.
The rats are creepy. They live in the dark corners, but you can hear their squeaks and squeals as they climb all over each other, pushing against the edge of where the light meets the dark. Puzzles come in to play here, as Amicia will manipulate light sources to push the rats away, either by flinging exploding rocks at them or shifting torches.
The game has very little combat. Amicia does have a sling that she can use to hurl projectiles, but of the few fights that are in the game, it is more about solving a puzzle; finding the weak spots of the person attacking, not just brute forcing her way through.
I’m very near the end of the game, I can feel the finale is just a couple chapters away and I am dreading the end. I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters and I am afraid of what will become of poor, sweet Hugo. But the story is so good that I really need to finish it while everything is fresh in my mind to get that maximum impact.
I you enjoy story driven games, don’t mind some stealth and puzzles…and a few rats with glowing red eyes eating you every now and then, The Plague Tale is a solid addition to your gaming library and a story you won’t forget.