E3 2018 Impressions — A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale

While at E3, I was able to see A Plague Tale: Innocence in a more intimate setting than just a trailer. Here is my take on A Plague Tale: Innocence.

Another E3 has come and we had another year where we had a chance to check out A Plague Tale: Innocence. This would be that interesting stealth-adventure game that Asobo Studio has been working on that is set in 14th century France where we are being swarmed by rats and need to survive. Not only that but in A Plague Tale: Innocence the innocence stands refers to the protagonist(s) of the story as we take on the role of two young children in the mix of all of this. Time to add another dark yet interesting title to the list for Focus Home Interactive. Especially after getting to see more of the game in motion in the safety of a back room…

The hands-off demo for A Plague Tale: Innocence started us out with a nice little scene leading us into the fifth chapter of the game. This is how it has all been sectioned off for the game progression and it also means that we are a bit more advanced in tactics and abilities in the game. The first thing that was noticeable besides all of that is that the team made the game look much better, graphically, than what they had in the past. Not that A Plague Tale looked horrible at all before, but there is definitely more detail and sharper visuals going on in the game where it could almost be easy to see how they are going to pack 5000 rats on the screen at a time. Truly amazing here.

The demo continued forward with a showing of more of the basics of A Plague Tale as we will need to use light to protect ourselves and traverse the lands. In the demo I was shown, it was a bit straightforward in terms of the path but would require a bit of puzzle solving to figure out how to progress forward. Be it through making the swarms move to a different location with something to devour, using a torch to shoo them away, or a few other items in the game that could illuminate the areas. This will not be the same for each level though as some will be a bit on the direct side, but others will have multiple ways that we can help the kids move from location to location.

A Plague Tale: Innocence — E3 Trailer

Join siblings Amicia and young Hugo, as they struggle through the heart of the brutal and ruthless world of 14th century France. The rats swarm in uninterrupted waves throughout the Kingdom of France. In the disease-devastated villages, countryside and battlefields, they devour everything in their path, men and animals alike, to satisfy the endless hunger of their ever-increasing numbers. The faint glow of the flame Amicia holds appears to be the only thing that repels this uncontrollable and voracious mass's relentless advance…

A Plague Tale: Innocence tells a grim and emotional story, sending us on journey through medieval France, with gameplay blending adventure, action and stealth, supported by a compelling, moving story. Follow Amicia and her little brother Hugo, trying to survive a harsh, brutal world plagued by the Black Death. On the run from the Inquisition, and surrounded by unnatural swarms of rats that appeared with the Black Death, Amicia and Hugo embark on a rocky journey that will not leave them unscathed.

A Plague Tale: Innocence would seem rather boring if it was only a walking sim from light to light. To add extra things into the game, Asobo Studio has kept in the guards of the Inquisition we have seen from before. Some of them have heavy armor and protection, while some only have the light sources they need to move around. This adds a whole new level of play into A Plague Tale: Innocence as we were moving forward in the demo we had to figure out how to use them to our advantage and also not be captured at the same time. Some required smashing their light source and other knocking them out for the swarm to eat.

This was done through a new mechanic added to A Plague Tale: Innocence where Amicia, the main protagonist, has a sling and can hurl different types of ammunition at the guards as needed. Sometimes it was to distract and others to reach the outcomes mentioned above. They will be resources that we will need to search out and craft along the way as well. This can lead to players needing to either manage that resource in the darkness or find other ways to move forward to the ultimate goal in A Plague Tale: Innocence. Whatever that may be.

Another new feature that was not shown but discussed was the fact that the younger child, Hugo, can not only help you in the game, but also cause an issue. At certain points in A Plague Tale we can have him run out and help us with other puzzles in the area or stay put. At least if there is no imminent worry or danger around. This can make things a lot easier to progress forward. The issue arises though when Hugo is left alone too long or placed in a situation that he does not want to be in. He will call out for help or something alike which will draw in the dangers from around you. This adds yet another advantage and disadvantage to move around in the world. As I said though, the disadvantageous side of it was not shown in the demo and we were able to see him helping build fires and push lights around to progress forward.

A Plague Tale: Innocence — Gameplay Demo

Since I saw A Plague Tale: Innocence last year, I have been extremely excited for the game as I loved the concept back when that was all that it was. It was obvious that Asobo Studio has put a lot into the game and are looking to tell a dark story with some great game mechanics mixed in. It may all sound and look like a straightforward game here, but the more I learn and see for A Plague Tale: Innocence the better it seems. If only we had a release window better defined than 2019…