A Plague Story: Requiem Overview


A Plague Story: Requiem manages to enhance upon its predecessor in virtually each style. Asobo Studios take full benefit of next-gen {hardware} to shine and refine its horror motion, in addition to additional discover the dynamics of its essential characters. However that very ambition does result in some lurches in tone and gameplay, which may result in an uneven general expertise.

Ought to I inform them?

A Plague Story: Requiem takes place someday after the occasions of the primary game. Amicia De Rune and her little brother, Hugo, are desperately looking for shelter after the rat plague has utterly devastated Guyenne. Moreover, they’re in search of a treatment for the Macula, a fantastical affliction that appears to draw the plague towards Hugo and threatens to overhaul his physique and thoughts utterly. However discovering the treatment is less complicated stated than carried out because the secrets and techniques of the Macula are tied to historical conspiracies and a mysterious island that retains showing in Hugo’s desires.

Very like the primary game, the character dynamics in A Plague Story: Requiem is top-notch. The story does not draw back from displaying the emotional toll of the principle forged. The world that they dwell in is harsh and unforgiving, and the voice actors don’t miss a beat. However the story manages to stay hopeful and optimistic by letting the characters calm down and revel in small however impactful respites. Amicia particularly can threaten to kill individuals for endangering her brother, however then play faux together with her brother at a pond moments later. It’s these small sparks of humanity that assist make Amicia and Hugo’s central relationship evolve and mature because the story unfolds.

As for the story itself, it’s undeniably bigger in scope. The primary game was a claustrophobic depressing expertise that principally caught to the French countryside with two main forces: an unstoppable swarm of plague rats and the Inquisition. In the meantime, A Plague Story: Requiem expands its scope and scale. You go to a number of cities in addition to attractive island vistas, massive mountainous caverns, and broad open plains. It additionally makes an attempt to mix main historic occasions with its personal conspiratorial parts like secret societies in addition to elevating the Macula from an inscrutable an infection to one thing much more harmful.

Lucas and Amicia surrounded by rats in A Plague Tale: Requiem
Alone, they don’t seem to be that scary. As a swarm they’re deadly.

And it’s an method I’m utterly torn on. Whereas introducing new venues and places does result in some attractive setpieces, each lovely and horrendous in equal measure, it could actually result in some inconsistent pacing and jarring jumps. There is a chapter early on the place you discover a metropolis to search for a significant character. The story states it is advisable escort him again to a different location. The extent escalates to the place rats assault, resulting in destroyed buildings, a number of chase sequences, in addition to a string of stealth sections. However when you attain this key character, the game simply cuts to you returning with the character in tow with out a lot as a handwave. These story hitches are few and much between however are complicated nonetheless.

As for A Plague Story: Requiem’s worldbuilding it actually pushed my suspension of disbelief. Whereas there are some nice parts launched, helped in no small half by new supporting characters like disgraced knight Arnaud and smuggler Sophia, there have been sections that had been lifted wholesale from Resident Evil. The robust forged of characters does assist promote these plot revelations, however it could actually break the immersion when you linger on a few of these beats for too lengthy.

Amicia in a field that is slowly catching fire in A Plague Tale Requiem
Crap! Hearth Spreads! Run!

As for the core gameplay of A Plague Story: Requiem, Asobo has carried out an admirable job refining all the things. You’ll nonetheless be spending most of your time sneaking previous armed guards, crafting alchemical parts, utilizing your sling to work together with the setting, and manipulating mild sources to get previous lethal rat swarms. The crafting system has been closely streamlined. Amicia has limitless rocks for her sling, and crafting supplies are relegated to frequent items and uncommon instruments.

As for what’s new, Amicia does have extra offensive choices. Along with a stealth takedown, Amicia can mix totally different alchemical parts with gadgets for makeshift weapons. These embrace mixing Ignifer with pots to make improvised firebombs, throwing oily tar on open flames to create medieval flashbangs, and there are knives you need to use to flee from an attacker that bought the bounce on you.

All of those approaches are tied to a brand new development system. Relying on the way you full every part of the game: sneaking previous enemies, crafting alchemist’s instruments, or simply taking enemies out, you’ll fill certainly one of 4 development bars. As soon as these bars hit sure thresholds, you will unlock new passive bonuses like transferring sooner whereas sneaking or making alchemical parts sooner.

The enemy AI has additionally grown extra subtle. Patrols will unfold out and actively search if characters aren’t at their put up. Extinguishing mild sources will result in them checking the close by space. There was even a second within the game’s second half when a guard caught me operating into tall grass, they usually proceeded to firebomb the sector to flush me out.

However whereas the stealth has improved in A Plague Story: Requiem, it additionally tries to make direct fight extra of a spotlight. On paper, smaller encounters do have a sure puzzle-like high quality to them. Use the sling on non-helmeted targets, stun armored knights with smoke then dismantle armor from behind, and so on. However in apply, it results in a number of the most drawn-out slogs within the game. Absolutely the lowest level for me was about midway by the game the place I needed to escort a knight by the extent. You’ll be able to command the knight to assault a guard, however the noise would entice extra enemies. The issue is the knight robotically assaults in case you are noticed whereas attempting to sneak round, and you can’t give the knight instructions to cease or regroup. To make issues worse, you robotically failed if the knight was captured. I used to be screaming at my display for about an hour.

Amicia staring down waves of enemies from A Plague Tale: Requiem
Properly, that is going to be ten minutes of aggravation.

The story can be peppered with obligatory fight arenas. The worst of those is when you’re combating waves of knights. These fights shortly flip into annoying stretches of trial and error with me kiting enemies like mad looking for the supplies to take them out. An in depth second is scripted turret sequences the place you man a ballista or crossbow and must take out enemies from afar. These are completely serviceable setpieces that break up the gameplay, however they’ll really feel incongruous with a narrative in regards to the toll of bloodshed and the psychological toll of fight.

Nevertheless, when A Plague Story: Requiem leans on its strengths, it results in some really nail-biting experiences. There are a number of spectacular catastrophe sequences sprinkled all through the game’s seventeen chapters the place a single improper transfer can imply loss of life. Each single time rats confirmed up, I felt each excited and terrified. Lastly, there’s an prolonged boss battle close to the tip that had me on the sting of my seat. There’s a lot to like right here, however you’ll have to slog by some low factors to see them for your self.

Amicia and Hugo on an overturned cart, a fortress overwhelmed with rats from A Plague Tale: Requiem
So how are we going to get out of this mess?

A Plague Story: Requiem Overview | Verdict

Whereas the story can really feel uneven and the extent design can get unfocused, I nonetheless suggest A Plague Story: Requiem. Amicia and Hugo’s journey is filled with some highly effective character moments which are greater than price some gameplay hiccups. Simply be ready for some divisive story beats and a few out-of-place fight sections.

TechRaptor reviewed A Plague Story: Requiem on PlayStation 5 with a replica offered by the writer. The game can be accessible on Xbox Sequence X|S and PC

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