A wonderful Tale…
Focus Home Interactive bring across their new adventure game, A Plague Tale: Innocence. I’ll be honest, this one didn’t really enter my radar until near its release. After just over 10 hours with the game, which may be a little on the short side, it is still one of the finest games that I have played in 2019. This is a game that truly needs to be played, and I encourage all gamers to do exactly that.
Without spoiling anything for those who want to sample the story for themselves, A Plague Tale: Innocence revolves around a young girl called Amicia, who is tasked with looking after her younger brother Hugo. They’ve not had the closest of relationships due to the condition that Hugo suffers from, only his mother has been able to look after him. After an event which I won’t spoil, these two siblings are left to fend after themselves. The whole story, albeit a little short, is wonderful.
Graphics wise, A Plague Tale: Innocence also stands out. Playing on the Xbox One X, although the game isn’t native 4K, it is still at a higher resolution than the standard versions on the PS4 and Xbox One. The environments as you travel through different villages in France is a sight to be seen. Running from the man-eating rats and just seeing carnage in your wake is really impressive here and all credit has to go to the developers for creating something really special.
My favourite thing in A Plague Tale: Innocence has to be the voice acting, with Amicia standing out from the rest. Charlotte McBurney has done a wonderful job as Amicia. For me, it is one of the finest voice acting performances in a video game that I have heard for years. It makes the story that much more engrossing as the relationship is portrayed through her and Hugo beautifully.
Gameplay wise, A Plague Tale: Innocence sees you control Amicia for duration, with Hugo only there to help with with puzzles throughout the game. For example, Hugo can get under gaps that Amicia cannot. It can feel like a escort kind of game at times, but the game does well to keep you thinking on your toes at all times ,whilst making sure that Hugo isn’t a hinderence on your overall experience with the game.
Amicia starts the game off with just her slingshot, which you are learned the basics through the tutorial at the beginning. Just a quick note on Amicia’s dog. Yeah, you’ll know when you see it…… Back to it, it isn’t long before your Arsenal of weapons is vastly improved throughout the game, thanks to the alchemy options throughout the game. What is needed through each section is pretty clear, as the game will drop the components that you need in that particular section.
Stealth is the key word to success in A Plague Tale: Innocence, and you are going to have to be at your A game in order to get past the enemies here. You have to use your skills in order to create distractions to the guards, because if they see you, it’s game over, simple as that. I didn’t really find it that challenging to stay away from the guards, but I definitely had to think about my approach to certain situations. You can enter combat, but think about it, do you really want to enter combat with just a slingshot against a mountain of a man, whose only aim is to kill you? I did it a few times yes, and it incredibly tense and fun, but I would not recommend you go through the game that way!
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a game that I feel will pass by majorly unnoticed. It hasn’t got that ‘AAA’ tag but it feels, looks and plays like one. I can’t praise this game enough. One thing that I do wish was that it was longer, the 10 hours that I spent with the game flew by and didn’t seem like anywhere near enough. Focus Home Interactive now NEED to already start thinking about a potential sequel. For those looking for a potential GOTY even in May, A Plague Tale: Innocence should be in your collection.
An Xbox One Review Code was provided by Koch Media.