A Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us. Our new impressions of the next big game Xbox Game Pass – Video preview

Last June, we had the chance to lay our hands on A Plague Tale: Requiem for the first time, the direct sequel to Asobo’s action-adventure game starring Amicia and her younger brother Hugo. A month before its release, the game was brought up one last time to help us understand the extent of its gameplay. One thing is for sure, since the episode Innocence, the little mouse has grown.

Under the sun

Under the burning sun of Provence we find our young heroes who are still being hunted by the dangerous soldiers who roam the streets of the Kingdom of France. A few seconds of gameplay is enough to recognize the goldsmith work Asobo has done with the game’s visuals. The panoramas are beautiful, the color palette is rich, the animations are detailed. We are not yet at the level of a production signed Naughty Dog, but the French developers let out the horses. The music, by Olivier Derivière, is once again impeccable. In our demo (covering the sixth and seventh chapters of the game), Amicia and Hugo find a way to get away, literally. Unfortunately for them, the local mercenaries want to capture them. It must be said that a little boy who is able to control the rats accompanied by his older sister at the source of many killings on the side of the troops has what it takes to arouse many passions.

A Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us.  Our new impressions of the next big game on Xbox Game PassA Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us.  Our new impressions of the next big game on Xbox Game Pass

As in the first episode, Amicia can rely on various items such as a slingshot and pots to advance through enemy lines. This material helps him distract his enemies or delay or even kill them. If sneaking through tall grass to advance undetected remains an important part of the game, Requiem goes beyond its mechanics.. The major evolution lies above all in the philosophy that covers the handling of weapons and ammunition. Here, the player can at any time display a selection wheel that allows him to choose the item he wants to use (slingshot, pot, crossbow) but also and above all the type of ammunition to equip (fire , smoke, explosives, etc. ). What appears to be just a simple interface redesign actually brings a lot of depth to the game as it is now possible to combine any type of ammunition with any weapon. By mixing a pot with an explosive bullet, Amicia creates a grenade, by adding a little fire to a crossbow bolt, the hero shoots fire arrows. There are many examples.

A Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us.  Our new impressions of the next big game on Xbox Game PassA Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us.  Our new impressions of the next big game on Xbox Game Pass

This development includes larger arenas with more narrow passages, platforms to climb or even bags of saltpetre to spread.. The design level is more complex than usual so that there is no single solution to the problem. Controller in hand, it was clear that Asobo’s bet was a winner. By using Hugo’s various weapons, ammunition and powers (which you will discuss later), the player can get out of impossible situations. Enemies, many, give in any case a difficult time: progress may not be much easier than the original adventure. Of course, Amicia can always rely on workbenches to improve her equipment. In addition, the young hero of this era has skills (carefulness, aggressiveness, opportunism) to upgrade.

A Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us.  Our new impressions of the next big game on Xbox Game Pass

Abracadab-rat

A Tale of Plague: Requiem surprised us.  Our new impressions of the next big game on Xbox Game Pass

More clever compared to the epic that happened in Guyenne, Amicia and Hugo have serious concerns for their pursuers. Big sister now knows how to return punches. In the event of an impromptu encounter, Amicia can try to resist or stab the enemy, if the young hero has a knife in his inventory beforehand. Actions in context that can be described as QTE are not reserved for combat. During the entry phases of the tall grass, a small rock can be thrown too far if a guard is close enough to meet the two. Additionally, a fighter who gets too close can also be burned alive with a well-thrown torch.

Compared to the first A Plague Tale, the escape is less similar to the game than before. The player who manages to cut off the opponents’ lines of sight after a general alert can get away without a scratch. On the other hand, Hugo still has a connection to the rats he got at the end of the first game, but with different powers. With a simple press of the down d-pad, the younger brother can find enemies hiding like a walking sonar. No need to own the latest Sam Fisher technology if you have a kid whispering in mice ears. More interestingly, Hugo has the ability to transfer his mind to a group of rats. So the player can dash towards the soldiers and climb after some surfaces like the Alien would do in Alien Vs Predator.

These different abilities create a pleasant complementarity between the two protagonists.. Freer as he can be, as opposed to the often unique solutions of the first stage, the player must carefully observe his surroundings before moving. He can sneak in with Amicia if he wants to, putting out the fire with saltpeter, opening the way for hordes of rats controlled by Hugo. Of course, we find soldiers equipped with long weapons to eliminate the priority of the advance, but as we tried in two chapters, some constraints are imposed on the way to succeed in a arena. The many ways to interact with the decorative elements, the weapons, but also the enemies do the job well so far: Asobo seems to be able to rely on the mechanics put in place rather than the scripts.

Our impressions

This time spent in the company of Amicia and Hugo confirms everything that we already thought of the title. A Tale of Plague: The Requiem offers a better game than the first episode, while maintaining a quality game. Closer to medieval Splinter Cell than a simple hide-and-seek game, Asobo’s software meets all of our expectations so far. From now on, we can’t wait to discover the whole adventure. A Plague Tale: Requiem will be released on October 18, 2022 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X\S and Switch (via Cloud). It will be available on Game Pass launch day.

Editorial review

exciting

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