A Plague Tale: Innocence was one of the biggest surprises in 2019. Asobo Studio found the right mixture of unique concepts, great storytelling, and fantastic execution. Naturally, expectations are a lot higher with the sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem. Given they had time to reflect on their previous effort, use newer consoles and do much more with rats, will it be an overwhelming success, or is it the start of a new plague?
A Plague Tale: Requiem takes place six months after the events of Innocence, with Hugo and Amicia hopeful to move on from the past and find peace in a new setting. This doesn’t last long, as Hugo continues to battle the Macula, a mysterious curse that can awaken in certain bloodlines, resurfaces, and with it, the rats/plague. Seeing things go south, Amicia decides to find The Order, a secret group that knows the Macula and other things, hoping to find a solution. Unfortunately, when things don’t go as planned, Amicia decides to look for a cure, which they think might be related to the mysterious location from Hugo’s dreams.
Beware the Rats
Similar to the first adventure, interactions between Amicia and Hugo are the driving force. This starts early, with a brief exploration of how the events of Innocence impacted them, along with the weight their new journey will surely add. It makes for a gripping narrative, one that eventually leads to a solid conclusion. Assuming you can survive the trip.
Since A Plague Tale: Requiem is a stealth game, players are given various options to handle most situations. Often there will be pots, which can be broken to distract hostile forces, items you can make sounds with to draw attention elsewhere, or various ways to navigate the world where you simply avoid all confrontation. These options make several situations a question of approach over merely looking for a predetermined solution.
Much to A Plague Tale: Requiem credit, many little mistakes can cause big issues. In one section, I attempted to rush the objective in hopes I could avoid the problem entirely, only to end with Amicia seeing a barrage of arrows hit the door and her ultimate demise happening shortly after. Other times I attempted to change my sling to a pot I found, with the action of swapping causing Amicia to stand just enough to alert enemies. These little touches force players to be more thoughtful, well beyond the usual enemy in a place you didn’t notice or relying on armored enemies, not that you don’t routinely encounter them.
Outside of stealth sections are a variety of different puzzles. Some of these have predetermined solutions, often involving some version of lighting a flame or distracting rats with food, though there are a few offers several paths to victory. Exploring these alternatives can highlight safer or less aggressive approaches, giving more resources to navigate an area.
Some of the Areas Look So Nice
In addition to offering resources or, in some cases, collectibles, A Plague Tale: Requiem has a lot of well-crafted areas. They stand out in their way between lovely backgrounds, flowery fields, and a vast array of dark dungeons with threats looming in every corner. Several of these sections aren’t even pretty but focus on the grim reality of what the plague many for many.
Unfortunately, there was more than one instance where I needed to restart a section due to a glitch or error. Since several puzzles are explained to you, and it’s as much listening to the explanation as doing the task, there will be times you’re just left to aimlessly figure out what you did wrong or attempt to figure out what went wrong. Thankfully, in the event this happens, or you just want to fix an error, there is a restart button that comes in handy.
A Plague Tale: Requiem Review Verdict
If you’re a newcomer to the series, I strongly suggest giving Innocence a go first. It will add a lot of contexts and help us understand everything that happens in A Plague Tale: Requiem. As for returning fans, it’s an emotional adventure that will resonate with those who found themselves attached to Amicia and Hugo’s struggle in their uncertain world.
[Editor’s Note: A Plague Tale: Requiem was reviewed on PlayStation 5, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]