3.75 • 0
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I've just finished this, meaning I've played it as things are getting real regarding the Chinese Virus. I mention that as there are some parallels between COVID and the storyline on offer in 'A Plague Tale: Innocence'. Set in 1348, with the Bubonic plague running rampant, and the 100 Year War in full effect, the protagonist's mother and father are killed, [spoiler](or are they?)[spoiler] and you are left to help her, Amicia, and her younger brother, Hugo, survive. Stealth is the main gameplay element here. Hiding in tall grass, trapping your enemies and attacking just at the right time are key strategies that are not uncommon in the stealth genre. Guns or arrows are never used, but Amicia does have a slingshot and an ability to brew a number of concoctions. These help you to extinguish or start fires, put an enemy to sleep or move rats, to name a few. There are also brief moments of puzzling to move to the next area-think a less complex puzzle akin to something you'd find in Tomb Raider. I was enjoying this and thought the game was playing fairly well until the last few chapters, where the first true moment of anguish occurred when I was put into Hugo's shoes and had to move the rats around. I found the controlling of that to be incredibly cumbersome and frustrating. It was the first time I lost my temper playing this. Towards the end of the game I also thought it started to lose some steam. I had to do the same thing I'd done before, like moving the flames around the castle and walk really slowly. Along the way, the other main issue was that at times I felt like this was a little trial and error. I died a lot, and some of the time I felt like 95% of people playing this would too because there was no warning. The other minor bugbear is that it is so linear when there are opportunities to offer the gamer some choice. This is most notable as you approach someone who is about to be killed and just let it happen. As I was playing I thought that I could have saved them. It doesn't allow you to though. Overall, it's an enjoyable game, driven by its story, settings, characters, and enjoyable gameplay mechanics that regularly add something new to the table so that it doesn't drag on. Whilst playing, I had the thought that I'd be seeing rat tornadoes in my dreams. Thankfully that hasn't happened...yet. Gameplay 3.5/5 Graphics 3.5/5 Sound 4/5 Difficulty 4.5/5 Originality 3.5/5 *Written early 2020.
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