This French developed adventure came out of nowhere when it released in June this year to critical acclaim. The tale of Amicia de Rune and her sickly brother Hugo trying to survive during one of human history’s darkest chapters served as a bleak backdrop for the year’s most surprising stealth-driven epics. Right down to the sling, A Plague Tale feels like a David and Goliath story where a motley crew of orphans are the former while the powerful, cult-like Inquisition is the latter.
It’s a wonderful story about family and, though it doesn’t do a whole lot for rats, the bond between the de Rune children and how it develops throughout A Plague Tale is one of the game’s great selling points.
In his review, Brodie said: “In a world where big publishers are continually trying to convince us that there’s no room anymore for singer-player, narrative-driven experiences, leave it to smaller studios everywhere to continually prove that’s not the case at all. From top to bottom, A Plague Tale delivers on all fronts. From the superb pacing of the narrative to the near-faultless presentation of the game’s world, Asobo has delivered on something unexpected but undoubtedly special.”
Kieron said: The ‘AA’ gaming space is an interesting one. The term itself is less an accurate descriptor than a colloquialism – used to describe games with blockbuster aspirations made on straight-to-stream budgets. While this often results in grand ideas being hampered by average execution, developer Asobo Studio made the smart choice to keep things simple, allowing their world and its characters to really shine. A Plague Tale: Innocence isn’t great because it does anything that hasn’t been done before, or even makes an effort to push the genre forward. It’s great because it tells an interesting story from a unique perspective, and does it in a way that’s both accessible and engaging. It also benefits from something even a AAA budget can’t buy – pure creative talent. It’s obvious that the team at Asobo, and everyone involved in the game from its writing to its art and especially its music are extremely talented individuals who poured everything they had into making this fantastic game.
James said: It’s always nice to be surprised by a game not thrown out by the big publishers. A Plague Tale: Innocence is everything I love in games – a moody world, a stong (and oppressive atmosphere) and a thoroughly engaging narrative with some clever and unique gameplay hooks. It might’ve been a bit trial and error with its stealth mechanics, but A Plague Tale was a welcome breath of fresh air.
For our #10 spot, we send congratulations to Asobo Studio and Focus Home for their successes in releasing A Plague Tale: Innocence. As a team, we’re excited at the prospect of another chapter in the coming years.