This is the kind of game whereupon immediately starting up the game you realize you are in the presence of greatness.
Striking graphics and the sense of something amiss immediately assail you. The French countryside and romantic castle setting feel too good to be true. Even exploring the forest with your Father feels ominous somehow.
There is this constant gnawing reminder in the back of your head that there will be plague-infested rats. Thousands and thousands of plague infested rats.
THIS SWARM, THIS UNNATURAL AMALGAMATION OF BITING TEETH, GLOWING EYES, AND TWISTING TAILS, IT KNOWS NO MERCY, NO GLORY, ONLY A DEVOURING HUNGER.www.aplaguetale.com
After the first 5 minutes expect to be on the edge of your seat and emotionally wrecked. After a compelling introduction to the story, the gameplay mechanics are revealed to you. You play as Amica who has the unfortunate task of keeping her little brother Hugo, safe from all kinds of dangers. If you’ve played the Last of Us, you will understand the urgency and excitement of escorting a child through a violent and disturbing world.
You mostly use stealth techniques as you sneak through the gorgeos and horrifying landscape that is Medieval France. At times you can use your sling or sneak attacks to take down unaware enemies, but mostly you want to stick to cover, avoid conflct, and for crying out loud – stay away of the dark. This style of gameplay adds to the tension as you feel like you could be spotted at any moment.
The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen in recent memory. The foliage, lighting, architecture and character animations are all top tier. An amazing amount of detail has been added to A Plague Tale. Not once did I notice any clipping or weird graphical anomalies while playing. Overall it was an excellent visual feast – pun intended.
There is an immediate and ongoing emotional response which can be rare for most video games. It’s not a fleeting moment either. The entire game is filled with moments of dread, wonder, and excitement. It’s all stitched together artfully as you progress through the story.
Developed by Asobo Studio, A Plague Tale is probably not on everybody’s radar. Released in May 2019 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the game dropped without much hype or fanfare. However, word spread quickly and the game garnered well deserved praise from popular game review channels.
Despite the accolades and amazing ratings, it continues to lurk in the shadows. it’s a game that just wasn’t talked about in the gaming community. Sure, there were pockets of devoted fans raving about this game, but it certainly didn’t hit the mainstream.
In an environment where gamers are usually complaining about a lack of story, it’s hard to understand why we aren’t talking about this more. Perhaps the gameplay mechanics just didn’t satisfy action-thirsty players. It’s certainly not a AAA open-world looter-shooter, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a game about family, sacrifice, violence, and hope set in the backdrop of the planet’s worst natural disasters.
I’d love to know if you’ve given this game a chance. At the time of writing this review, it is free with the Xbox Game Pass. You’ll need a little less than 20 hours to finish this so don’t be afraid of the time commitment. Spend some time with A Plague Tale. You won’t regret it!