Evolving The Sibling Dynamic: A Plague Tale: Requiem Preview
I only recently played and finished A Plague Tale: Innocence for the first time this year, and I thought it portrayed the sibling relationship really well while also forcing them to bond through the horrors they were put through. While Hugo (The brother and younger of the two) was usually shown to be a weaker, almost hindrance to Amicia (The older sister) and her journey to help her brother. This all culminated with what is best described as a rat tornado. However, Hugo shows his strength as he starts to feel and understand his powers, which were only briefly touched on at the end of Innocence. They really expand upon that here in Requiem.
So for the purposes of the preview, I got to play two chapters. Chapters 6 and 7. It started with Amicia and Hugo looking for an island, where their mother supposedly is, and Amicia supporting a gruesome head wound. They come across a traveling encampment of people heading to Rome to see the Pope. Shortly after arriving, soldiers arrive looking for our two siblings due to Amicia supposedly killing some soldiers, although we do not see this event in the preview.
We immediately get thrown into sneaking out of the encampment, and the sneaking in Requiem feels much better in many ways. Character control feels much tighter here, and Hugo learns his, for lack of a better term, rat powers here. He can sense where people are because the plague rats can feel people’s blood. Gross but also awesome. Hugo states, “ The rats are here, but deep underground, we don’t have to worry…yet” as we sneak through, Amicia falls victim to her head wound, passes out, and we get introduced to another one of Hugo’s powers. His ability to control a small bit of the swarm of rats, which we almost immediately use to kill soldiers. It’s a significant step into changing the power dynamic between the siblings, which I hope is focused on throughout the game. This chapter ends with what I can only describe as a flood of rats. In Innocence, there was always a need for more rats to be on screen. With them disappearing behind you, it felt like while they were a threat, there was never enough of them at once to be genuinely terrifying. That all changes here; the screen is filled with them. Millions of rats poured in as Amicia and Hugo tried to escape. It was the moment I knew this game would be something special.
In the next chapter, we get acquainted with ‘The Wall,” a soldier who gave Amicia her head wound but, due to ever-changing circumstances, finds himself at their whim to help them all escape as he is now also a wanted man. What’s interesting here is that they touch on the fact that Hugo started the whole plague and how he is living with it, while Amicia is trying to defend his actions. It shows how much these two bonded during Innocence and how they continue to grow. In this chapter, we get to use the tools more for puzzle solving and how to use our supporting characters for different things. For example, Hugo can go into smaller places to open doors, etc., and the Wall can full-on attack soldiers killing them unless he is outnumbered, in which case he will die unless we, as Amicia, can help.
So far, what I’ve played, A Plague Tale: Requiem, feels like an excellent evolution to A Plague Tale: Innocence. The relationship between Amicia and Hugo still feels like the center point of the story, which is what made it a standout before. This time Hugo feels more like a part of the journey instead of the cause of it. I hope Requiem keeps building on this because, as with my siblings, we started getting along more and depending on each other more as we grew up. That being said, I did run into a few graphical hitches. For the record, I am running an RTX 3080 with 32GB of DDR4 ram and an I7-9700k. When I loaded into the game, I came across this market, and while I could hear the market and its inhabitants talking, I couldn’t see any of them. Only to have them slowly, over 3 minutes, pop in and get me stuck in a tent, forcing me to restart it. Then every once in a while, I would notice some screen tearing and a minor hitching dropping frames a bit. Other than that force restarting, nothing too horrible, but there were a few graphical bugs.
Speaking of, A Plague Tale: Requiem looks gorgeous. There are so many vibrant vistas in the three hours I got to play. The rats here look miles better. That’s not to say they looked bad in Innocence, but in Requiem, they have a realistic look to them, and when there is a literal flood of them coming for you, it’s disgusting and horrific in the best possible ways.
I can’t wait to get my hands on more A Plague Tale: Requiem on October 18th, 2022, be sure to head on to their website and pre-order for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. All Screenshots were provided for preview purposes.
For more reviews, interviews, and features, stay locked to DreadXP and play A Plague Tale: Innocence; if you haven’t, it’s a really underappreciated gem, and Requiem looks like it’s going to be a fantastic follow-up.