Survive the plague since you need to get your brother out of harm’s way and find freedom. Check our A Plague Tale: Innocence review!
Follow the critically acclaimed tale of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo in a heartrending journey through the darkest hours of history. Hunted by Inquisition soldiers and surrounded by unstoppable swarms of rats, Amicia and Hugo will come to know and trust each other. As they struggle to survive against overwhelming odds, they will fight to find purpose in this brutal, unforgiving world.
Enjoy 4K resolution, 60FPS, highly improved visuals and fast loading on PlayStation®5.
A Plague Tale: Innocence from Focus Home Interactive and Asobo was initially released in 2019. I remember hearing lots of great things about the game, so I was definitely looking forward to checking it out on PlayStation 5. This new PS5 version includes updated 3D audio as well as DualSense implementation, making it the definitive version of an excellent game.
A Plague Tale: Innocence opens up with an interesting premise: there is a plague going on in the middle of the 14th Century. You play as Amicia, a girl who has grown up in a noble family. Your brother Hugo is thought to be one of the reasons for the plague, which obviously makes him a target. Your parents fall trying to protect you and your brother, giving you both a chance to escape the house, and this is how this outstanding narrative adventure begins, as you try to escape and not fall victim to the men searching for you, the copious amount of rats… or the plague.
A Plague Tale: Innocence might be an adventure that falls within a more linear experience than you might be expecting, but this does not mean it’s a bad game. You have to stealthily make your way through the levels, which, at first, made me worry that this would mean the game would end up as a long escort mission. However, in A Plague Tale: Innocence, you and your brother are a unit. With you holding his hand almost all of the way through the game. You can definitely let go of him – and will need to for a few puzzles – but when you let go of his hand, he gets anxious, and the longer this goes on, the more likely he is to alert people about your location. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the two, which makes A Plague Tale: Innocence even better.
Both Amicia and Hugo have tough personalities to like at first. Since they are both noble children and have grown up with a silver spoon in their mouths, it doesn’t make them the most relatable characters. But as Amicia slowly morphs from a noble girl into a survivor, she becomes much more likable. Hugo also surprised me and ended up growing on me as the adventure progressed. It’s a testament to the excellent story and how the team works on allowing them to have a solid character arc.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is an adventure set over 17 chapters, which means you won’t be finishing this one in a single afternoon. You’re looking at around 12-15 hours before the credits roll, depending on your experience with stealth adventures and how quickly things click for each area you visit. It’s a game that at times reminded me of the Uncharted series, but with a focus on exploration and stealth instead of action.
All of the areas are set up to give you a stealth way to get through each location, so it’s a matter of figuring out the best route to take to remain undetected. When you do get caught, you know it’s your fault, which makes you want to do better as you learn from your mistakes. You can choose to be more aggressive and use your sling to rocks at the guards, but there is a greater risk if you follow this option. The sling makes noise, it has a slow buildup, and you need to hit a guard’s head to take him out. Miss, or hit a guard on their body, and you’ll usually end up captured.
The other main element is the puzzle aspects of A Plague Tale: Innocence. These sections feature rats – lots and lots of rates. You are safe when covered by light, and that’s your focus on getting through these areas. The first few will teach you how to progress, so they won’t challenge you that much, but later on, you’ll need to plan things out to survive. You’ll also unlock some Alchemy skills as the game progresses, which do help with the puzzle-solving for these areas.
Since this is a game that has been revamped for the PlayStation 5, A Plague Tale: Innocence now runs at 4K and a solid 60 FPS, making it a visual stunner. The world and characters are gorgeous. The one scene that really stuck out to me was having to make my way through fields of dead bodies of people who have succumbed to the plague. Those visuals will haunt me for a while…
Along with some major visual upgrades, you will also get 3D audio. I played A Plague Tale: Innocence while using my Pulse 3D headset, and it certainly adds to the experience, so if you have the hardware for it, this is the way to go. There is also some good use of the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback of the DualSense controller. Instead of being a central focal point, it finds ways to accentuate the experience and add to the overall gameplay, which is exactly what developers should do with the DualSense.
A Plague Tale: Innocence was a gem back when it was released in 2019 that I just missed out on, and I now understand why it was a highly recommended game on PlayStation 4. It’s now time for me to recommend this one on PlayStation 5 since it’s the definitive experience with improved graphics and a higher resolution, 3D audio, and solid DualSense implementation, making it a must-play on PS5. A Plague Tale: Innocence is out on PS5 with a $39.99 asking price.
This A Plague Tale: Innocence review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Focus Home Interactive.