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Cosmic_Guru

A Plague Tale: Innocence - Mud, Medievalism and Many Rats - May 14

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Fresh from the exceedingly grim atmosphere portrayed in Vampyr, here's another interesting, though very dark, prospect.

 

Quote

Join siblings Amicia and young Hugo, as they struggle through the heart of the brutal and ruthless world of 12th century France. The rats swarm in uninterrupted waves throughout the Kingdom of France. In the disease-devastated villages, countryside and battlefields, they devour everything in their path, men and animals alike, to satisfy the endless hunger of their ever-increasing numbers. The faint glow of the flame Amicia holds appears to be the only thing that repels this uncontrollable and voracious mass's relentless advance... 

A Plague Tale: Innocence tells a grim and emotional story, sending us on journey through medieval France, with gameplay blending adventure, action and stealth, supported by a compelling, moving story. Follow Amicia and her little brother Hugo, trying to survive a harsh, brutal world plagued by the Black Death. On the run from the Inquisition, and surrounded by unnatural swarms of rats that appeared with the Black Death, Amicia and Hugo embark on a rocky journey that will not leave them unscathed.

A Plague Tale: Innocence arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2019. Hands off presentations and interviews are available at E3 2018.

 

 

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So, this looks like another grim slice of Medieval (thinking of some scenes in Kingdom Come Deliverance and Witcher 3).  Gameplay in this 16 minute video is very reminiscent of Alan Wake, except the horrors to be kept away by light / fire are rats.   We seem to have the usual crafting, stealth and distraction mechanics in place to assist the girl and her two younger brothers in their traversal of this grim battlefield, but at least the interface seems understated. Still a long time to go in development of course.

 

 

 

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Thanks to Shop To, I have this and will dive in for an hour or two after dark.  I'm not sure the gameplay will do anything we haven't seen done countless times before, but I'm always up for a historical setting, and, and big bonus this, I've just discovered via Resetera the music is composed by Olivier Deriviére :wub:.

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So pleased there is a French language / English subtitle option in this.  There is also a fully customisable HUD which is a nice touch.

 

3 chapters down - very linear and straightforward so far in gameplay terms, but the general atmosphere and the sibling relationship and central mystery surrounding Hugo is key to this.  And the first encounter with the pack, even though you know it's coming....

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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Pleased to see this getting some reasonably good reviews (I don't get the Gears of War comparisons mentioned by Eurogamer though).  It is a singular experience even though it doesn't do anything new - we've seen plenty of sibling or other partnership escort type games for example, plenty of examples of light stealth, crafting and manipulating basic machinery in puzzles - but here it comes together really satisfyingly and with atmosphere in spades.  Some of the scenes are also unremittingly grim (where the aftermath in Kingdom Come Deliverance comes to mind) (no surprise it's a 18+), and then you get a sunnier section in contrast where you can spend some time with Hugo as he marvels at the wonders of the outside world after being cooped up for so long.

 

A couple of times I've been held up by tackling a section incorrectly, but on the whole the game moves on a good pace and doesn't over repeat mechanics.  There are some achievements which are easy to miss first time so I will likely run through a second time.  Up to chapter 12 of 17 now and a change in season.

 

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2 hours ago, Cosmic_Guru said:

And finished.  Super game.  Really impressive from a relatively small team.  

 

Best things:

  • immersive atmosphere throughout
  • a real sense of weight about things (hence I suppose the Gears of War comparison but that still seems a weird one) wade through a battlefield of corpses or deep water or carry Hugo and you really feel it
  • impressive visuals
  • wonderful music (best with headphones)
  • impressive characterisation, including the minor NPCs who share dialogue with Alicia at various points in the story and really flesh out the experience
  • taking a single theme and developing it to it's logical conclusion (that Dishonored sense of internal consistency)
  • being a tight experience with no padding at all, or overuse of any particular mechanic, which gives it a fast moving forward feel at all times, aided by reliance on autosave
  • sensible checkpointing throughout 
  • although linear there are a surprising number of nooks and crannies to explore as shown by my paltry haul of collectibles despite trying to check everywhere
  • crafting is limited to items you are carrying and feels a much more natural activity than in many games
  • great final boss battle once you figure it out.

On the downside:

  • story is hokum but serves as a framework to develop the gameplay around
  • a few (non stealth) scenes towards the end are infuriatingly sudden death for the first time or two 

All the puzzles and boss battles are aided by listening to NPC instructions and won't detain you for long, so again that helps with forward momentum.

 

Would recommend.

 

 

 

 

Sounds good. How long to complete? and is there any replay value?

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On 14/05/2019 at 09:32, Cosmic_Guru said:

(I don't get the Gears of War comparisons mentioned by Eurogamer though).  

 

It was reviewed by Evans-Thrilwell.  The weakest link of EG.  Awful reviewer.  Beggar's belief why he is still commissioned.  

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34 minutes ago, Sumire said:

Sounds good. How long to complete? and is there any replay value?

About

Spoiler

12-15 hours

and

Spoiler

not really, no. Unless you want to go back for missed collectibles and trophies.

 

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30 minutes ago, Sumire said:

Sounds good. How long to complete? and is there any replay value?

 

16 hours on the app and that's with a fair amount of exploration (evidently no where near enough).  I'm going to replay it to try to get a few more collectibles, to upgrade the sling a bit sooner and see if I missed any interesting details first time around (e.g the name of the dog is significant).

4 minutes ago, replicant said:

 

It was reviewed by Evans-Thrilwell.  The weakest link of EG.  Awful reviewer.  Beggar's belief why he is still commissioned.  

 

I've just re-read it and it's not a great review quite apart from the GoW reference - I think the rat motif was taken to its logical conclusion and didn't "run out of steam".  Crafting workbenches do stick out, particularly the first one which you find in an old crone's house, but then again they have to be quickly recognisable in other contexts.  He also doesn't say that stealth sections are interwoven with action sections, generally speaking. Oh, and try circle strafing the final boss :lol:  !  I 

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Jim really likes it.

 

Warning - if you are seriously interested in this, I would listen to, but not watch the video since it's a little visually spoilerific in places, including the pig episode for example.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Cosmic_Guru said:

 

Not the first time but I am this time!

 

Started again already? :hat:

 

I've been playing in immersive mode and haven't felt like i've been missing anything really, i'm so glad to see more games doing this.

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11 minutes ago, MattKB said:

 

Is immersive mode on by default?

 

Off, I think. I'm not sure there are a great deal of HUD elements but the game really doesn't need them.

 

Reached chapter 12 earlier, the last few hours have been completely captivating, I don't want it to end.

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