A Plague Story: Requiem Assessment – A Brutal, Twisted and Worthy Sequel

When you thought The Final of Us Half 2 was a barrel of guffaws, simply wait till you play A Plague Story: Requiem, and boy, does it make one hell of an impression that can sit within the depths of your soul for a very long time after it ends.

Despite the fact that it appears like an eternity with our very personal lethal virus, A Plague Story followers have been chomping on the bit to return to Asosbo Studio’s ravaged, rat-invested world as soon as once more, and who may blame them? Being one of many many rodent devotees who couldn’t wait to see what was in retailer for Amicia and Big this time round, I initially fell in love with A Plague Story Innocence when it launched in 2019 and it rapidly turned my GOTY.

As a lot as I used to be excited and intrigued to learn how the studio would enhance and make this sequel work when it comes to storyline, characters and fight, I used to be additionally a bit of apprehensive. Principally as a result of sequels are one of many hardest issues to get proper with out both, A) fluffing up your complete connection that drew gamers initially to it within the first place or B) making the entire thing a pointless clumsy endeavor the place ending it with the primary sport would have been higher in the long term.

Fortunately, oh so fortunately, A Plague Story: Requiem supplied an extremely brutal sequel that was rather more than I had ever bargained for in my 25-hour playthrough.

A Plague Story: Requiem | Finish of Innocence Trailer



A Plague Story: Requiem | Finish of Innocence Trailer






  • Warning: Though I’ll hold a lot of this evaluate spoiler free, some scenes might get a bit too descriptive for individuals who want to stay within the shadows.

A Plague Story: Requiem begins off as any good sport ought to; in a surprising vista surrounded by wealthy colours, attractive lush foliage and a glowing flowing river. However, on the finish of the day, this can be a Plague Story sport and regardless that this fleeting second is breathtaking, you simply know it gained’t final lengthy.

Similar to in Innocence, I used to be greeted by the protagonist Amicia, and her youthful brother Hugo de Rune however this time we now have Lucas, a blossoming alchemist in toe as they discover a fortress in southern France within the fourteenth century, six months after we final noticed them. Right away, the PS5 Dualsence’s haptic suggestions is kicked into motion because it reacted to Amicia strolling via lavender fields because the trio performed conceal and search in an effort to familiarize gamers with fundamental controls which had been fluid at once. Just like throwing stones at apples originally of its predecessor, I obtained a bit of little bit of pleasant observe with my purpose through Amicia’s slingshot and stealth techniques as a result of, my god, I wanted it.

After all, poor Hugo is as soon as once more on the mercy of The Prima Macula, or just the Macula, which causes him to expertise horrible seizures however this time it’s extra highly effective than ever because the devastating bloodline curse is actually out for blood, though he’s hopeful {that a} lucid dream of a mysterious island holds the important thing to understanding his affliction.

In a bid to ease the convulsions, Amicia and Lucas got down to harvest Nightshade and that is the place crap actually begins to hit the fan.

A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio
A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio

Search for the Gentle

Straight off the bat, I noticed how a lot effort and dedication Asobo has poured into Requiem by permitting their creativity to totally unleash on the PS5. The environmental design is second to none with gorgeous medieval structure, coming out round each cobbled avenue. What I actually appreciated was with the ability to stroll round a busy open market and listen to the village folks converse whereas showcasing their wares. This allowed me to really feel fully immersed in its world, particularly seeing Hugo’s excited reactions – even when they had been short-lived.

From deeply murky shadows to vividly wealthy hues, A Plague Story: Requiem nestles inside a residing, respiration terrene and each time it decides to hug you or devour you, Asobo Studio delivers at each flip to make you actually really feel each inch of its world.

Being an enormous Final of Us 2 fan, I may see so lots of its design decisions integrated inside Requiem, particularly when it got here to mild and shadow. In lots of scenes, guards are seen holding torches with a backdrop of bleakness and horror, which jogged my memory a lot of the Seraphites and absolutely the stress that introduced with it. There was one scene specifically, though many others adopted, the place I needed to wade via animal guts that shimmered and glistened towards what little mild there was, and for somebody who doesn’t thoughts gore, I needed to actually swallow laborious on the sheer grotesque visuals of rotting flesh – human and animal – and having to abdomen the disgusting squishing noises of guts below Alicia’s ft.

With the ability to make gamers truly really feel and empathize with one other character takes a complete different stage of advanced character growth that Asobo has hit proper on the top.

Amicia and Hugo 2.0

Amicia has at all times been the robust protector for her brother, there was actually no different alternative as she is all that Hugo has however this time, I noticed a totally completely different facet to her. Not solely has Amicia develop into lots stronger in her talents in fight, which I’ll talk about later, however her total mentality, for higher and worse, has additionally had a revamp. The earlier lack of each of the sibling’s innocence has been changed with rage, violence and guilt (one other TLOU2 similarity) and now Amicia shouldn’t be afraid to take anybody down to guard Hugo. This mindset additionally sees Amicia on a crazed blood-thirsty path the place regret takes a backseat.

At one level, Amica has a whole breakdown that the results of extended PTSD. This scene was extremely laborious to look at nevertheless it additionally confirmed me a glimpse of her vulnerability and the way a lot stress lies on her shoulders to discover a remedy. Hugo, alternatively, nonetheless tries to search out pleasure and peace within the darkest of locations however the realization that issues simply aren’t getting higher and the guilt of his harmful curse sends him into uncontrollable rages that lead to dire penalties.

The awful and heartbreaking character design is deeply woven into the siblings this time round, a lot in order that I wanted fairly a couple of breaks all through my playthrough. I felt simply as burdened and damaged as Amicia and Hugo however that is one thing I appreciated and admired from the sport’s creators. With the ability to make gamers truly really feel and empathize with one other character takes a complete different stage of advanced character growth that Asobo has hit proper on the top.

A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio
A Plague Story: Requiem screenshot captured on PS5 – Picture credit score Asobo Studio

All is truthful in love and conflict

Fight is what you’d count on from A Plague Story sport with stealth enjoying an enormous function however not like its predecessor, Requiem has upped the ante in combating sequences making it rather more troublesome to beat your opponent. Coupled with lighting fires from Amicia’s slingshot as you attempt to make your manner via hordes of hungry rats, staying nonetheless for longer than mandatory generally simply isn’t sufficient. The guards at the moment are rather more alert, and dare I say it, clever sufficient the place 1v1 isn’t a dependable technique however the environments cry out for the participant to be much more inventive than in Innocence.

I discovered myself in a couple of sticky and anxious conditions whereas hiding from the guards and the duvet of the lengthy grass wasn’t there to save lots of me. They’d transfer mercilessly sweeping the foliage with their torches therefore continuously preserving me on my toes. Though when caught, Amicia can now counter-attack these pricks for a split-second probability, and if in case you have a spare knife, planting it into their chest places a swift finish to the encounter however be warned – knives are very uncommon to search out so be good about how you utilize it.

Fortunately, Alicia has much more arsenal at her fingertips than earlier than. By amassing alchemical mixtures like Ignifer and Extinguis, which set mild and in addition put out flames respectively – coupled with ones like tar and even a combination that draws rats – will assist her on the battlefield. A really useful merchandise is the limitless provide of rocks that work wonders to distract, crack open skulls, open some guards’ armor and unlatch (or unleash) objects. Workbenches are additionally scattered throughout the god-forsaken lands permitting Amicia to improve her arsenal by discovering toolbox provides all through the sport in addition to hidden souvenirs to select up for these trophy hunters.

There’s additionally a development system to sink your tooth into and get awarded further abilities and skills on your effort. Honing your Stealth will unlock abilities that mean you can sneak round extra effectively, however in the event you favor a extra aggressive method, further fight abilities may even unlock.

Requiem has now launched the crossbow that takes care of even the souped-up troopers the place a stone out of your sling would merely tickle them. However earlier than you get too carried away, bolts, like knives, aren’t available so good gameplay considering is crucial. Nonetheless, they do supply implausible outcomes when mixed with alchemical components – on and off fight zones. The DualSense’s adaptive triggers additionally simulate a extra lifelike sensation of firing a bolt from the weapon so when used, you possibly can actually admire the affect of this new piece of drugs.

A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio
A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio

Rat-astrophe conditions

Naturally, rats are on the coronary heart of the sport and boy are they indignant, however scarily a hell of much more conscious than earlier than. As an alternative of simply being a bodily embodiment of the Plague, they’ve develop into a collective mindset that strikes with dedication and devotion, coming collectively to not solely regroup for a tasty fallen human but in addition as an enormous tidal wave that pushes and devours every thing in its path as they sweep of their hundreds masking streets, pouring out of buildings and cracking via partitions.

To be trustworthy right here, I by no means actually discovered them terrifying, I do know I ought to as a result of they embody a lot worry and demise in Requiem however I used to be in full awe of them; how they took down their prey and flowed as one large darkish river. Being a little bit of a rodent lover anyway, I did that annoying cutesy voice “OMG there are hundreds, and take a look at their little eyes and tails, awww”. (though I didn’t say that once I strayed a foot outdoors the sunshine they usually rapidly twisted me right into a human burrito nevertheless it was nonetheless superb to look at)

Resulting from Hugo’s overwhelming powers, he can now management these critters via ‘Echo Mode’ and for me, that was loads of enjoyable. Caring for any lights from torches and accountable for my rat military, I may pour over my enemies leaving nothing however bone, permitting Amicia and Big to flee an space a lot simpler. Nonetheless, Hugo can solely command the rats for thus lengthy earlier than it fully drains him so, once more, being strategic was on the forefront.

Asobo Studio took every thing that gamers cherished in A Plague Story: Innocence and multiplied it by 100, after which some.

A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio
A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio

Individuals are unusual, once you’re a stranger

Figuring out who to belief in A Plague Story: Requiem is a large deal for Amicia however whether or not it turned out for the perfect or not (no spoilers from me), I stumbled throughout two new strangers – Arnaud and Sophia. Though it doesn’t start properly in any respect with Arnaud, chief of a gaggle of mercenaries within the Hundred Years’ Conflict, and the way he’s then finally built-in into the sibling’s life, his gruff and general hardy demeanor bodes pretty properly with Amicia and Hugo’s journey to a mysterious island in a bid to uncover a remedy however are his intentions true?

However let’s speak about Sophia for a second. A pirate chief by commerce who affords her boat for journey, Sophia is brash and sarcastic and I cherished her. Now that doesn’t imply I’m saying both of these new ‘associates’ might be trusted, that’s a pleasant shock you could find out for your self, however in the event you’re an Uncharted fan, she is going to undoubtedly remind you of one other robust and witty treasure hunter who has no points caring for herself.

I assumed each of those new characters actually added loads of depth to the narrative and proved to be an intricate a part of Hugo’s quest, one much more loyal than the opposite. After all, they aren’t the one characters I met – the occupants of a ravishing mountain manor in direction of the second half of the sport additionally opened up some questionable points which noticed my playthrough tackle one other darkish and twisted Midsommar-esque story with Amicia combating for her life. Simply as a warning: in the event you don’t take pleasure in being chased round tight environments in a big manor, put together your self mentally as a result of it will get very anxious!

A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio
A Plague Story: Requiem PS5 screenshot – picture credit score: Asobo Studio

The Finish?

Total, I completely cherished my total playthrough of Requiem, a lot in order that it’s definitely within the working for my GOTY. The continual barrage of heart-stopping trauma felt all through my time left my coronary heart and soul fully fractured however Asobo Studio took every thing that gamers cherished in A Plague Story: Innocence and multiplied it by 100, after which some.

From the visible magnificence, the overwhelming darkness of the narrative and the sheer scale of its world, Requiem shouldn’t be solely a worthy sequel nevertheless it greater than proved itself to be up there with the likes of The Final of Us Half 2’s greatness.

My solely slight concern is that its surprising and soul-wrenching ending might divide some gamers on how they might need issues to end up for Amicia and Hugo however in my view, it fitted completely into the compelling darkish chain of occasions, from begin to end, in Amicia and Hugo’s cataclysmic saga, even amongst hope.

Facet observe: for the love of god, keep on after the preliminary credit roll!

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