A Plague Tale: Innocence - Xbox One

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A Plague Tale: Innocence (Xbox One)
Also for: PS4, PC
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Asobo Soft. Co.: Focus Home Interactive
Publishers: Focus Home Interactive (GB)
Released: 14 May 2019 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
Accessories: Xbox One X Enhanced
Features: HDR10


It doesn't take long with A Plague Tale: Innocence to glean that this is a game about the loss of it. The game is a sneak 'em up which will take you on an epic journey across a disease-ridden medieval France. You'll be vulnerable, you'll be afraid, and you'll meet a LOT of rats.

You control Amicia and her younger brother Hugo through a ravaged country in what developer Asobo and publisher Focus Home Interactive are branding a 'single-player co-op'. It begins with the pair fleeing the castle that their nobleman father owns. Your membership of the aristocracy won't get you far though - the Inquisition are on your tail and you're an orphan now. The plague is hollowing out the country and a grim journey awaits.

Amicia, who you primarily control, is only in her early teens, so you won't be doing much fighting unless you want to die fast. Rather, you'll need to be quiet and sneaky, solving puzzles and manipulating the environment to get past the soldiers that wait between you and sanctuary. You can get Hugo to do certain things, but as you start out he's sickly and timid, and if you leave him too long he'll panic. You can also collect objects to craft things that might help you along the way. Your biggest asset, however, is the light. Let's back up a bit.

The France you encounter is a bleakly beautiful place. The plague has done its dark work and death is everywhere. With death comes rats - so many rats, all blood-red eyes glinting in the dark. They are, perhaps, the real masterpiece of the game. They're everywhere and wherever there are people and darkness they swarm, each one moving with its own will. They'll devour you if you're not careful, but they're also afraid of the light. You can occasionally find a portable light source or create a fire of your own to scare them off, but more often than not you'll have to get dangerously close to soldiers and townsfolk to make use of their illumination. Or, if you're feeling particularly nasty, taken away from an enemy to allow rats to swarm all over them. It's grim, clever stuff.

At the heart of it all, however, is the tender relationship between Amicia and Hugo. This might not be a big story about saving the world, but it has a lot of heart. And rats. So many rats...


A Plague Tale: Innocence - Xbox One Artwork

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A Plague Tale: Innocence Review

17 Jun 2019