A Plague Tale Requiem, because we await it

A Plague Tale Requiem, because we await it

A Plague Tale Requiem

On May 14, 2019, A Plague Tale: Innocence was released, a title developed by Asobo Studio, a manufacturer that, until then, had brought to light mainly titles commissioned by Pixar to accompany the release of its animated films, but also an experiment like Fuel, which was so different from their historical in the videogame field.

The original A Plague Tale, at its debut, immediately began to get talked about, gaining acclaim from both the public and critics, becoming almost a sort of cult production. Of course, the nature of an independent project was evident, but this led the public to appreciate even more the title which, despite the limited funds available, had managed to propose a highly interesting experience, capable of surprising.

Two years after the debut of the first chapter, during the Microsoft conference at E3 2021, the continuation of the adventures of Amicia and Hugo was announced. But is it worth being exalted?

In this article we explain why we look forward to A Plague Tale Requiem.


The following article contains spoilers regarding the events narrated in A Plague Tale: Innocence. Consequently, we recommend that you only continue reading if you have completed the main campaign.

The story continues

A Plague Tale Requiem: where will the adventures of Amicia and Hugo take us? We already knew that A Plague Tale would be an adventure in several chapters (the subtitle, on the other hand, was quite explanatory). The ending, however it may be, foreshadowed a continuation of the events narrated. On the one hand, there was that exchange of almost complicit glances between the dying inquisitor and Hugo; on the other, that slow upward tracking shot, which showed the rediscovered childhood joy of Amicia and her little brother, during which you can see a port panorama, also a sign of a journey to be undertaken, not concluded, which will bring the family de Rune towards new challenges. And the connection we see from the first video presentation of Requiem, where, at the end, we find a coastal setting, probably Mediterranean. We do not know exactly where the events will take us, but it would seem some Iberian region.

The central theme of the first chapter was the lost and found innocence, which pushes us to grow very quickly in a world that does not discounts to anyone. Throughout the unfolding of the events, the young protagonists of A Plague Tale: Innocence vary between the most vivid lucidity and the magical, bewitching dream, which leads them to throw a veil of fantasy on the harsh reality they find themselves living.

A Plague Tale Requiem: Amicia and Hugo were constantly hunted down in Innocence The Château d'Ombrage thus becomes both a symbol of a constant and permanent infection (characterized by the continuous infestation of plague rats) and an "other" place, far from the bloody reality of the adult world; an environment where you can unleash your imagination and become mythical characters, born from the pen of some unknown author. And the strong dichotomy between adulthood and childhood is emphasized even more by the finale, during which, first, we see a serious Hugo scrutinizing the inquisitor Vitalis during his last breaths and, then, we find the young man laughing and joking with the sister, as if everything they found themselves living had never happened.

In the second chapter we expect an exploration of the themes similar to that proposed by Innocence, perhaps going to face new problems.

What to expect at a narrative level

A Plague Tale Requiem: we hope that the relationship between Amicia and Hugo will be further explored If we want to remain faithful to the eloquence of the subtitles, "Requiem" would suggest an investigation on mourning. After all, the first episode did not dwell much on the importance of the loss of parental figures by young people still not suited to face the adult world alone. Maybe, after the constant escape, there is room for the metabolization of events, including the loss of figures dear to the protagonists. Or, the title refers to the total loss of that innocence that had, in part, managed to survive during the first odyssey.

From Amicia's words proposed in the trailer, it would seem that Hugo is again out of control for some unspecified reason (probably concerning his smoky relationship with Vitalis, of which we know practically nothing, especially of what happened during his "training" period under the aegis of the Inquisition). However, Hugo's final jolt would suggest a sort of premonition (a thesis supported by the whirlwind of the montage, a recurring feature in the visual representation of these events).

A Plague Tale Requiem: surely, we will have the opportunity to meet all a series of new personalities that will help the two protagonists If we were to draw conclusions only from what we have available, we would like to say that the last seconds of the presentation show the events directly connected at the end of the first episode (with the landing of the protagonists in a new earth), while the rest represents a general idea of ​​what will happen during the unfolding of the events narrated, which could also take place several years after the first chapter, judging by the appearance of the characters. It remains to be seen whether the latter is just a revision of the character design or a real time jump (or, perhaps, both).

A sea of ​​rats

A Plague Tale Requiem: the rats of Innocence were going to replace (and subtract) the playing field The first A Plague Tale amazed, in part, also by the constant threat represented by the plague rats, able to invade the scene in the most unexpected moments. The latter did not look anyone in the face, unconditionally attacking anyone; which made them, in addition to being a danger, very often a resource.

The only flaw was found in the realization of the latter, characterized by mechanical movements, not very realistic and, at times, alienating from the wonderful atmosphere created by the development team. The limit of bringing many rats with realistic movements on the screen was due both to a lack of economic resources, and to a technical limitation due to a majority of hardware components still not adequately performing. Now, also considering the photorealistic experience gained during the development of Microsoft Flight Simulator and the arrival of the new generation of consoles, graphics cards and cutting-edge processors, Asobo could really push the accelerator and accomplish something. technically relevant.

What we saw in the trailer gives us hope, which shows a real sea of ​​rats that moves like a fluid presence, able to pervade the surrounding environment and incorporate everything that he meets as he passes by.

A Plague Tale Requiem: Plague invades the streets of an unspecified town One immediately thinks of the simulation of the swarms that digital artists have been perfecting since the end of last century (the name of Pixar returns again, which, with the varied colony of ants of A Bug's Life, had taken the management of a large number of elements to another level entities on the screen).

It is true that what we have seen was made with the game engine and that, therefore, it does not represent the actual gameplay that we will face, but we do not hesitate to believe that this both the direction that the team intends to take, that is the realization of a "fluid" antagonist, in constant change, much more intrusive and active than in the past (also considering the fact that the tide of rats no longer seems to be afraid of the light del sole), where it represented only a portion of the map that could not be crossed without the aid of a light source.

The directorial turning point

A Plague Tale Requiem: a step forward even at the directorial level In a video game that has a strong narrative component, what is told is very important. However, the effectiveness of a good storytelling also depends on how it is staged. Innocence was certainly able to excite, but it presented quite woody animations, sometimes inexpressive. On the same line was the direction of the interlude scenes, very inspired, but a little too cumbersome. In short, it was evident that the intention and talent were there; what was missing were the usual resources (and, perhaps, even a hint of experience).

Already by comparing the presentation trailer of A Plague Tale Requiem to that of the first chapter, an evolution under these two aspects is evident. The characters are able to speak with only their facial expressions, even shown for a few seconds, while the direction follows the cinematographic one in a non-fraudulent way, understanding its bases and characteristics; not a mere imitation of the cinematographic medium, but a decisive and conscious implementation at a videogame level.

Of course, it remains to be seen how much this trailer made with a game engine will then coincide with the actual title. But, if the very first presentation of A Plague Tale showed, for better or worse, what we later got to find in the game, we feel confident about what has been shown so far of Requiem.

An unsuspecting musical choice

A Plague Tale Requiem: the soundtrack composed by Olivier Deriviere contributed to the success of Innocence The soundtrack of A Plague Tale: Innocence, composed by Olivier Deriviere, was probably a thunderbolt to clear sky within the gaming landscape. Generally, video games rely on absolutely inspired musical choices, sometimes much more than cinematographic ones, which contribute to raising a large number of titles to cult work. Deriviere's work for A Plague Tale was not far behind, so much so that often the musical commentary enhanced the emotional impact of a scene that, perhaps, the facial animations alone could not return. It would seem, however, that the French composer will not return for Requiem, as the response to a tweet asking for clarification suggests.

We wonder, then, who will take responsibility for this arduous burden. To try to answer this question we can only rely on what is proposed during the presentation trailer.

A Plague Tale Requeim: who will sign the soundtrack? The splendid song chosen to accompany the images is not part of the official soundtrack (unless it is acquired under license), as it is Lunacy, the song by the Swans that opens their album The Seer, from 2012. It might seem like a detail that does not help our research. However, it is useful to go back a little in the years and reach 2015, when the trailer for a film based on Shakespeare's work of the same name, Macbeth, is released. The song is the same, Lunacy by the Swans, and also the portion used coincides (part of the first two of the more than six minutes during which the song is divided). Also in this case, it could be a beautiful and good coincidence, if it were not for the soundtrack and the directorial tone (respectively curated by Jed Kurzel and his brother Justin Kurzel) that distinguish the film with which they share the musical choice. br>
There is something in the narration, in the sounds, in the visual choices of the saga created by Asobo that recalls the work done by the two brothers in adapting Shakespearean work. The compositional result of Deriviere seemed contaminated by those sounds (obviously, without ever falling into plagiarism, but adapting them perfectly to the nature of the game). Who knows, maybe they have not managed to "get their hands" on Jed Kurzel, probably the only one, in our opinion, able to remain faithful to those sounds without succumbing to the pressure exerted by the legacy of Deriviere. But these, more than facts, seem like dreams.

Return to stealth

A Plague Tale Requiem: Will the crossbow replace the sling? Another element that we have only had the opportunity to glimpse is the already crucial issue of stealth. If in the former we could only count on our trusty slingshot and some alchemical concoction, it seems that in A Plague Tale Requiem our arsenal will expand considerably. Indeed, Amicia will be equipped with a crossbow and a knife. We do not believe that other weapons will be introduced that can be used in more markedly hand-to-hand combat, but probably the sling will be entirely replaced by the crossbow. Which is a shame because, in addition to being a fairly original weapon within the videogame panorama, it allowed a relatively varied approach complexity, with also the noise penalty caused by the excessive spinning of the weapon.

The slingshot could still find space within the Requiem gameplay, as they are two extremely different weapons and they could very well coexist. However, if you had the choice, would you use a crossbow that allows you to take out enemies at least silently and accurately, or would you continue to rely on a bulky and noisy weapon that, however, only needs a stone to function? We leave the arduous sentence to you. It must be said, however, that, while Innocence's weapons reflected a little that immature nature, of mainly physical impotence that characterized the two young protagonists (whose roots can be found in the biblical story of David and Goliath), those presented in Requiem seem the evolution of the first, decidedly more lethal and efficient, suitable for those who have already killed and are not afraid to do it again.

We are eager to see how these new additions will affect the dynamics of game and if, above all, there will be greater freedom within the play areas, with a consequent verticalization of the explorable spaces.

A Plague Tale Requiem: we can't wait to immerse ourselves again in this world of game Basically these are the reasons why, in our opinion, A Plague Tale Requiem is worth waiting for. Asobo Studio has proven to be a team capable of both creating narratively compelling content and juggling technical limitations, offering something that is always harmonious and with a strong atmosphere, guided by a sublime artistic sensitivity. It is still too early to draw conclusions or to fully understand what we can expect, but we remain confident, especially for the possible new contributions on a technical level that can arise from an ambitious project like the A Plague Tale series.

Now, however, we want to know what you think. We look forward to seeing you in the comments.

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