At Plague Tale: Requiem, we again tried the highly anticipated title of Asobo

At Plague Tale: Requiem, we again tried the highly anticipated title of Asobo

At Plague Tale

Although there is no shortage of valuable products on the home straight before the end of 2022, A Plague Tale: Requiem has managed to rightfully earn a place among the most anticipated of all. On the other hand, in recent years Asobo Studios have demonstrated their talent without a shadow of a doubt and many fans of the French house are convinced that Requiem can represent that leap in quality capable of projecting it into the Olympus of the best teams in circulation.

Our first test of A Plague Tale: Requiem made us, in all sincerity, embrace this hypothesis: although the chapter we tested was rather basic in terms of gameplay, it was in fact managed to leave us speechless with a sector technical of frightening quality, the graphic realism of the maps, the excellent acting and the general solidity of the experience (however not without strong moments, nor significant challenges). Now, however, the release date is approaching and with it came the opportunity to face a much more in-depth test. The impact of this new tried? Always remarkable, but this time some unexpected cracks appeared in Asobo's beautiful work, which gave shape to doubts to be addressed promptly in the review.

Let's find out which ones in our rehearsal of A Plague Tale: Requiem.

The Pied Piper is a beginner

A Plague Tale: Requiem is graphically splendid, even if most of the areas seen are devastated by the invasion of rats The chapters at our disposal were the sixth and the seventh and, considering that these are in all likelihood of the central parts of the main campaign, we will try to stay on the vague in terms of the plot to avoid spoilers. The only thing to know is that, in the first of the two sections we tried, Amicia and Hugo are still on the run and the young woman is not exactly in great shape: wounded and in pain, she finds herself having to look after her little brother in an area. this time not infested by rats, but by a group of guards with the order to eliminate it on sight.

So far nothing particularly strange or striking, given that during the first phase of this level we used game mechanics mostly already offered by the predecessor, yet some news has been seen anyway. Amicia is much more lethal and aggressive in A Plague Tale: Requiem and she can easily take out the guards with a well-placed crossbow bolt or a stab at her back; however (understandably) the game does not offer many offensive tools during progression and does not even allow you to accumulate them given the limits of the inventory (expandable only at certain workbenches, provided you have the necessary materials to do so). Most of the time, therefore, there is a tendency to avoid enemies by moving stealthily and attracting their attention with more readily available tools, such as stones.

Amicia, as an alchemist, obviously has many more gadgets with which to get rid of those who are looking for her: bullets and incendiary vessels, smoke bombs capable of extinguishing fires and obscuring light sources and even a slime that blocks movement for a limited period of time. However, the usefulness of these objects is usually directly proportional to the amount of rats in a level and their absence throughout the first half of the chapter forced us to use a much more stealth-oriented strategy, to avoid perishing. .

At a certain point, however, the map changed and we found ourselves - after a series of events that we will not detail - not only having to deal with the usual sea of ​​rats, but also being able to exploit Hugo's "ailment" to use them in our favor. In fact, the boy in this chapter gets the ability to control small hordes of rodents for a limited time, a power that also allows him to kill enemy guards in series. Not only that, through the ability of the animals to perceive the blood of the prey, Hugo can also use a sort of "instinct mode", which shows the movements of the guards through the walls.

A Plague Tale: Requiem: the sea ​​is the goal in the chapters we have played, but we will not explain why here Commonly a skill like this is too abusable in stealth games, yet A Plague Tale: Requiem, significantly increasing the number of guards and initially limiting the ability of the protagonists to eliminate them, introduces it with great cunning, so as not to make it perceive as an exaggeratedly useful ability. Obviously, it will remain to be seen if this management will continue even in the advanced levels, which seemed to us full of enemies, but also of options to get rid of them.

On the other hand, the management of the "possession of rats" is more prudent: Hugo cannot use the power for too long or he risks losing control; moreover the mice are positioned in such a way that they are not always approachable with ease, the boy can only move them if he is a short distance from them. The difficulty, therefore, consists in reaching such places which, being well defined, do not allow to abuse this power. However, it will be interesting to see how the talents of Amicia's little brother will be exploited in the later stages of the adventure.


A Plague Tale: Requiem: there is absolutely no need to have Amicia raised up in this game. The girl has become very good at defending herself In the phases described above, the game has always seemed very solid and well thought-out: the level design takes into account the imbalances, as mentioned, and the introduced powers add variety to a non-trivial system. Towards the end of chapter six and then in the next one, however, we faced a couple of phases that made us turn up our noses, showing that Asobo still have some steps forward to take in terms of approach to game design.

We found the first shaky moment at the appearance of a sort of boss at the end of the chapter: a large armored guard with extremely limited artificial intelligence (practically impossible to get hit if you constantly move around the arena where you confronts), who only became vulnerable when she was stunned by fire and hit a specific weak spot in the back. It is a clumsy battle, where the immersion breaks completely if you run out of resources (these are regenerated in the chests if you waste them), and the poor mobility of our opponent has practically canceled any tension, even leading us to wander around like idiots for a few minutes in the hope of seeing any change in behavior.

A Plague Tale: Requiem: where there are no rodents, the views are wonderful These AI problems, then, are even aggravated when in the next chapter we had a beefy helper, capable of eliminating the opposing guards once hurled at them. After all, our bodyguard turned out to be completely invincible in a direct one-on-one battle and can only be eliminated if surrounded by enemies; therefore we used a very simple and ridiculous expedient to make sure we wreak havoc for the whole map without any problems: after throwing it at a troop, we prevented any nearby opponent from attacking it using the stunning counterattacks available to Amicia; normally it is not possible to use them in bursts, but if the attention of the enemies is focused on someone else they do not react to the stuns and can be constantly stupefied while our protector turns them into skewers.

As you can well understand from what has been described, the game's artificial intelligence has clear shortcomings and these missteps not only nullify the challenge, but ruin the overall immersion. A real shame in a game that graphically left us astonished, capable of making most of the most powerful triple A productions in circulation pale with its settings, its impeccable art direction and general detail. If nothing else, outside of the "combat" phases, the level seemed once again well thought out and further enriched by a new object deriving from a crystal, capable of attracting rats temporarily and offering new environmental puzzles. It would not surprise us, however, if it were not the last gem available to Amicia, during her epic in the company of her brother.

Graphically exceptional, full of atmosphere, and very well thought out when it follows the rules set played by its predecessor, A Plague Tale Requiem once again managed to impress us positively, at least until new mechanics took over the system that exposed some obvious shortcomings of artificial intelligence. It is not enough to make us fail a solid and splendid experience to see in motion, of course, but it ruins the dive and cancels the level of challenge of certain phases. We therefore hope that the Asobo will find a solution (or put some limitations in place) before launch.


Graphically extraordinary Passionate and well-acted narrative Mechanics and solid level design DOUBTS Some serious shortcomings of artificial intelligence The "boss" we faced did not convince us Have you noticed any errors?

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