Posted: October 20
Is this game a masterpiece? YES. Even better looking and bigger than the first part, we again play Amicia and her little brother Hugo in 14th century France. Directly following the story of the earlier game (about six months later), the two, together with their mother and Lucas, a friend, try to get as far away as possible from the terrible events. Together they travel south, but of course the whole thing doesn’t turn out to be a fun road trip, and shortly after the game starts, the two encounter again the horror they had just escaped. Hugo is still suffering from his disease (or is it a curse?) called Macula. An order of alchemists wants to investigate the curse and use it for their own purposes, and Hugo (and his family) want only one thing – and that is for Hugo to get well again and live a normal life. Hugo keeps having dreams of his redemption, he dreams of an island that brings healing. What he finds on this island, however, is of course not just a cure, but only further horror…
The game is divided into countless shorter sections, in which we have to overcome various challenges. In great 3D graphics, we see Amicia (and/or Hugo) and have to get through the section alive. The individual sections are structured very differently and the respective challenges also always vary a bit, so that boredom does not arise so quickly due to constant repetition. As a rule, you have to avoid enemies or defeat them in battle. Hugo is a small boy and can’t defend himself with physical means in the brutal medieval world, but he can crawl into small hiding places or through narrow crevices. He can also control swarms of rats, but this has terrible side effects and can only be used in extreme cases.
His sister Amicia, however, is not quite so defenseless. She, too, can hardly hold her own in direct combat against the brutal inhabitants of the world, but she is proficient with her slingshot, with which she can permanently strike down attackers with a direct hit to the head, or with which she shoots medieval Molotov cocktails. She is just as effective with her crossbow. Still, it’s usually better if she sneaks past enemies. To do this, she can sneak through the tall grass unseen like in Assassin’s Creed (or many other stealth games), or she can throw rocks or clay pots to distract enemies. She can also sneak up on enemies from behind like Solid Snake (from Metal Gear) and kill them silently. Pretty brutal and a bit inappropriate for a young girl, but the whole story is exceedingly brutal and Amicia regularly fights for the naked survival of her or her family.
It plays like a stealth game for long stretches. However, in contrast to the predecessor, you are no longer so limited. In A Plague Tale: Innocence, there was only one way to get through the section in most sequences, and you had to stick to that. In the sequel, care has now been taken to ensure that you have multiple ways to complete a level and advance the story. Sneaking past enemies may be a sensible approach, but those who prefer a little more violence can now try it that way as well.
A fantastic, consistently exciting story along with stunning graphics ensure that you won’t get bored in this stealth action-adventure until you’ve seen the emotional credits. The mixture of a brutal medieval world together with supernatural events (and lots of rats) leaves you little time to take a breather.