Earlier this year, I played through the first game, A Plague Tale: Innocence. I was surprised by the unique gameplay and beautiful graphics. Lucky for me, the sequel released this year. I might even label A Plague Tale: Requiem Game of the Year. The fact that I played on my new Alienware 34 Inch OLED monitor further enhanced the whole experience. Even more of a bonus is the game is on Game Pass.
A Plague Tale Requiem Graphics a Perfect for an OLED Monitor
I gushed about the great colors of my new Alienware 34 Inch OLED gaming monitor already, but this game takes things to another level. All the colors of the happier, colorful scenes truly pop. Where A Plague Tale: Requiem really shines is those dark scenes. My old monitor would limit dark scenes to faded black, gray and maybe dull brown.
Now, I see so many colors in those dark scenes and the lights shining from the fires really shine. The addition to the ray tracing in this game adds to all of it. It’s one of he best looking games I ever played. That new monitor is still expensive, but the detail in games like this erase chance of buyer’s remorse.
The Unique Gameplay is Even Better in the Sequel
What set the first game apart from the other things I play is the unique gameplay. Amicia and Hugo were not ever going to fight soldiers directly. Most of the time they were caught, death was the only option. Their only weapons were a sling, alchemy ingredients, fire sources (torches, campfires, etc.) and later, the rats.
Sneaking was and is the main part of Plague Tale games, but in Requiem there are more tools. Hugo can use the rats to sense where enemies are and even direct them to attack. Amicia acquires a crossbow for more violent encounters. There’s even additional alchemy items like tar to supercharge fires and pyrite.
The latter is sort of second chance available in case swarmed by rats. It’s a temporary light source to avoid dying in a swarm of rats. Pots also combine with various alchemy ingredients to provide an almost bomb.
The Plague Tale Requiem Path is a Bit More Open
There are plenty of open spaces with multiple paths to use various combinations of the tools provided. The game is linear, but with hub spaces with this type of freedom. It’s like a hybrid of open world and strictly linear game.
Where things really open up is the island of Lacuna. After playing around a festival and some drama, the island is open to exploration. The island is beautiful and filled with plenty to explore before things go dark again. After all, a Plague Tale can’t stay too happy for long.
During those happier times, I enjoyed the more open world feel of the island. It was a nice change of pace to the much more linear levels. I hope there’s a 3rd game that explores this openness even more.
A Plague Tale: Requiem Story is Sad, but Powerful
The first game’s name is innocence and there’s no more of that in the sequel. The start was happy and light, playing in a field. Much like the first game though, things go dark quickly. Plenty of running, hiding and violence. This time the group knew how to combat the rats and soldiers, so all that innocence was gone.
I’m happy that Hugo appears less cranky and annoying this time around. He says “Yes” a lot, but it’s more cute than repetitive. It was great to see both Amicia and Hugo grow together. Amicia battles her dark, more violent side. Meanwhile, Hugo fears what he’s becoming, yet wields his power to protect his family and friends.
Great Supporting Characters
Their mother and Lucas are welcome returning characters, but the new Plague Tale Requiem characters were my favorite. Sophia is the swashbuckling pirate companion who provides fun times at sea and on land. Arnaud is the old soldier and protector. His ark from enemy to friend, and back few times, was fun to watch.
I enjoyed learning more about the history of the Macula and first plague. How the order, the first carrier and his protector played a part was a nice bit of origin story. Much like how the first carrier’s story ended, Amicia and Hugo’s story is tragic, but very well done.
The ending does allude to the Macula returning in the future, so I look forward to see how far into the future that is (maybe a much older Amicia?). It’s refreshing to play such a great game that clocks in at 20ish hours. A Plague Tale Requiem is a fitting nominee for Game of the Year the way the art, music, story and gameplay all fit so well together. Play this series if you have not already.