A Plague Tale: Requiem is the sequel the excellent and unexpected hit A Plague Tale: Innocence released back in 2019. The original had you following Amicia and Hugo, as they try to figure out exactly what is happening to Hugo, why there’s suddenly an over abundance of disease-ridden rats, and what it all means going forward.
A Plague Tale: Requiem doesn’t differ from this simple formula, with us once again controlling Amicia, albeit this time the game opens in a much calmer, less parental death way than the original.
Hugo is seemingly okay, the Macula (the name given to the disease taking over him) brought to a halt and almost inert, and Amicia and her young brother are trying to make a life for themselves in their new home.
Of course this peace doesn’t last long, and the Macula returns, and with it the copious amounts of rats. Whereas the last generation of consoles did all it could to show a scary amount of rats, the current generation pushes this to an even bigger, more terrifying level. At some points during the game there are hundreds of thousands of rats surrounding and heading toward you, and in some cases, even the fire we’d used previous as a defense doesn’t always work.
A Plague Tale: Requiem – Beautiful and Terrifying
Whilst the game follows the same general idea as its predecessor, everything is amped up to eleven. Whether it’s the aforementioned rats, the beautiful and epic environments, the much larger set pieces and puzzles, or the story, everything feels much more grandiose and at a higher stakes than the original. That’s not to say the original isn’t good, because it is, if anything, it’s a compliment to Asobo Studio, who have kept the heart of the game the same, but levelled everything else up alongside it.
A Plague Tale: Requiem brings back the standard moves, with the sling being used for a variety of different alchemy potions, but adds the ability to counter, stab and even use a crossbow to kill the regularly patrolling enemies. There’s also enough variety in the enemy types to keep you on your toes, with different enemies requiring a different approach, from helmeted enemies being invincible to your sling, to fully-armored enemies that are intimidating at daunting at first, but soon dispatched with ease.
It’d be impossible and insulting to discuss A Plague Tale: Requiem without touching upon the fantastic story. The whole thing will take anywhere from ten to fifteen hours to finish, depending on how much you explore and how often you’ll stand in place to take in the gorgeous visuals. There isn’t a single minute during the playthrough which will feel wasted or needless, and the story is full of ups and downs, twists and turns that’ll keep you hooked as well as floating between genuine hope that the siblings will succeed in curing Hugo, to full on despair at the thought that they may fail.
As beautiful as the environments are, no time was wasted and no expense too much to make Amicia, Hugo and the supporting cast look as close to life-like as I’ve seen in games. I caught myself every now and then taking note of the individual hairs on Amicia, or the battered pores on Arnaud’s face. The only bad thing I can say about the characters is that at times the lip- syncing seemed poor, which was a shame considering the powerhouse voice acting the entire cast provided.
It’s no surprise that A Plague Tale: Requiem has been thrown into the mixer for the Game of the Year awards, and whilst it’s up against some stiff competition in God of War: Ragnarök and Elden Ring, it wouldn’t be unfair if A Plague Tale: Requiem did win.
A Plague Tale: Requiem was played and reviewed on a code supplied by Asobo Studio.