(Pocket-lint) – One of many sleeper hits of the final technology of consoles, A Plague Story: Innocence, has a sequel coming very quickly.
We’ve had hands-on time with A Plague Story: Requiem at Gamescom 2022, and are happy to verify that it seems to be like loads extra of an already-good factor.
We have been excited to attempt Requiem, and the one-hour demo we performed by lived as much as our expectations. It may not be reinventing the wheel however not each sequel has to.
If the entire sport maintains this stage of constancy and has stealth-combat encounters this sprawling and probably replayable, then it might properly make for one more particular sport. We’re assured that both approach Amicia and Hugo’s story can be a memorable one, and certain to have a couple of gut-wrenching moments.
- Completely stunning environments
- Terrific storytelling
- Difficult encounters
- Maybe not innovating that a lot
Selecting issues up
Protagonist Amicia and her little brother Hugo have been by the ringer after the harrowing occasions of Innocence, however Requiem truly picks up with them doing okay, from what we have realized to date.
They’re on a brand new journey with their mom and appear to have left behind the strife that had beforehand dogged their each step.
That optimism doesn’t final – shock, shock. Issues go south fast and the rats which have plagued them are again within the image, together with a recurrence of Hugo’s mysterious sickness.
We picked up our hands-on round a 3rd of the best way by the sport, with Amicia and Hugo seemingly separated from their mom and looking for their approach south to an island that has been haunting Hugo’s desires.
Beginning off serene, the demo showcased the trademark gradual, grinding rise in stress that labored so properly in Innocence. We walked Amicia and Hugo by a stunning forest, an open wildflower meadow and right into a camp of pilgrims.
Then, after all, the great instances ended, with troopers arriving to go looking the camp for our heroes because of their crimes in earlier chapters. Like a number of the first sport, this entire story-driven part was considerably on rails, however by environments so gorgeously realised that it’s merely a pleasure to amble by them.
As soon as the sport threw us again into stealth eventualities, although, issues acquired going good and shortly.
Run and conceal
Requiem performs, from our time with it, similar to Innocence – maybe barely extra easily, but it surely’s a close-run factor.
Within the extra energetic components of the sport, you’ll navigate round areas teeming with guards and pockets of the plague rats that torment you, attempting to get by in no matter approach you may.
When it really works greatest, because it usually does, this has you mixing a little bit of planning and technique with off-the-cuff panic. The demo we performed had some impressively giant areas to get by, and whereas we efficiently picked our approach by some with out being found, others left us sprinting to a bolted door simply in time to flee the chasers we’d alarmed.
Alongside the best way, you’ll use a variety of instruments – for one, the sling that featured closely in Innocence is again, with a brand new missile sort that flares up hearth. This lets you stun torch-carrying enemies, amongst different makes use of.
Amicia additionally has a useful crossbow now, for deadly ranged takedowns, though it’s gradual to load and ammo is extraordinarily scarce. You’re capable of struggle off enemies up shut (a bit), however basically, when you get into that scenario, you’re prone to die fast. Amicia is a slim younger lady, and these armoured troopers are sometimes twice her measurement.
The demo additionally showcased Hugo’s skill to as soon as once more management hordes of rats, this time in a approach that you’ve extra management over. The strain of taking on these swarms to direct them at your enemies, whereas attempting to make sure that you don’t go away your self open to being devoured, ends in some nice enjoyable.
A beautiful journey
What’s so spectacular is how Asobo Studio blends its storytelling with gameplay – from the dialogue that Amicia and Hugo whisper to one another as they conceal from guards to the ever-present menace of the rats, it seems like an efficient medley.
Amicia was sporting a gnarly head wound all through the demo, clearly suffered in an earlier part, and the stress summoned up by her moments of dizziness and discomfort is simply one other layer of canny manipulation from a dev crew in its ingredient, tugging in your feelings.
As we talked about earlier, although, one other huge a part of the sport’s storytelling is right down to some mightily spectacular visuals. Innocence had some actually nice environments at factors, however Requiem is on one other stage.
From the very starting of our demo, out of doors and indoor scenes alike wowed us with their lighting and element. Rock formations had the look of photogrammetry, so lifelike have been their crags and cracks, whereas the forest cover dappled the sunshine brilliantly within the pilgrims’ camp.
There’s additionally always intelligent use of color – large swathes of crimson material adorning the camp flip it from a generic sight right into a memorable space. Whereas strategically-placed torches mild up scenes eerily or reassuringly relying on what the second calls for.
We’re actually excited to see what additional areas the complete sport takes us to, as a result of from the proof we noticed, we might anticipate every to be as luxurious because the final.
A Plague Story: Requiem has regarded nice in all its trailers, and going hands-on underlined that we’re extraordinarily excited to play the complete launch. This seems to be like a sequel that would ship extra of the tense, emotionally-wrenching story that we loved a lot in Innocence.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Modifying by Rik Henderson.