A Plague Story: Requiem is a superb instance of what a sequel ought to be: much like its predecessor, however greater and higher in just about each single manner. Asobo Studio was so near one thing fairly particular with 2019’s A Plague Story: Innocence, and its PS5 sequel turns that potential into actuality. For followers of narrative-focused titles, the rat-infested follow-up is a must-play.
Increasing on the occasions of the primary sport, this direct continuation has a good higher story, with new characters to satisfy and so many extra locations to go to. Its fight and stealth mechanics are a lot improved, to the purpose the place getting noticed not spells an instantaneous sport over. The quantity of rats on-screen throughout sure sequences is frankly absurd, and matched with gorgeous visuals and vistas, they make for a sport that is nice to take a look at regardless of how grotesque it may be.
There is a welcoming sense of familiarity to go together with it, although, as siblings Amicia and Hugo return alongside their mom and sidekick Lucas for a marketing campaign that explores the De Rune household’s Macula curse and its historical past. Hugo’s having goals of a remedy hidden away someplace on a tropical island, however his sister is the one one keen to pay attention. As such, the pair decides to take issues into their very own palms in the hunt for the elusive treatment.
What follows is a cinematic marketing campaign simply north of 20 hours in size that elegantly interlaces gameplay with cutscenes and dialogue. Taking a leaf out of the Naughty Canine playbook as soon as extra, it is a sport simply as a lot about what’s occurring if you’re not urgent buttons as if you find yourself. Detailed in its design, each interplay feels deliberate; each sequence delicately crafted.
It is what Asobo Studio does greatest, and A Plague Story: Requiem sees the French group attain new heights. The narrative stays gripping all through, and the brand new characters cement themselves with both enjoyable personalities or hidden motives. A implausible journey followers of the unique will instantly groove with.
Somebody will at all times need to put a cease to Amicia and Hugo’s antics, although, so traversal has been up to date with new methods to get in regards to the surroundings whereas stealth and fight each really feel simply as viable as the opposite. With a crossbow a part of her arsenal and extra methods to make use of the sling, Amicia places up rather more of a battle. She will be able to counter enemy assaults — even stabbing them to dying if she has a knife in her stock — and wield higher management of the rat horde by way of one in every of Hugo’s new powers.
The bigger fight arenas lend themselves effectively to shifting between aggression and retreat, killing some enemies after which falling again to cowl or some tall grass to interrupt line of sight. Getting noticed does not imply you have to reload a checkpoint anymore as Amicia is match for function on each fronts this time. You will in all probability nonetheless fall into that entice sometimes — to save lots of sources as soon as you have discovered a greater route by way of the realm, for instance — however the sequel does a a lot better job of letting you method encounters the best way you need. That’s apart from the irritating instant-fail stealth sections. Fortunately, they’re pretty few and much between, however there are simply sufficient to place a slight dampener on the enjoyable.
They are a mere footnote in a sport with so many highs, nevertheless. Whereas A Plague Story: Requiem does not reinvent the wheel, what it does stays of a top quality. Its mix of stealth and motion, positioned in between stretches of puzzle-solving and useful resource gathering, is an extremely gratifying loop. With the plot at all times on the forefront, you may not often catch your self doing one factor for too lengthy.
As ugly as they could be, the rats themselves ought to in all probability be thought of one other star of the present. There are extra rodents on-screen than Innocence may ever dream of, notably through the late sport. Asobo Studio stated its tech can put as much as 300,000 rats on a TV set at anybody time, and people concluding chapters show the developer proper. It is spectacular stuff.
It is virtually as admirable as its dedication to supporting the PS5 DualSense controller, which does a lot for normal immersion. Haptic suggestions is put to make use of at any time when the rats are close by; it is like you possibly can truly really feel them scurrying round in your pad. Moreover, chase sequences really feel a lot extra intense when the rumble options and adaptive triggers kick into overdrive as a guard legs it after you. It is implausible to see studios proceed to make the most of the controller’s capabilities, with A Plague Story: Requiem demonstrating simply how efficient these options could be when applied appropriately.
Sadly, the identical cannot be stated of the sport’s efficiency. It is actually tough to work out what body charge the sport is even concentrating on. A uneven body charge and important drops throughout action-heavy scenes are widespread, and with none graphical choices to talk of, there isn’t any escaping them. With the day one patch utilized, normal gameplay appears to hover round 30 frames-per-second, generally extra and different occasions much less because it seems unlocked. After all, the title is greater than playable from starting to finish — the slower, cinematic sequences are notably gorgeous — however these hooked on locked 60fps motion will not come away happy.
Much more worrying, although, is how the extra egregious body charge drops look like straight linked to the sport fully crashing on itself. Whereas it was a uncommon incidence, gameplay would out of the blue begin to chug till it got here to a standstill, thus crashing the PS5. Backing out to the system’s dwelling display screen and reloading a checkpoint treatments the problem, however it’s nonetheless one thing in want of a repair. Pretty sparse these complications are, although, so your funding in narrative stretches and enemy encounters will not be interrupted an excessive amount of.
At its greatest, A Plague Story: Requiem is among the biggest narrative-focused experiences on PS5 to this point. Technical limitations get in the best way among the time, however with improved stealth and fight mechanics, this can be a actually well-rounded sport that excels at almost the whole lot it does. Innocence demonstrated Asobo Studio’s potential in bursts; Requiem has completely realised it.