Developed by the talented Asobo Studios and published by Focus Entertainment, A Plague Tale Requiem is the sequel to the very successful A Plague Tale first of the name. The latter had succeeded in creating a surprise by proposing an emotional, original adventure accompanied by a gripping scenario. The continuation of the adventures of Hugo and Amicia was intended to be more ambitious and bigger than its big sister. After seeing the end credits, here is our test of this new A Plague Tale: Requiem!
A more mature Plague Tale Requiem, in every sense of the word
We find Hugo and Amicia for the rest of their adventure. The writing of the characters does not resemble what is done in other video games of the same genre. Already by the dual gameplay » between the brother and the sister but also by the bonds which unite the siblings. Far from the hatred, sarcasm or schoolboy humor of certain video game adventures, the pen is exacerbated in this second opus by the plot intimately linked to Hugo.
Amicia has grown in maturity and this shows in her reactions to protect her brother but also in her replies and her assumed side. In other words, she’s become a Lara Croft-style tough guy. This adds a certain dynamism, moreover enhanced by the new animations and the high-budget “movie” side of the game. it is not necessary to have played the first to enjoy the adventure, but it is however strongly recommended.
Always a master in the narrative exercise, Asobo Studio immerses us in a darker story by managing to deepen the gameplay, especially on the side of Amicia. There is a mixture of action, adventure, fantasy and some role-playing moves. There’s still plenty of stealth mode to pass through, if you’d rather sneak through enemies. Fortunately, this is no longer mandatory.
The writing does not only affect our duo but also the new characters we meet. Sophia for example, by her protective side, is full of humanity. There is this very fine line between video game and film which makes the experience authentic. On the other hand, everything is darker, the themes addressed, namely, love, fear or violence give a certain identity and will not leave you indifferent.
Plague Tale Requiem, technical side
When we learn that A Plague Tale Requiem is only available on new generation consoles, our expectations on the performance aspect are logically heightened. Yes, no new Hugo and Amicia adventure for PS4 or Xbox One owners.
After playing A Plague Tale Requiem on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X, we have some information to give you. On PC, it supports DLSS ie super sampling, maximum resolutions and details. Normal. Clearly and as always, the best gaming experience remains on PC, whether with the controller or keyboard and mouse. Obviously, everything is more magical when playing with unlimited frames per second. Especially since the game is available day one on the Xbox and PC Game Pass. Be careful though, the game is quite resource intensive. Our test PC with its RTX 2070 8 GB, its i5 9600K and 16 GB of onboard ram allows you to play in 1440p Ultra up to 70 FPS but not beyond.
On console, whether on Xbox or PS5, the game remains stable at 30FPS but above all without the possibility of changing. That’s a shame. Yes but now, A Plague Tale Requiem is not really an action game and the frames per second are not that interesting. In fact, the 30 FPS, even if less pleasant compared to the 60 FPS, does not tarnish the gaming experience. There are several phases of infiltration, shooting and a lot of narration in the progression. The game is still perfectly playable.
Obviously, we would have liked to be able to take advantage of the power of our new generation consoles, but in all honesty, the framerate chosen by Asobo makes sense. It’s the fact of not having the choice between performance and resolution that does not pass on console.
Fabulous art direction
Now that we’ve seen the technical side, let’s talk about the art direction. Let’s be clear and precise. A Plague Tale Requiem is a slap. Besides, regardless of the platform, it’s impressive for a game that, let’s remember, does not have the budget of a triple-A. To get an idea, the game signed Asobo Studio is very similar to Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice. It surprises with its depth of field, the artistic blur (can be disabled on PC), the detail of the vegetation, the modeling of faces and the effects of light. It’s very similar to Ninja Theory’s game but the comparison ends there.
From the beginning of the game when we find Amicia and her brother, we are accompanied by fields of lavender, large meadows, remains of monuments and a radiant sun. It must be said, the wow effect hits the mark. Without spoiling the story, the progression darkens, in every sense of the word, whether in terms of light or scenario, but always in a fabulous graphic setting. We learn things about Hugo who changes the storyline of the game. Even if the progression remains very “corridor”, the diversity of the panoramas does honor to this period of the Kingdom of France. A Plague Tale Requiem has an undeniable cinematic side which really differentiates it from the first opus and which fits perfectly with its scenario.
In this second opus, we are no longer in the French region of Guyenne but in the south of 14th century France with all that that entails of violence, raw scenes and epidemics. The work done on the atmosphere is breathtaking, screaming realism and very convincing. Truly flawless. To immortalize all this, you can also trust the photo mode.
Slightly more advanced gameplay
Still in 3rd person, you can let fellow travelers do chores while you do other things like puzzles. Overall, you almost always play from Amicia’s perspective. The skills are not the heart of the game but it is possible to improve them automatically just like the bags and the weapons. Additionally, you can also find items that bring memories and even more content outside of the story. Nothing very original you say to me. At the start of the game, you’ll be introduced to the controls and then walked through Amicia’s new animations and interactions.
The game sometimes gets a bit repetitive and awkward when it throws waves of armored soldiers at you for example. It feels like it’s not really necessary. However, we appreciate the connection between the slightly calmer times and the intense action phases where you have to flee the attackers or help Hugo to solve the puzzles. The loading times are not numerous and rather fast. Not like in the first one, Amicia really evolves as much psychically as in her movements. We learn to manage a new arsenal, we discover new animations and the new rage to live that animates it.
We appreciate his new way of being able to defend himself against a fatal blow which before was synonymous with game over. In A Plague Tale Requiem, the counterattack mechanic has been added, which allows players to stun enemies to gain space and time to think up new offensive strategies or simply use the scenery to get away. escape.
A real traveling concert
Even having participated in the symphony concert organized by Focus in a Parisian theater, we maintain our objectivity to tell you that A Plague Tale Requiem is easily placed in the top 3 of the best audio performances in a video game. It’s coherent, sometimes powerful on the sound of the drums, eminently mysterious on the violins, melancholic, epic on the cellos or deeply spiritual thanks to the voices. In short, the adjectives are missing.
You are transported from the start by a rather inexplicable sound power. Kind of like the soundtrack from a Halo Infinite or a Star Wars. We owe this auditory prowess to the composer Olivier Deriviere. Listen to the soundtrack composed of 34 titles and available on Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music and Deezer to understand. The composer knew how to surround himself with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) for this creation. You will not believe your ears.
A few questions though
A few points which do not tarnish the experience, but which must be pointed out. Hugo is still a kid with enough problems as it is, but he can be really annoying sometimes. Through his reactions and his replies, we sometimes want to put him on mute. Like in the first game where he can behave a little irrationally but hey, he’s an artificial intelligence.
Besides, artificial general intelligence is often stupid. Being binary, enemies can spot you and go about their business as if nothing had happened. This can create quite comical situations but does not compete with the consistency of the game. Still on the side of consistency, we sometimes wonder why Amicia cannot step over a small wall. This promotes this “corridor” gaming experience, which not everyone necessarily appreciates.
Finally, being slightly picky on the graphic aspect, we wonder why the rendering of water is not as perfect as the rest. Like the corpses on the ground which can lack detail and be a little “squishy”. Again, this is not going to prevent us from enjoying the game.
Our opinion on A Plague Tale Requiem
A Plague Tale: Requiem is the main reason games are becoming more cinematic, engaging their players on an emotional level and establishing a strong connection with the characters. It shows that even with lesser means, all things considered of course, it is possible to take players by the guts. Having nothing to envy graphically to a tenor like Horizon Zero Dawn for example, the artistic direction speaks for itself. The music, the graphic choices and the scenario erect this Plague Tale: Requiem as one of the best narrative games of this end of the year. In addition, it is one of the rare cases where the sequel is (at least) as good as the original and it is never easy for a studio.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
- Corridor appearance that can get in the way
- New adventure but very similar to the first
- Artificial intelligence in cabbage
We love less
- The evolution of Amicia and the new game mechanics
- darker and deeper
- The excellent storytelling
- Fabulous art direction
We wish to say thanks to the author of this article for this awesome material
Test A Plague Tale Requiem, a mature and mastered sequel
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