A Plague Tale: Requiem is the second installment of the now franchise started in 2019 by the French independent studio Asobo. Although this first edition did not receive bad reviews, it remained a good game to dry, with IGN ratings of 8.5 and 81 on Metacritic. But now with Requiem they refine the details to become an unmissable game of the year.
In this second installment, the Bordeaux studio was able to find the balance between its stealth game essence, giving continuity to the story and allowing the player greater freedom to make decisions so that these are reflected in the process and character improvements.
Located in a France at the time of the inquisition, we see how the brothers Amicia and Hugo Rune are attacked by “the plague” and the game manages to combine fantasy, alchemy and real history to enter an environment of suspense, riddles, action and especially of love for the characters.
In this sequel, the game not only gives continuity to the main story, but also improves some of the aspects that did not allow the excellent quality of the prequel. Being a stealth game, the previous installment required patience and extreme caution, the moments of action were reduced and the momentum of the most dynamic players was penalized.
Requiem not only allows a little more freedom in decision-making, but we see characters using their abilities, maturing, and even using weapons or special powers.
Also, depending on your game mode, you are given rewards and upgrades to your skills that strengthen your decisions. Among the modes that can be used are: opportunistic, aggressive or cautious.
On the other hand, even though the enemies still don’t behave like “a person” at all, they substantially improved the intelligence to chase you. It is no longer so easy to lose them and they do not forget you with noises or simple movements, if they discover you they will follow you no matter what happens.
The music and aesthetics are maintained at the highest level, taking you into the France of 1300, the festive and bright scenes provide spectacular views and the dark and gloomy moments put the viewer in suspense.
As the main premise, the rats play a crucial role in the story and it is those moments of putrefaction, of disgust that build a story that you want to get out of, of empathizing with the Rune brothers for wanting to escape from that decadent situation.
This new generation of consoles or high-performance PCs is well used by the game. The textures, the living environments, the well-cared-for details and environmental dynamics make you enjoy a closed world and the music provides a great accompaniment for the creation of these spaces. It’s a good example that not all games need an open world to be entertaining or feel free.
Requiem is a game that can be enjoyed regardless of your control skills, it puts you in situations where ingenuity or creativity are more important. Solving puzzles, how to bypass guards or use your potions are essential for the progress of the story but it does not require great motor skill from the player.
As the title describes, Innocence is about losing your innocence and dealing with situations that a couple of children are not prepared for and have to make difficult decisions for the first time. In Requiem we see characters who have experienced difficult times in a funerary environment, prepared for loss and death. This is noticeable not only in the way dueling enemies are approached, but in the dialogues and interactions that the characters have in every decision that is made.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is a closing 2022 must-see that’s available on all platforms, however, it’s coming as part of Xbox Game Pass “day one” releases and can even be played in the Cloud. This gives the North American company a step forward in the current dispute over market control, where even without needing to have an exclusive game, this business model allows users to opt for the “all-inclusive” service.