The first launch of the game above all provides the opportunity to appreciate the many options for accessibility and customization of the experience. The frequency of the help messages spoken by our companions, the display or not of each element of the interface, the possible automation of (rare) QTEs, the invincibility mode and many other parameters are available so that each one can adapt the adventure to your needs or preferences. If your machine allows it, we naturally recommend that you push the graphics options to the limit, but know that you’re in for a visual slap in the face in any case. If A Plague Tale Innocence was already very nice graphically, Requiem goes one step further. Les facial expressions dont nous déplorions l’absence il ya trois ans sont par exemple bel et bien présentes cette fois-ci, et parfaitement worthy of a jeu de 2022. Les textures, manifestement en haute définition, ne paraissent jamais floues, même de close. And above all, above all, certain landscapes are truly impressive. Is this the result of the experience gained in Flight Simulator? Even so, the panoramas of mountains, beaches and meadows make you want to go hiking in the four corners of France, here sublimated by the medieval period conducive to contemplation and by light and weather effects of impressive precision. . The scenery does not hesitate to make us travel, even in rough seas, we can say that we see the country and the beauty. If in doubt, we’ll let you take a look at our homemade, guaranteed-fake screenshots.
HUGO, THE KING OF THE RATS
True to the reputation of the first episode, A Plague Tale remains a game with a dark theme, where rats play a major role. Just as invasive and dangerous, these rodents from hell see their numbers multiply in this section. According to the developers, the maximum number of rats displayed on the screen, which was 5,000 in Innocence, is increased in Requiem to… 300,000! We don’t have fun counting them one by one, but we can confirm that certain scenes really do overwhelm us with rodents, literally breaking out in whole waves. If these swarms of rats are the occasion for some chase sequences, they more often than not serve as the infiltration component of the adventure. To progress in certain scenarios, you must manage to light the correct fires at the correct times or, on the contrary, put out the flames carried by the enemies so that they can be devoured.
Just to bring some new blood to these mechanics, Hugo can now communicate with groups of moderately sized rats. This first allows you to observe human silhouettes across the stage, but also control nearby rats.
Just to bring some new blood to these mechanics, Hugo can now communicate with groups of moderately sized rats. This first allows you to observe human silhouettes across the stage, but also control nearby rats. The player can then directly move the rodents to pounce on the unlucky soldiers in the area unprotected by light or fire. Hugo is not always with Amicia, or he cannot always use her powers, this novelty does not unbalance the game at all. The eldest sister of the family also has the right to extended abilities, thanks to the new system that combines weapons and alchemy . . In a nutshell, let’s say Amicia has four different types of throws (hand, clay pots, slingshot, crossbow), four alchemical recipes (Ignifer to light fires, Extinguis to put them out, Pitch to amplify them, and Odoris). to attract rats), and total freedom to associate with each other. Hitting an Ignifer-coated crossbow arrow into a wooden plank, for example, will create a new light source, while throwing a pot of Pitch at an enemy will slow them down and make them ignite more easily. Therefore, this system allows to solve certain environmental puzzles, but also to enrich the combats.
HUGO NOT ALONE
Never stingy with little additional gameplay mechanics, Requiem also gives us the ability to command Amicia’s accompanying characters (there are rarely more than one at a time). The stocky Arnaud can, for example, be sent at an enemy to assassinate them, while Sophia the pirate can use a prism to set tall grass on fire and distract enemies, or extend the radius of certain light sources. It should be noted that, like its predecessor, Requiem manages to make these companions never painful or incapacitating, despite countless games breaking their teeth on the slightest escort mission. This is due both to their good behavior in general, to their developed and endearing personalities, to the fact that they are regularly renewed, and to a successful voice cast (in English and French). It’s also the soundtrack as a whole that is to be commended, because the music is at least as good as Innocence, which is saying something. At this stage of the test, you may have noticed that we haven’t said a word about the stage yet. That’s amazing for a narrative adventure, isn’t it? It’s actually completely voluntary, to leave you with as many surprises as possible. We will content ourselves with telling you that the emotion is there at times, and that the ending seemed absolutely perfect to us. Including the post-credits epilogue. And including the post-epilogue post-credits post-credits scene (no, no, no mistake)!
HUGO OF THE CRYPTS
On the other hand, it must be recognized that the game does not fly at all points. We would have loved to give it an 18 or 19, but too many minor hiccups dampened our initial enthusiasm. Therefore, the technical report has several small recurring errors. We were treated to erratic behavior from some rats, with a character doing a complete spin before positioning itself correctly, with companions sliding towards Amicia, with NPCs blocking us during an escape sequence, with somewhat abrupt transitions between certain animations, or even a 3D model of Amicia that started shaking slightly during a transport sequence. Even more surprising, while the game regularly turns our eyes on it, it seems to have trouble properly handling a simple depth-of-field effect. In some shots, the bokeh is more reminiscent of the poorly cropped portrait mode of a low-end smartphone than that of a professional camera. Also, some of the dialogue is surprisingly flat and clearly unnatural. And then, it may be a matter of taste but still, we found the balance between action and infiltration to be too much in favor of the first component. There are even one or two sequences of shootouts on rails, which have little to do with an adventure that we expected based on infiltration and intended to be emotional. Come on, one last complaint for the road: in a semi-realistic context like this, characters who receive sword or arrow wounds in the stomach and recover in a few minutes, it’s No! Here, who loves well, punishes well, as the saying goes. But make no mistake: A Plague Tale Requiem is, without a doubt, a very beautiful adventure that is well worth the detour.
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