Long before the PES disease could be dealt with, a black death outbreak that had hit Europe in 1347 had claimed hundreds of millions of human lives that had it. Many sad stories of sufferers of diseases caused by the bacterium Yersinia Pestis that are spread by these black mice. Plus, at that time the church held the highest law and decided that whatever they considered wrong had to be punished, regardless of the sense of humanity that existed. This was appointed by Asobo Studio to be a stage that tells the struggle of the two brothers through an artificial game titled A Plague Tale: Innocence.
Before navigating everything in this game that is quite horrifying, it's good to know what story he will tell. A Plague Tale: Innocence tells of a 15-year-old French noble girl named Amicia De Rune. He was sent by his mother to care for his little brother Hugo, when his whole house was attacked and slaughtered by the Inquisition or the church forces who managed to sacrifice their father.
Hugo, who was sickly and very rarely saw the outside world thanks to his illness, made Amicia have to meet a doctor named Laurentius alone to look for a bidder from something that gnawed at his body. Their journey forced him to overcome various obstacles, including the sea of bloodthirsty black rats and the invasion of the Inquisition who wanted them.
If you look at the gloomy settings of the game, of course you think that the rat flock that is the main problem is a natural thing. But as a member of the De Rune family who were currently in trouble, you couldn't help but sneak past many Inquisition soldiers not to kill you.
Almost 90% of the gameplay is puzzle and stealth. You will be armed with stones, catapults, and alchemy to pass, fool, and kill your enemies using whatever you meet. For example, throwing stones at a pile of armor to attract the attention of guards, attract the attention of mice with bait, to release an iron cage that locked the mice to eat the Inquisition soldiers who were on patrol. Or you can combine all of these methods to be safe from the pursuit of guards.
Some challenging puzzles such as moving the light to drive a flock of mice to a place, you could say it's very difficult if you haven't found a solution. This puzzle has a level of difficulty that continues to increase as the story progresses. Not infrequently, you will also be required to make decisions quickly in several sessions. I even had to repeat more than five times to be able to solve a puzzle, so I could proceed to the next session. But completing it can be a satisfaction and sometimes unexpected at all.
Your trip will never be separated from an incredibly creepy bunch of mice. Give the effect of being uneasy, disgusted, and an atmosphere that can make the hair on your neck stand. They are fierce, smart, and ready to pounce on you at any time with their sharp claws and teeth. But calm, this herd is only afraid of light. So the only way to get past them is by lighting a fire, carrying a torch, or running away from dark places. In certain sessions, you can't help but have to go through the sea of corpses to the nests they make.
Even though it is fiction, some scary scenes seem to give a picture that the plague that delivered humankind in despair and almost destroyed 30-60% of the European population was indeed very fierce and terrible.
Not only mice, the Inquisition army is also one of the problems that you have to face. Because you just misstated a little, then you can die on the edge of their sword. Doing it may be an option you have to do. However, you can also kill him by throwing stones using your catapult into their heads. Or, use mice as a practical natural weapon.
You can't just rely on your brain to survive the inquisition army, but you need to use your father's catapult. This object is very helpful throughout your journey, ranging from throwing stones from a distance that cannot be reached, to just removing the helmet of a soldier on guard.
This catapult can be upgraded to a more powerful weapon by collecting some material that is spread throughout the game. To be able to upgrade, you will need workshops that are in certain angles. Not only slingshots, some new tools and supporting objects such as material bags or ammunition bags can you upgrade here.
On the other hand, some ammunition such as fire bullets or mouse feeds can be made on your own without having to use workshops as long as you still have the materials needed.
Although it has a puzzle that will get complicated as the story goes and the enemy is creepy, but this game still reminds you of the story of your journey with Hugo through the obstacles that exist. As Amicia, your job is to continue protecting Hugo from the danger that is ready to confront him.
Hugo was portrayed as weak because of his illness, but he was a boy who did not want to bother his brother. He is brave and does not whine spoiled like most characters of small children who often appear in video games. Even so, I often feel anxious when I have to take Hugo's hand off and let him walk alone through a hole that the Amicia can't reach even if it's just to open the door.
Hugo's courage can not always cover his age of just 5 years. He is still a small child who is very homesick for the caress of his mother's love. Time and again you will find Hugo's whining that keeps calling his mother. Sounds sad and sad for those who see it. Just imagine, he was left by his parents in the middle of a world that was chaotic and full of death thanks to the plague of black death. While on the other hand, an organization of church forces pursued them with threats of violence and fear. Amicia who can't do anything, has to lie to calm her every time Hugo whines.
Even so, the innocence of Hugo and his relationship with Amicia was portrayed very sweetly. You will find Hugo who rarely leaves the house, rejoices when he sees bubbles released by frogs, or large estates. Her sweetness also guarantees you more love with her when she shows a little happiness by giving flowers to Amicia. As if removing a bit of confusion that they must face in the midst of the chaos of the world.
Some other characters who appeared like Lucas the chemist, and the two brothers steal Melie and Arthur have their respective stories that are no less interesting. Unfortunately the focus of the story that only prioritizes Amicia and Hugo does not make other characters feel that identity is so deep. It's as if they are just a group of characters who help each other for the same purpose.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is not an indie game, nor is it an AAA game with insane details and marketing. But Asobo Studio managed to bring the atmosphere of his world that is both beautiful and creepy, character, and the story of the relationship between Amicia and Hugo that is full of sorrow and touch. The focus is on stories and puzzle designs that might be able to scratch your head, it is done very neatly and well. Give the story of Amicia and Hugo like a gem in the middle of a sea of black rats that become obstacles.
The gameplay is very challenging and gives a lot of pounding effects even though it's not a horror game. Unfortunately, some characters who lack the deep background and antagonists who have only one goal are straight, making it seem strange from the theme and the super epic atmosphere that has been provided.
The lack of battle in it is because it is very focused on puzzles, for me it is not able to recommend it for those of you who really like the live action game or many of the fight scenes. But I highly recommend it for those of you who really like immersive stories, gloomy themes, lovable characters, European history, pounding nuances, challenging puzzles, and loving any artwork.