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What The Critics Are Saying About A Plague Tale: Requiem

"A Plague Tale: Requiem" has finally arrived. The highly anticipated sequel to Asobo Studios'  "A Plague Tale: Innocence," this entry continues the story of Amicia and Hugo de Rune, the children of two 14th century French nobles who must survive a journey across a plague-infested countryside after their home is destroyed, all while the Inquisitors committed to hunting them down. The first game received acclaim from critics and players alike for its heart-wrenching story, its unique blend of stealth and action mechanics, and its bone-chilling sound design, with many calling it one of the best games of 2019. Now, three years later, players are wondering if "Requiem" can live up to its predecessor.


Ahead of its October 18 launch for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, dozens of reviews for the game were posted by major gaming publications. Here's what reviewers have to say about "A Plague Tale: Requiem."

A worthy continuation of the story

One of the things that distinguished the first "Plague Tale" game was its deeply emotional narrative. It seems that this new game has picked up that torch and is carrying it on through this new rat-infested adventure. Kazuma Hashimoto of Polygon stated that this new game feels reminiscent of a classic folk horror story. "It's a concise experience that didn't waste my time, but it also scratched an itch I didn't even know I had," he added. "With an emotionally resonant script and an expert flow between stealth, horror, and exploration, 'A Plague Tale: Requiem' feels like the sequel 'Innocence' deserves." Hashimoto certainly wasn't alone in this opinion. "'Requiem' treads a fine line between poignant and absurd," said Rick Lane of The Guardian. "But even at its most ridiculous, 'Requiem' is always earnest in its ideas."


Since the game is based around such a weighty narrative, many players who are new to the series may wonder if they can jump straight into "Requiem" without first playing "Innocence." Jake Baldino of GameRanx recommended that players should definitely play "Innocence" first, however. Baldino explained, "Although some people may argue the character went through their ordeal in the first game and are clearly setting out on a new adventure, it's all connected and a lot of the payoffs are way, way stronger if you played the first one."

More action-oriented mechanics

Another area in which "A Plague Tale: Requiem" seems to excel is in its combat. While the first title had many new and interesting ideas about combining stealth, action and puzzle-solving mechanics, critics seem to have found that the new game has refined these so that they are smoother and more action-forward. "'A Plague Tale: Requiem' has more action than its predecessor, resulting in faster-paced and more engaging moment-to-moment gameplay," said Dalton Cooper of GameRant. "Amicia has a crossbow to go with her trusty sling this time around, and both weapons are perfectly capable of taking out enemy guards." Of course, stealth and alchemy still play a large role in the game, but it seems that the older Amicia is much less afraid of tackling some enemies head-on.


The concept of making Amicia into a more capable fighter appears to have some critics divided, however. Andrew Webster of The Verge argued that this focus on action mechanics distracts from the overall horror. "There's a disconnect between what you're doing and how you're supposed to feel. The larger issue, though, is that making Amicia a more adept and efficient killer also takes some of the tension out of the game."

Beautiful visuals and some technical issues

While outlets such as IGN have unreservedly praised "Requiem" for its visual enhancements over the original entry, others have encountered some technical issues with the game. Jordan Middler of VGC stated that "while the game is visually stunning, the technical issues that we ran into spoiled the experience. For a game that's party-trick is overwhelming the screen with digital vermin, having a framerate that cowers away like it was scared of the rats any time they're on screen drains those moments of impact."


Middler was far from the only one to have this problem, either. GameRanx's Jake Baldino noted that the "environments are shockingly cool and detailed and gruesome. Characters are detailed and more lifelike this time around – specifically the two main characters – but the problem is that the performance is not great." Baldino went on to explain that although they played the game on PS5, the frame rates struggled to keep up when there was a lot of action on screen and stuttering was a frequent problem. He said that while this was disappointing, "Requiem" is still gorgeous, and the technical issues weren't enough to ruin the gaming experience.

So while "Requiem" certainly isn't without flaws, it appears that most critics have found it to be a worthy follow up to "A Plague Tale: Innocence."