A lot of rats – A Plague Tale: Innocence E3 2017 preview

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At E3 2017 I got to spend some time with A Plague Tale: Innocence. In this medieval world, France has a rat problem, and it’s a big one. The sheer amount of rats that could be on screen at one time was impressive in itself, and it was astonishing to hear from the developer that it wasn’t anywhere near as many rats as they can and will have in A Plague’s Tale.

A Plague Tale: Innocence is an action-adventure game where you control a young girl named Amicia who has lost everything but her brother, Hugo. In the demo that I saw, Amicia had to save her brother from a group of soldiers who were up to no good. Amicia might be brave and determined but it was pretty clear that she stood no chance in a direct fight against any of the soldiers; let alone two or three. If the soldiers didn’t seem like a big enough obstacle to overcome, there is also the never ending stream of rats that cover large portions of the map, attack anyone they can, and can only be repulsed by light.

In her search for her brother, Amicia comes across a group of soldiers. Using stealth and some strategy, Amicia has to get past them in order to free Hugo. At this point I got to see that Amicia is very skilled with a sling and has no problem using it. Placing a rock in the sling, Amicia took aim at one of the soldiers lanterns, destroying it and leaving him exposed to the swarms of rats that surrounded him. The second the soldier’s light went out, the rats completely engulf him. In a cacophony of screams and scurrying the soldier died. His partner, enraged, starts shouting and threatening Amicia, but before he can act, another rock was slung and his light was also snuffed. You can imagine what happens to that soldier next.

After dealing with the soldiers Amicia finds her brother. The newly reunited pair continue on to a church to find safety. At the church, the pair hear a voice coming from deep within its chambers. Unfortunately, upon entering they see that the church is flooded with rats and their nests. Transitioning into the games more puzzle-like aspects, Amicia now sends her brother into an area she is too big to reach to obtain a torch. This part made me tense up a bit, as I expected Hugo to be attacked by rats; luckily he wasn’t. With Hugo now carrying a burning torch, Amicia directs Hugo around the room to light more torches. Carefully walking through the ocean of rats, Amicia and Hugo stay as close to each other as possible to stay within the safety of the fire’s light.

To finish of the demo with just a little extra tension, it ends with the pair tiptoeing down a creepy corridor heading deeper into the church, towards some rather menacing noises. While the developers made it clear that this is just a representation of the game and not a level that will be seen in the final game, if the finished product is anything close to being as dark and intriguing as the demo, it will definitely be something to keep your eyes on.
A Plague Tale: Innocence will be released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC

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