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A Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us. Our new impressions of the next big game Xbox Game Pass – Video preview – jeuxvideo.com

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A Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big game Xbox Game Pass – Video preview – jeuxvideo.com
Written by madishthestylebar

Back in June, we had the chance to lay our hands on A Plague Tale: Requiem for the first time, the direct sequel to Asobo’s action-adventure game starring Amicia and her younger brother, Hugo. A month before its release, the game let itself be approached one last time to help us understand the extent of its gameplay. One thing is already certain, since the episode Innocence, the little mouse has grown up.

Under the sun

It is under the burning sun of Provence that we find our young heroes still hunted down by dangerous soldiers prowling the streets of the Kingdom of France. A few seconds of play are enough to realize the goldsmith work done by Asobo on the visuals of the game. The panoramas are magnificent, the color palette is rich, the animations are detailed. We are not yet at the level of a production signed Naughty Dog, but the French developers have released the horses. The music, by Olivier Derivière, is once again impeccable. In our demo (covering the game’s sixth and seventh chapter), Amicia and Hugo are looking for a way to get away, literally. Unfortunately for them, the local mercenaries want to grab them. It must be said that a little boy capable of controlling rats accompanied by his big sister at the origin of several assassinations on the side of the troops has what to stir up many lusts.

A Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big Xbox Game Pass gameA Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big Xbox Game Pass game

Like the first episode, Amicia can rely on different items such as a slingshot and pots to advance through enemy lines. This material helps him to divert the attention of his adversaries or to delay or even kill them. If sneaking through tall grass in order to move forward without being spotted remains an important part of the gameplay, Requiem goes much further in its mechanics. The major evolution lies above all in the philosophy encompassing the management of weapons and ammunition. Here, the player can at any time display a selection wheel allowing him to select the item he wants to use (slingshot, pot, crossbow) but also and above all the type of ammunition to equip (incendiary, smoke, explosive, etc. .). What appears to be just a simple redesign of the interface actually brings a lot of depth to the gameplay since it is now possible to mix any type of ammunition with any weapon. By mixing a pot with an explosive ammunition, Amicia creates a grenade, by adding a little fire to a crossbow bolt, the heroine shoots incendiary arrows. The examples are numerous.

A Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big Xbox Game Pass gameA Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big Xbox Game Pass game

This improvement goes hand in hand with larger arenas with many narrow passages, platforms to climb or even bags of saltpetre to spread. The level design is more complex than usual so as not to offer only one solution to a problem. Controller in hand, it is clear that Asobo’s bet is a winner. By using Hugo’s different weapons, ammunition and powers (which you will discuss later), the player will get out of inextricable situations. The enemies, numerous, give in any case a hard time: the progression may be less easy than that of the original adventure. Of course, Amicia can always rely on workbenches to improve her equipment. In addition, the young heroine this time has skills (caution, aggressiveness, opportunism) to upgrade.

A Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big Xbox Game Pass game

Abracadab-rat

A Plague Tale: Requiem bewitched us.  Our new impressions of the next big Xbox Game Pass game

Better seasoned compared to the epic that took place in Guyenne, Amicia and Hugo have serious concerns for their pursuers. The big sister now knows how to return melee blows. In the event of an impromptu encounter, Amicia can attempt to counter or stab the enemy, if the young heroine has a knife in her inventory beforehand. The contextual actions that could be described as QTE are not reserved for combat. During the phases of infiltration in the tall grass, a pebble can be thrown in extremis if a guard is about to find the duo. Also, a warrior who gets too close can also be burned alive with a well-thrown torch.

Compared to the first A Plague Tale, the escape is less synonymous with game over than before. The player who manages to break the lines of sight of the opponents after a general alert will be able to get away without a scratch. Hugo, meanwhile, still has his connection to the rats which he acquires at the end of the first game. The powers vary, however. With a simple press of the down d-pad, the little brother is able to locate enemies lurking like a walking sonar. No need to own the latest Sam Fisher tech when you have a kid whispering in rodents’ ears. More interestingly, Hugo has the ability to transfer his mind into that of swarms of rats. The player can therefore dash towards the soldiers and climb after certain surfaces as an Alien would do in Alien Vs Predator.

These various abilities generate a pleasant complementarity between the two protagonists.. Freer in what he can do, which contrasts with the often unique solutions of the first episode, the player must scrupulously observe his environment before acting. He can sneak in with Amicia if he wishes, put out the fires with saltpeter, which opens the way to the swarms of rats controlled by Hugo. Of course, we find soldiers equipped with long-range weapons to be eliminated in priority to advance, but in what we tested on these two chapters, few constraints were imposed in the way of succeeding in an arena. The many ways to interact with the elements of the decor, the weapons, but also the enemies do the job well for the moment: Asobo seems to have been able to rely on the mechanics put in place rather than on the scripts.

Our impressions

This time spent in the company of Amicia and Hugo confirms all the good that we already thought of the title. A Plague Tale: Requiem suggests a richer gameplay than the first episode, while maintaining a quality staging. Closer to the medieval Splinter Cell than to a simple narrative hide-and-seek game, Asobo’s software meets all our expectations for the moment. From now on, we can’t wait to discover the adventure in its entirety. A Plague Tale: Requiem will be released on October 18, 2022 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series XS and Switch (via the Cloud). It will be available on launch day in Game Pass.

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