Requiem, the opus of maturity?

Asobo Studio reveals the continuation of the adventures of Amicia and Hugo in A Plague Tale Requiem. Is this second installment as good as the first? Test.

Here we are back in the bush of the 1300s, in the middle of the Middle Ages invaded by the plague, in the company of the youngest and most daring adventurers of Guyenne. After the resounding success ofA Plague Tale InnocenceAsobo Studio gives us a sequel that promises to be just as spectacular, while many questions remain about Hugo’s condition and his link with the rats of the black plague that is ravaging the region… and soon the country.

A Plague Tale: Requiem immerses us a few months after the rescue of the young boy from the hands of the Inquisition. We find our heroes in great shape, as they seek answers from the side of alchemy, and the Order of Magisters. Amicia, Lucas, Hugo and the matriarch embark on a more dangerous journey than before, as the rats have made their comeback in numbers.

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Credits: Asobo Studio

When the cat is not around… the rats multiply

They’re faster, fiercer, and far more numerous than in the first installment. Rats, the sinews of the franchise, don’t pretend when it comes to invading our space. Whether A Plague Tale: Requiem promised to be darker than its predecessor, the bet is successful for Asobo Studio. The narration is once again a masterpiece, more thanks to the immersion it gives us rather than for its scenario, which remains quite predictable after all… at least in the first chapters.

It must also be said that the maturity of this opus does us the greatest good. The studio learns from its mistakes, thus offering us more independence, and benefiting from a greater emotional engagement at the same time. Hugo is no longer constantly glued to Amicia, which makes the attachment to his little brother all the more palpable. The tension rises a notch, while the young woman finds in Lucas a faithful ally and traveling companion.

Over the chapters, however, we regret a certain slowness. The stakes of this new plot take time to set up, which makes A Plague Tale: Requiem as accessible as the original game was. In any case, it sports the same suffocating atmosphere, while adding a dimension of exploration and travel so far too discreet. Amicia’s adventures always require the fiber of exploration, which is once again rewarded. The game areas being larger, it will nevertheless give you a little more trouble to complete your collection of collectibles.

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Credits: Asobo Studio

Death at the bend

The new lands we are treading on also represent new challenges that we will once again have to overcome with composure and intelligence. Quite frankly, the gameplay of Requiem fits neither more nor less than in the continuity ofInnocence, so there is nothing revolutionary to get your teeth into. We nevertheless benefit from some interesting additions, and a slight overhaul of the user interface which makes us take a slightly more modern turn.

To approach the adventure, you always have the choice between several styles of approach, from slingshot combat, to surprise interventions, through non-violent infiltration. Whatever the perspective, reflection is always in order, and is all the more solicited as the play spaces open up more. This precise aspect gives the player more possibilities of paths and angles of attack, which allows him to vary his adventure and/or find the style that suits him the most.

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Credits: Asobo Studio

Note, however, that ranged attacks are generally favored, while the few melee attacks available are dependent on the resources you find and the type of enemy you face. Do not expect to fight with your bare hands against the soldiers you meet, they are simply not made to succumb to your fists. Additionally, you will be dealing with a rather stupid and nasty AIwhich is satisfied with both the minimum to find you, and takes malicious pleasure in not letting go of you once caught in its nets.

At the level of the wheel of weapons, we find our faithful slingshot, throwing it by hand as well as the pots, as in the first opus, plus other additions along the way (we won’t reveal anything to you). Requiem also incorporates new types of alchemical ammunition, which diversifies the gameplay during the combat phases. The narrative phases, on the other hand, are always extremely guided and rather linear. To perfect your experience, we still have the right to the system of improvement of our equipment, as well as a “tree” of skills with obscure functioning.

The path of reason

What differentiates Requiem of its predecessor is its dedication to the player and its ability to give supreme importance to adventures experienced by children. Visually, the franchise changes little, but is given a welcome boost. The graphics are better defined, the transitions between gameplay and cutscenes are smoother, facial expressions and animations gain in photorealism, although not everything is quite up to par with some other equally recent productions.

In any case, it is definitely a game for the new generation, and this is confirmed with the optimization of the DualSense controller on PS5. Haptic feedback is put to good use and the adaptive triggers do what they can with what they’re given. However, not everything is good to take. We regret the addition of a regular and artificial click when running Amicia, since it does not in any way imitate the pace of the young woman’s steps, and therefore completely serves the immersion.

Besides that, you will still enjoy the journey with our young heroes, and fortunately since it will take you a little longer to complete this second opus compared to the first. A lifespan that gets longer as the tension rises and nervousness takes hold of us. We must not forget that A Plague Tale uses fear to move us forward, a goal largely achieved as far as we are concerned.

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