A Plague Tale: Requiem Review

Dan Webb

Few studios in the world of video game development have the same diversity of portfolio as Asobo Studios. Whether you’re talking open-world racers, like FUEL; open-world flight simulators like Microsoft’s Flight Simulator; or linear narrative rat-puzzle games like A Plague Tale: Innocence; it’s almost impossible to pigeonhole the French developer. Usually, not hyper-focusing can be a recipe for disaster, but in 2019, with A Plague Tale: Innocence, Asobo proved that they could try their hand at anything. Not only did Innocence pass us by initially, but it did a lot of other people too. Its origins were very much of the cult hit status, before it started to attract a much broader audience. It’s no surprise, then, that one of 2019’s most pleasant surprises has received a sequel. 

A Plague Tale: Requiem picks up with the dynamic brother and sister duo, Amicia and Hugo, not long after the events of the first game. While it might not have been too long in-game, it was clearly long enough for Amica and the majority of France to lose their French accents, which honestly, was a nice touch in Innocence. It’s an odd adjustment to make at first, but after a few hours, Innocence’s French accents will be but a distant memory – although we admit, we much preferred Innocence’s approach.

Requiem follows a pretty similar path to the first game in terms of tone, story beats and set-pieces - it’s a game that heavily focuses on the story and world building, while the stealth-oriented gameplay takes a backseat. And to be completely honest, that’s more than okay with us. Because in its story, and the emotion delivered by the main characters in another set of stellar performances, lies Requiem’s true strengths.

The only real complaints from a story perspective are the introduction of certain characters and elements completely out of the blue. One character in particular, who actually becomes a major character for the back half of the game, is introduced as if you should already know who they are, when in truth, aside from the odd mention of their name, 95% of the time you meet them they have a helmet on. So, the non-helmeted reveal is just frankly baffling.

In truth though, that’s a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things. The emotionally charged performance from Charlotte McBurney and the gripping narrative tower above any issues we may have had with the game’s oversights.

A Plague Tale: Requiem is definitely a case of come for the story, stay for the story, and while the stealth-oriented gameplay is perfectly enjoyable for the most part, it’s very mechanical and prescribed, as if each scenario has a set way to deal with it. There’s almost a touch of rock, paper, scissors to the whole thing. “Oh, that guy walking through the rats with a torch, he clearly needs to have his torch extinguished.” There’s a lot of that, or enemies patrolling dangerously close to a large pot of tar, clearly indicating how you should deal with them. So much so that you can pretty much play the game on autopilot.

To be fair though, this gameplay is actually quite satisfying for the most part. Setting traps for enemy soldiers, and stalking them while in the bushes, does a great job of linking the narrative sections together. My only real wish for Requiem would be that I wish they had included a lot more puzzles. Chapter 11, a highly puzzle focused section of the game, is perhaps Requiem’s – nay, the franchise’s – highpoint, and it’s almost as if the game peaks there. 

When it relies on throwing waves of enemies at you, Requiem’s flaws in that regard become more apparent. Those latter game combat sequences are easily the weakest aspect of the sequel. A greater focus on puzzles, and less reliance on combat and slow walking and talking scenes, would have lifted A Plague Tale: Requiem to even greater heights than it currently achieves.

From a technical perspective, the game is a bit of a mixed bag. Watching thousands upon thousands of rats decimate areas of France is a wild ride, but having the game hang for seconds at a time at the most inconvenient spots is incredibly frustrating. The Xbox Series S version suffer with some crazy screen tearing issues at times too, which definitely dilute the experience somewhat. And don’t get me started on the amount of times the AI got in my way when trying to navigate the game world!

Technical gripes aside though (which are more mild inconveniences than game or immersion breaking issues) A Plague Tale: Requiem is a really admirable sequel to 2019’s A Plague Tale: Innocence. With an utterly heart wrenching story, a beautifully crafted original score, and some iconic cast performances, it’s a game that will almost certainly leave an impact on you. Aside from some baffling design choices, like its over-reliance on combat in the latter stages, and under reliance on puzzles, it’s hard to fault Asobo Studios’ latest entry in the franchise. We truly can’t wait for the inevitable third game!

A Plague Tale: Requiem

A Plague Tale: Requiem is a mighty fine follow up to Innocence, and will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Sure, there’s the odd interesting design choice littered throughout and the game has the odd technical issue, but other than that, Requiem is a great way to spend a weekend.

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A Plague Tale: Requiem’s original score is all kinds of brilliant, from start to finish. Throw into that a superb performance from McBurney and co. and Requiem will leave a lasting impression on the ear drums.


Considering this is a next-gen only title, it’s not really breath-taking. However, we imagine most of the next-gen aspects are in Requiem’s ridiculously impressive rat technology.


When the game relies on its stealth mechanics and environmental takedowns, it’s a joy to play. But as soon as it spams enemies your way, the game’s flaws really bubble to the surface.


An excellent story with plenty of tension, some great set-pieces and some really cool puzzles, A Plague Tale: Requiem is a solid follow-up to Innocence, but with plenty of room to improve in what will be their inevitable third game.


Not a bad list, but one that’s not very inspired. It has some cool out-of-the-box style achievements, but for the most part, they’re locked to story completion and collectibles.

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