Review | A Plague Tale: Requiem

After the excellent A Plague Tale: Innocence and Microsoft Flight Simulator, Asobo Studio has proven that this still relatively unknown studio is not only extremely versatile, but also terribly talented. With A Plague Tale: Requiem, the French developer once again exceeds expectations and demonstrates that it has much more to offer.

Six months after the events of A Plague Tale: Innocence, Amicia and Hugo are still looking for a way to get the Macula curse out of Hugo. Their journey takes them to Mediterranean Provence, an area at the southeastern tip of France. Everything seems like a piece of cake, until sister and brother once again have to flee from the rats that seem to follow them everywhere.

The focus in Requiem is more on older sister Amicia. She has since embraced her role as Hugo’s protector and made peace with the fact that their world and lives will never be the same again. Amicia is ready to fight. Against the world, against fate and also against herself.

That fighting spirit is not only expressed in her emotions, but also in her behavior and thus the gameplay. Where A Plague Tale: Innocence mainly revolved around sneaking around and avoiding confrontations, Amicia hits back hard this time. The young lady strangles unsuspecting soldiers with her slingshot, throws them off her with a knife stab and, as icing on the cake, this time she is equipped with a crossbow with which she effortlessly pierces enemies.

That doesn’t mean that A Plague Tale: Requiem has suddenly become an action game. Knives are disposable, but can also be used to break open chests with upgrade materials, so you have to consider how you want to use them. While your crossbow is very useful in a tight situation, arrows are scarce and reloading is slow. And no matter how fierce you play, a single blow from the enemy can be fatal. So you still need to be on your guard.

Still, the game encourages diverse playstyles by giving Amicia new abilities depending on how she handles stressful situations. If you use an aggressive playing style, Amicia will also become more combative. If you are mainly a prowler, her footsteps become more silent. The effective use of alchemy to eliminate enemies is also a path that Amicia can take.

The game offers enough freedom to try out those different play styles. While you still have to get from A to B, there’s plenty of ground to explore in between and there are multiple ways to get to your destination. Being spotted is no longer a guaranteed game over, not only because Amicia bites off her easier, but also because you have a lot more space at your disposal to get away and try a different approach.

If you do get caught, you will automatically restart with the most recently created autosave. There’s no shortage of checkpoints, but it’s frustrating that you can’t save yourself. A poorly timed checkpoint sometimes meant we had to listen to the same dialogues over and over, or craft ammo every time we rebooted. It not only ruins the enjoyable pace of the game, but also the fun. Fortunately, these moments are rare.

Your companions, such as Hugo and the young alchemist Lucas, are also an important part of Requiem. Each ally has its own specialty that matches one of three playing styles, allowing you to explore all possibilities naturally. Hugo is no longer the helpless babysitter, but makes himself useful by sending the rats directly at his enemies. In addition, the new additions to the cast are interesting, outspoken characters with enough depth. They contribute not only during confrontations, but also as the much-needed emotional support for Amicia and Hugo.

Like its predecessor, A Plague Tale: Requiem is a two-faced game. There are peaceful moments, such as when you pet a goat with Hugo for the first time, play fairground games or simply admire the sunny Provençal countryside. These hopeful moments are full of wonder, but are always temporary. As long as the Macula is still running through Hugo’s blood, it’s only a matter of time before the rats spit through the paving stones and devour all the life around them. Then A Plague Tale shows its other, repulsive side.

Whether it’s a bustling market or the pulsating heart of a rat’s nest, the sublime graphics and ditto soundtrack always come together to create an atmospheric whole. The even light of A Plague Tale: Innocence gives way to more dramatic lighting, while Unreal Engine 5 does a great job of realistic rock formations and dense forests. Olivier Derivière completes the overall picture with a chilling soundtrack full of atmospheric violin playing that is sometimes so intense that you feel the strings into your bones.

Once they show up, the rats are another not to be underestimated hurricane of pitch-black violence that spreads death and destruction everywhere it goes. Thanks to the power of the current generation of consoles, they are even more impressive, appearing in the tens of thousands at the same time. Like a deadly tsunami, they engulf settlements, leaving behind only bones, rubble and gnawed bodies. They pose the most serious threat in the game, as every touch has a deadly effect. You are only safe in the light, where the rodents cannot reach.

Confrontations with soldiers are therefore interspersed with more puzzle-like pieces in which you have to fight your way between swarms of rats without being eaten. Sometimes you have to take both into account at the same time. It’s not a bad idea then to use the rats to your advantage, although the moaning of soldiers being eaten alive doesn’t quickly leave your memory, or Amicia’s. Needless killing often also results in disapproving comments from your companions. Amicia’s innocence, however, is long lost.

A Plague Tale: Requiem is not a pleasant game in its darkest moments. Asobo does not shy away from presenting you the most sinister scenes. Each time, Amicia and Hugo’s hopes for a peaceful life are painfully taken away. Amicia’s anger at the world is infectious, her despair understandable. You want to hurt the world again and at the same time a question of conscience is gnawing at your head. Is saving Hugo’s life worth the death of thousands of innocents? Morality is an important theme to explore, but the game eventually struggles to find a satisfying answer. Still, we can appreciate the bold choices that have been made and we are very curious what the future of A Plague Tale looks like next. If Asobo Studio keeps up with this level, things can be nothing but rosy.

A Plague Tale: Requiem will be available October 18 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, PC, and Nintendo Switch (Cloud version). For this review, the game was played on PlayStation 5.



+ Beautiful soundtrack
+ Strong story and characters
+ More choice
+ Stunning graphics and environments

– Unreliable checkpoint system

Game Guide | A Plague Tale: Requiem

Achievement / Trophy guide

– Estimated achievement difficulty:  3/10
– Offline: 36 (1trophy, 4trophy, 9trophy, 22trophy)
– Online: 0
– Approximate amount of time to 1000 / Platinum: 20-25 Hours
– Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 2 (one on Narrative difficulty, one New Game+ to max out remaining Skills)
– Missable achievements  : 3 Sneaky trophy, Fighter trophy, Malignant trophy– maxing out all Skills (Prudence / Aggressive / Opportunism) is semi-missable. The Skills are increased by playing a certain way and doing certain actions in enemy encounters (be stealthy / kill enemies in combat / use alchemy for chain reactions). The Skill Progress carries over into 2nd playthrough New Game+ but there is no 3rd playthrough New Game++. So if you finish New Game+ but didn’t max out a Skill you would have to replay parts of the game via Chapter Select (it resets your progress to what you had at the start of the Chapter and you must replay everything from there). This is explained in Roadmap Step 2, no need to worry about Skills on the 1st Playthrough, they will all increase a bit automatically without trying, then in 2nd playthrough you adjust your playstyle until you finished one skill, then readjust your playstyle to max out the next skill.
– Does difficulty affect achievements: No, can do everything on Narrative difficulty (Easy)
– Unobtainable/glitched achievements : No
– Level Select after Story?: Yes, there is Chapter Select after the story. Everything can be replayed via Chapter Select. Everything carries over into New Game+ (Collectibles, Skills, Upgrades, anything related to trophies). You can get all Collectibles via Chapter Select, none of them are missable.
– Extra equipment needed: No

Step 1: Play through Story on Narrative (Easy) Difficulty, Get All Collectibles

For the first step simply complete the Story while getting all Collectibles: 21 Souvenirs, 12 Hugo’s Herbaria (called 5 Flowers and 7 Feathers in trophy list), 10 Secret Chests, 24 Tool Chests for the upgrade-related trophies, 16 Old Protector’s Items. It’s highly advised to play on Narrative difficulty (Easy) because it spawns more Knives, needed to open the 10 ‘Secret Chest’ Collectibles. At higher difficulties you may find yourself locked out of some Collectibles due to not having enough Knives. New Game+ also spawns fewer Knives which is why it’s better to do Collectibles on the first playthrough.

Here is a great guide for obtaining all collectibles in your first run.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • [IMPORTANT] DON’T use Knives against enemies! Knives are one-use only and instantly break if used to kill an enemy. This would leave you unable to open the 10 Secret Chest Collectibles, they require 1 Knife each. Sometimes you automatically use a Knife to defend from a killing blow, if this happens restart checkpoint/section immediately. If unsure, check the :r1: Item Wheel (bottom right corner) whether you still have a Knife or not. Try to always keep 1 Knife for the next Secret Chest Collectible! The Knives are included in the Collectible Guide & Walkthrough. If you reach a Secret Chest but don’t have a Knife, you must use Chapter Select to replay everything from the last Knife location onward.

Anything you miss can be gotten via Chapter Select. Keep in mind that Chapter Select only tracks Souvenirs and Hugo’s Herbarium (called “Flowers” and “Feathers” in the trophies but “Herbarium” in-game). The following are NOT tracked in Chapter Select: Secret Chests, Knives, and Tools.

General Note about Progression Bugs: Sometimes there can be game-breaking progression bugs such as not being able to interact with a mandatory story item. If the game seems bugged, you can double-check in the Walkthrough how it’s supposed to work. If it is indeed a bug, replaying the Sub-Chapter via Chapter Select almost always fixes it. You don’t need to replay the entire Chapter, only the Sub-Chapter.

Step 2: New Game+ Playthrough to finish All Skills, focusing primarily on “Opportunism” Skill from the Start

The only trophies you will have left after the 1st playthrough are for maxing out Skills. It’s impossible to max out all 3 skills in one playthrough. That’s why a second playthrough in New Game+ is necessary.

To start New Game+ go to Title Screen > press :circle: to see Saves > press :triangle: on completed story save to start New Game+. It won’t overwrite your old save. It creates a new save slot, you can still go back to your old save to use Chapter Select if needed.


Earn all “A Plague Tale: Requiem” trophies

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