Sometimes a demo for a game can catch our interest, while simultaneously giving us concerns for the larger full product in development.
Last week, at a Focus Home Interactive press event in Paris, LPVG got a hands off look at gameplay for A Plague Tale – Innocence. It looks interesting for sure, but we were left with some lingering questions regarding how much room there was for growth in the core mechanics.
Here’s the core concept. You play a teenage girl from a well-off family whose parents suddenly vanish in a plagued, rat-ridden city. Your aim is to keep your little brother safe, while simultaneously searching for safety and your parents. The streets are filled with rats that will just as soon devour you alive as infect you with the plague, and the only refuge you have from the swarms are fire-lit torches and the radius of light they emit.
The short demo we were shown involved killing soldiers by making them drop their torches and get devoured by rats, as well as puzzles regarding moving flames into place to scatter swarms in order to progress. It’s unclear, however, how the game’s mechanics are likely to extend in the full game beyond moving fire or making guards drop the flames keeping them safe.
There are some odd narrative contradictions present as well. The developers of the game insisted that your female protagonist will only use non-lethal weapons because she has a problem with the idea of killing people. She will, however, make a man drop their torch, knowing full well this will trigger his gruesome death. The contrast between avoiding fatal weapons while indirectly causing countless deaths feels a little weird.
The demo for A Plague Tale – Innocence was beautifully presented and well acted, but I’ll be waiting until I have a better idea of where the mechanics go from here before I get too excited about the final product.
[Disclosure – LPVG’s hotel and travel costs were covered while attending the above press event. This included travel from London to Paris and one night in a Paris hotel].