Looking Back at A Plague Tale: Innocence

When I first heard about A Plague Tale: Innocence a few years ago, it didn’t catch my attention. If a game gets the “survival horror” keyword, I’m usually skeptical because they almost never live up to the claim. But thanks to the years of solid buzz and an intriguing sequel coming soon, I just had to finally give it a try. And while it’s definitely not a “survival horror” game, iI still I wish I played it a lot sooner.

Amica walking and talking to her father in the opening scene of A Plague Tale: Innocence

Horror in the most basic of concepts

To call A Plague Tale: Innocence a “horror” game in any context is severely misleading. Yes, there are some frightening moments, but this isn’t the hack-and-slash, gore-fest you’d probably think of. Sure, there are some “scary” moments aren’t, but they aren’t the driver here. Instead, you’re propelled further by its interesting story.

You play as Amicia, a teenage noblewoman, who lives a relatively peaceful life until French Inquisition troops invade her family’s estate, looking specifically for her mother and younger brother, Hugo. Hugo is the key to the story. He’s a young boy who’s been ill since birth, but he holds some value to those who seek him out. The game quickly puts Hugo and Amicia into a run for their lives where they must do everything in their power to seek refuge, figure out why Hugo is so important, and how to keep him from getting worse.

All this is happening during the infamous black plague, which haunts many French villages. As the disease is spread by rats, they end up playing a pivotal part in the story. So, while the siblings are worrying about staying safe and out of sight, they must also avoid the rats.

Amicia and Hugo holding a torch with rats swarming around them

Fear of rats

That’s where the horror aspect