Asobo Studio and Focus Home Interactive have just released another part in the ongoing video documentary series on the upcoming grim adventure title, A Plague Tale: Innocence.
In this newest segment, we’re going all in on rats. I promise it’s in a good way though, don’t freak out. OK, if you hate rats, you can freak out a little. We’ve already seen the characters, setting and architecture of this brilliant and dark game, now it’s time to see what one of the primary threats actually plays like.
Historically, rats were treated very differently than they are today, even to the degree that they were used as impromptu hand warmers by some people. This ignorance and recklessness is what helped the plague become so virulent. And though you’ll see some callbacks in-gam to this kind of historical knowledge, there’s definitely a much more terrifying element to the game because A Plague Tale: Innocence brings the rat swarms out of their hiding holes in huge groups when the situation calls for it though.
These rat swarms are a huge threat to anyone and anything. They can descend in an instant and devour animals whole. This gruesome gameplay element is often vital to your survival as well, as they can sometimes act as a crucial puzzle-solving tool when dealing with other problems, like the dangerous Inquisition.
Part of how the developers achieve the menacing rat design comes down to simple choices in color palette as well as lighting and shadows. Art director Oliver Ponsonnet tells the viewer how the studio made careful design choices with colors and lighting to make sure the rats never quite fade into the background. “We changed the fog, which cuts out the rats’ shapes. When you spot an animal in the darkness with a torch, its eyes glow…we brought this effort to the rats’ eyes to make them more visible in the dark”.
A Plague Tale: Innocence takes place in 1300s during the infamous Black Plague. This era of history is a bit of mystery to many people. Tons of historical inaccuracies and misconceptions exist about the period, and unsurprisingly, most video games tend to shy away from graphic depictions of the squalor, death and despair the period was rife with. Asobo wants to change that, this is why the authenticity of the narrative is so important. Historical knowledge is important kids, even when it’s gross and uncomfortable.
Check out the latest video documentary about A Plague Tale: Innocence down below. The game is slated for launch for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on May 14. There were of course a couple other episodes of this series before this recent flea-bitten one. There’s a video about the setting and the grim reality of the Black Death. There was also another video about the bond between brother and sister and how that transcends the strife of the setting. All things considered, this game looks surprisingly dark, yet strangely fun.