The Plague Tale Requiem rats have a bit more bite than their Innocence predecessors, injecting the now-iconic rat game with even more fur, fleas, and fear. Since the plagued rodents were already scary enough in the first game, how did Asobo go about making them even scarier? Lead level designer Kevin Pinson reveals all.
Following the success of Plague Tale: Innocence, Asobo Studio has decided to add another chapter to the sad story of Amicia and Hugo in the form of Requiem. Set several months after the events that plunged the brothers into darkness and despair, they’ve learned a few new tricks in Requiem, especially Hugo. During my game at Gamescom 2022, I learned that the five-year-old has perfected the ability to communicate with rats, bending their terrible power to his will.
Having gone from enemies to allies, the rats in Plague Tale Requiem are very different from their predecessors. Pinson sat down with me to discuss why.
“We wanted to expand on what we had in the first game,” says Pinson. “We wanted to give Hugo this ability as it’s just a natural continuation for him. The events of Innocence have taken their toll on him and he has more control over his powers.
“This does not mean that he is in complete control,” however. “Requiem is really about this feeling of Hugo trying to get control of him and sometimes losing him in the process. It’s really this balance of Amicia and Hugo trying to find the best ways to help each other.”
The rats themselves have also grown, as Pinson reveals: “Building on the foundation of how you control the rats in the first game was a big challenge for us because we really liked the mechanics. We feel that we did not reach the end; this time, I think we did.
“We asked ‘how can we make rats the most threatening thing in the Plague Tale universe?’ The game systems make them more aggressive: they can follow you, they can climb, they can fall. We went from having 5,000 rats on screen to 30,000, so, much of rats As for large sequences like the tsunami, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and now we have the technology to do it.”
Having played Requiem and discovered the power of said rodents, the control mechanic is really, Really Sinister. Vicious screeches and screeches override background noise and echo through your headphones, alley rats fall off the pile and hit the camera, and you see the horror in your poor victims’ eyes when they realize they’re about to be devoured (which part is in the third person, thankfully).
You can also use Hugo’s affinity with creatures to search for enemies using his vibration senses. This perfectly complements the stealth mechanic that the game champions and provides further insight into Hugo’s connection to rodents. In Requiem, the rats are your friends, up to a point, but we wouldn’t want to test that relationship.
the Plague Tale: Requiem release date is set for October 18, just in time for spooky season. If you’re desperate to re-immerse yourself in the plague-infested world of 14th-century southern France, you can add the game to your Steam wishlist or pre-purchase it. In the meantime, though, check out our list of the best RPGs on PC to keep you busy.