This adventure takes one of the darkest chapters in history, tosses in supernatural twists, and adds young unlikely heroes, resulting in a gripping tale from start to finish. A Plague Tale: Innocence is set during a turbulent time in history, when war and disease threaten to wipe out much of Europe. But instead of a warrior or a medic on the front lines, Innocence casts you as a young teenage girl who has to take care of her ill little brother. Amicia isn't a fighter; her only weapon is a sling that she uses in self-defense or to knock objects down. But if she gets hit once, she's dead, so players quickly learn to rely on stealth and distraction to move soldiers away from entrances or pathways, or attract hazards to take out opponents, especially because the slightest misstep or noise from hiding spots or shadows could lead to death. But you can't simply stay in the dark. A Plague Tale forces you into the light by wielding torches, fires, or other light sources to stave off the swarming rats, who will try to sneak in and devour you every chance they get. It's this tension between the light and the dark, of avoiding human threats and fending off animal ones, that creates incredibly gripping tension from start to finish.
There are still some rough edges that keep A Plague Tale from being perfect. While the game has the illusion of choice, it can be strikingly linear. Towns and levels tend to tease additional pathways you can take, but they frequently direct you toward a specific location. Similarly, while Amicia can enhance her gear in any way players want (as long as they have the components), there's clearly a specific path of upgrades you need to take to be the most effective in each level. Choosing incorrectly can make a challenging level even harder than it needs to be, especially in the few moments when you need to protect yourself with your sling against many incoming enemies. Speaking of your sling, there are moments when you need to aim accurately within a matter of seconds, but Amicia can take a bit longer to lock onto her target. Once you get accustomed to her lag in aim, you can adjust to these situations, but it can be frustrating if you miss your throws and are forced to restart a level multiple times. These minor problems aside, A Plague Tale: Innocence is an incredible story that fans of stealth adventure games will really enjoy.