Blending fantasy with the Black Death, A Plague: Tale Innocence succeeds in telling the heartfelt survival story of two orphans, Amicia and Hugo. The dynamic between the siblings shines against a grim backdrop riddled with corpses, Inquisition soldiers out for blood, and thousands of Bubonic Plague-carrying rats. A Plague Tale does an admirable job of making its young protagonists appropriately vulnerable to the surrounding dangers as you move through them from a third-person perspective, but the stealth gameplay and puzzles rarely feel imaginative. As a result, the stakes of this seemingly perilous world are undercut.
The siblings had never had much of a relationship growing up as mid-14th-century French nobles, but when Amicia is suddenly forced into the role of young Hugo’s protector, they quickly need to learn to trust one another. This theme drives the story in interesting directions and is also smartly reflected through the gameplay. The majority of the 17 linear chapters see you controlling Amicia, with Hugo holding onto your hand by default. You can let go to move quicker, but if you leave him for too long he will scream and attract the attention of soldiers. Besides a few puzzles, I very rarely felt the need to let go.