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Good news everyone! One of my favourite games ever is going to be given away for free on the Epic Games Store for a limited time next month - and it isn't for the faint of heart.
In the early noughties, Asobo Studio was well known for its portfolio of licensed games like Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Toy Story 3. Then, in 2016, it developed ReCore, an action-adventure set in the future where humanity has left Earth after it became uninhabitable, leaving its fate in the hands of robots who would have terraformed their new home before the colonists arrived. This didn't receive fantastic reviews though and Asobo Studio released the remaster of Disneyland Adventures and Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection before blessing us with the majesty that is A Plague Tale: Innocence.
I cannot stress this enough. A Plague Tale: Innocence is as far from the cutesy colours and sanitised story of licensed games as is possible. Set in the 14th century in southwestern France, Amicia and her little brother Hugo de Rune flee their home following a gruesome tragedy that claims both of their parents' lives. As they enter a nearby village, they find that hordes of rats have been swarming over human settlements to spread the bubonic plague and consume everything in their path. I am not afraid of rats - I think they're intelligent animals. But these rats. They are terrifying.
Announced in E3 2021, check out the trailer for A Plague Tale: Requiem which shows these droves of rats at the height of their power. Yikes.
The atmosphere of A Plague Tale: Innocence is oppressive, horrifying yet beautiful as Amicia seeks a cure to alleviate Hugo's symptoms of a condition he's had since his birth. At this point in history, the Kingdom of France was fighting the invasions of the Kingdom of England, so the player will walk through battlefields littered with bodies, where the trees and meadows have been destroyed by siege equipment and sticky flammable tar.
Amicia and Hugo are just children, too, and are only one set of the countless orphans who escaped the Black Death while sustaining a heavy cost. While exploring the villages, the fear of infection is tangible and the aggression that the inhabitants have towards Hugo's condition has your heart in your mouth at times. As well as A Plague Tale: Innocence, Epic Games Store is also offering the bright and toony Speed Brawl from developer Double Stallion Games. Quite the contrast between the stealth-survival horror and the combat-racer, but you can't say it isn't catering to the masses. Both titles will be free to bag from August 5th to August 12th.
This update also acts as a reminder to claim Mothergunship and Train Sim World 2 through the Epic Games Store before the two new games take their place. These will be available until August 5th, so write a note to yourself or something.
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