Asobo’s forthcoming sequel to 2019’s A Plague Tale: Innocence makes us grateful we can’t smell videogames. Exploring a place known simply as ‘the butcher’s district’, returning protagonist Amicia de Rune and her younger brother Hugo are forced to escape their pursuers while wading through a pit of blood, offal and goodness knows what else. As Kevin Choteau, the game’s director, puts it, “We always try to choose a place for its beauty, its uniqueness, then we add a layer of narration that will bring this very crude and sometimes horrific aspect.”
In Edge 374’s cover story, we discover more of these stark contrasts: this is a world with plenty of picture-postcard views – the De Runes’ latest journey takes them through the beautiful south-east of France, moving into Provence and eventually across the Mediterranean – but something ugly is always bubbling beneath the surface.
Occasionally, it breaks forth, usually in the form of those swarms of rats we saw in the original. As before, Hugo is somehow connected to these rodents via the macula curse, which has evolved, affording both Hugo and the rats more abilities. “[They] are now able to climb and are much more efficient at catching their prey,” Choteau says, while at certain points, you can guide them directly, viewing the action from a firstperson rat’s-eye view as the swarm chews through anything in its path.
Leaving prior-gen consoles behind has allowed Asobo to make Requiem prettier /and/ uglier: sometimes you’ll relish the views, sometimes you’ll be repulsed. It’s probably the grisliest game on PlayStation hardware since The Last Of Us Part II; indeed, it shares some DNA with Naughty Dog’s sequel, not least with Amicia’s loss of innocence in the first game making her much quicker to violence, as with Ellie.
This expansive sequel heads up our preview special, where we pick out a selection of 100 of the best, biggest and weirdest games from the various summer showcases – highlighting the ones we believe warrant a closer look. Taking care to include a healthy range of genres, looks and development resources, we cover everything from Birth to Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. And in E374’s Knowledge section, we outline the conclusions that can be drawn from the industry’s summer festivities.
Elsewhere, we examine the complex subject of videogames’ impact on players’ mental health, talking to game makers and experts to get to the bottom of the question: are videogames good for you? We trace Draknek & Friends’ journey to becoming a byword for puzzling excellence, examine how Eidos Montreal beat the MCU at its own game in The Making Of… Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, and revisit Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, to examine its portrayal of psychosis through the institution of a Greek chorus. With reviews of Neon White, Diablo Immortal, The Quarry and the delightful Poinpy, it’s a typically packed issue, and it’s on sale now.
You can pick up Edge 374 as a single issue in newsagents and via MagazinesDirect.