A Plague Tale took me about a month longer to finish than I had originally anticipated, but that was partly due to arriving at a point in the game where I wasn’t quite as interested in it any longer — but I was too close to the end to give up. You know that point? You crave the satisfaction of completion, so you press on, a bit at a time.
Not to say that A Plague Tale was a bad game. It was, in many respects, a very good game, although one that saw its novel premise wear off about midway through. Probably the strongest thing going for this game is chucking the player right into the middle of a fantasized version of the Black Plague. The setting is very strong, especially in the beginning when I was stumbling through a plague- and war-torn locale. But after a while there was the sense that the game designers didn’t quite know what to do with it, and as such, everything got toned down and reduced to “bad inquisitor guy wants to control rats for some reason” as a main plot.
Yeah, even the plot wasn’t the greatest at the end. I don’t even know what it was trying to do or say other than the obvious black vs. white (literally — there are black vs. white rats) scenario. The brother/sister relationship was explored a small bit, but after a while that kind of faded away as well. So all that left me with was the stealth and puzzle solving mechanics, which were fairly well-tuned. I don’t think that there was any one section that really gave me trouble or more than a few reloads other than the final boss fight.
Man, I don’t know WHAT was up with that final fight, but it took me over an hour of constant reloads to beat. It wasn’t that difficult to understand, it was that in a game where one little mistake means game over, I had to perform a flawless final battle without a single misstep. And I misstep a lot.
Points in the game’s favor? Good bits of storytelling with the dialogue of the various NPCs. The stealth/escorting wasn’t that annoying. Making hordes of rats eat bad guys is surprisingly satisfying. Occasionally it could be very nerve-wracking and even scary. There were often multiple ways through puzzles even up to the end. And the friendly NPC party that gradually assembles around the main characters are well-written and easy to like.
Points against, other than what I mentioned? The mom remains this weird, secluded character who never explains exactly why she kept her son so isolated for so long. Sometimes the game got far gorier than it really needed to be. I got desensitized to hordes of swarming rats about 40% of the way through. And they killed the game’s most likable character, although I won’t say who (they also killed Sean Bean, although that’s kind of his thing).
Anyway, I’m glad I pressed through to the end, and that means that I might move on to a different non-MMO. I have a few in mind, although I’m going to take a couple of days to mull it over.