A Plague Tale: Requiem is shaping up to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor A Plague Tale: Innocence as one of the best rat games around. The sequel to Asobo Studio’s intense brother-and-sister tale is set for an October release date and introduces the ability to commune with the swarming rat hordes that made the first game so dramatic and intimidating. However, lead level designer Kevin Pinson says that the sequel’s existence was far from a sure thing after the completion of Innocence.
“It was not a given,” Pinson says to PCGamesN during our meeting at Gamescom. “First, we know we’re a small team, since we were forty people – so we put all our hearts into [A Plague Tale] Innocence, and we did everything we wanted to do with the game. And so seeing the reception to the game was phenomenal for us – we have read everything: every article, all the feedback.”
Despite the critical success of Innocence, a sequel wasn’t immediately on the cards. “When we saw the reception, we thought about what we wanted to do next – it was not a given it was going to be a sequel,” Pinson explains. “We are narratively driven, so we thought about the story first. It made sense with the story to bring back Hugo and Amicia and follow their journey, and so that’s how we started. It’s basically the reception to the game that made us think about the next thing.”
Similarly, the team doesn’t currently have plans for what comes next. The sequel’s subtitle, Requiem – a mass traditionally held in remembrance for the dead – certainly gives an impression of finality, but Pinson says the team isn’t thinking about the future yet. “To be completely transparent, we have no idea. We’ll see how the game is received this month. Like I said for the first one, we waited to see the feedback to see what’s going on. We have nothing planned, that’s for sure.”
Pinson also addresses the Requiem subtitle, saying that it’s also partly a nod to the game’s soundtrack and its lead composer. “The music is a huge part of A Plague Tale. We have the chance to work with one of the best composers, Olivier Deriviere, he’s a close friend. And so it’s a bit of a homage also to the work he is putting into the game and how it affects what we are doing.”
Additional reporting by Lauren Bergin.