A Plague Tale: Innocence trailer unleashes ravenous rats

“[It] will almost certainly be That One Game With The Brilliant Rats,” our Adam declared after seeing a bit of A Plague Tale: Innocence [official site] earlier this year. It’s a stealth game set in France in 1349, when the Black Death is in full swing and swarms of rats are feasting on corpses. Two kiddywinkles are our stealth heroes, trying to dodge both the ravenous horde and the Inquisition, using light to protect themselves from the rats and taking light from their foes to feed ’em to the squeakers. Nasty. Now we can see those rats for ourselves, as the game’s first trailer has arrived out of E3:

As Adam explained:

“Rats don’t like the light, so the darkness is often a sea of teeth and eyes. Portable light sources keep them at bay, but are hard to come by, so you’ll need to stick to what light there is in the environments, while destroying the lanterns and torches that the inquisitors carry. When you do, they’re soon covered in rats, screaming and devoured. Grim.”

He wasn’t sure if the demo slice he saw is actually in the game but he did admire those rats:

“At one point, rats pour through a church’s windows like streams of oil, flooding the floor and lapping against the flicker of torchlight that protects the protagonists. They’re fluid, like a particle system with teeth and claws, and the way that they writhe and surge adds an element of horror to what might be fairly conventional environmental light-based puzzles.”


A Plague Tale: Innocence is made by Aosobo Studio, who are best known for open-world racer Fuel. Publishers Focus Home Interactive haven’t announced a release date, or even a release window, yet.


  1. allthingslive says:

    Yessss. I love this creepy kind of shit that seems to be a new trend in gaming. Dark Souls, The Darkest Dungeon, Agony, Scorn… this Lovecraftian, medieval, demonic, and grotesque sort of imagery is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I want games that push the boundaries of experience, war games or farming simulators are cool but I really want something that I can’t get out of real life, or even conceive of. Actual game mechanics are ever-important of course, but telling a cool story is always what I’ll come back to gaming for.

    Bioshock and Fallout 3 are ones that aren’t in this vein per se but stand out to me personally as amazing experiences I’ll always remember…. I’m a bit of a youngster, Bioshock was my first introduction to some kind of historical politics and structured philosophy, combined with the environment and references to American culture, it is a timeless classic in my opinion. And then Fallout 3 gets on the list for simply being my first introduction to the concept of the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic life. Combined with the, similar to Bioshock, cool American cultural references that were before my time but somehow still nostalgic to me…. and WW2/Cold War references, it was such a great world that was created. Just the Duck and Cover themed trailers for when the game was still being teased blew my mind.

    This seems irrelevant to the post, but I say all this to describe the feeling I’m really hoping to get out of one of these new-breed of “demonic-nihilism” game. Demonic Nihilism is the best name I have for this theme. Dark Souls came real close.

    • Meatpopsicle says:

      If you haven’t already try system shock 2, I recommend it due to your mention of bioshock. Great atmosphere and tension. I can’t comment on the first one though.

      The Witcher 3 has it’s fair share of creepy dark moments, as well.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Great recommendation, based on the above poster’s tastes… though I *can* comment on the first one, and I will: in spite of its primitive graphics, its villain and awesome environmental design still feel as modern, and wretchedly alien, as anything we’ve got today. If you can get past the graphics, you’ve basically got Prey but with a far, far creepier (and indeed, more “demonically nihilistic”) antagonist.

        Def worth a look, if you havent already.

        • Premium User Badge

          ooshp says:

          And with the dosbox keymapper you can actually create a fairly intuitive control scheme for the lean/crouch/peek system.

  2. Someoldguy says:

    How can this be? Planescape: Torment has already been “That One Game With The Brilliant Rats.” So brilliant, they’ll fry you with mage spells if you let them congregate in sufficiently large numbers.

  3. Emeraude says:

    In a way, makes me think of what Dishonored could have been.


  4. April March says:

    Holy fucking shit, that thing’s more grim than a flood of rats. I like it.

  5. kud13 says:

    If a game is set in France, why does everyone have a British accent?

    It’s unnerving

    Oh, and the rats are pretty impressive, too

    • Sian says:

      I can only speak for myself, but if everyone had a French accent, I couldn’t get into the horror of it all. And before you ask: Everyone speaking French wouldn’t be that great either.

      Edit: Actually, since it’s France in the 14th century, realism is simply unachievable without no one being able to understand a thing. That was when Old French transitioned into Middle French, after all.

      • Angstsmurf says:

        There’s this thing called subtitles. It’s actually a great way to endure standard-quality game voice acting: switch to a language you don’t understand and turn on subtitles.

        • poliovaccine says:

          That… is a brilliant idea. Holy balls, thanks for that! Bad voice acting isnt good for my TMJ…

        • Sian says:

          Oh, I know about subtitles. I write them for a living. They don’t help immersion if the English voice acting is good, though.

    • Smion says:

      Since they’re presumably actually french people talking french (or whatever nutsy medieval version of it) in the world of the game, it makes sense for them not to have a foreign accent in the english dub.

  6. brucethemoose says:

    Fear of the dark.

    Fear of scurrying, insect-like swarms.

    Fear of getting eaten.

    That’s alot of primal fears rolled into one mechanic. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with exploiting hardwired biology… It’s quite effective.

  7. Suits says:

    dishonored rats turned up to eleven

  8. Jerkzilla says:

    Man, I don’t want to be a downer or anything, ‘specially since the idea is novel, but I feel like it won’t really hang on to the horror element for more than an hour. Because they’re just rats, nothing really unknown, it’ll be scary the first couple of times, but then what little mystery there was will be gone what d’you have? A lamp-based, third person platformer in an unusual setting?

    Unless they’re holding back and there’s actually something weird about the rats, which I guess could well be the case, given how they act in that trailer. If this is the case, I could definitely see how this could turn out brilliant.

  9. Kelvin says:

    “The Strasbourg massacre occurred on February 14, 1349, when several hundred Jews were publicly burnt to death, and the rest of them expelled from the city as part of the Black Death persecutions.[1] It was one of the first and worst pogroms in pre-modern history.”

    From wikipedia.

    Same year as the game setting, same country, so I’m guessing our pint-sized protagonists are from a Jewish family. Inquisitor isn’t really the proper title for the Jew-hunters but it’s one people have been programmed to associate with the archetype.

  10. MrBehemoth says:

    I love rats, but I don’t like the Tales.