Asobo Studios, the developer behind A Plague Tale: Innocence, took to Reddit for an AMA this morning. The team responded to questions from eager fans about many aspects of the game, from playtime to what games and locations inspired their work. It seems like a fairly substantial adventure with options to make things look even more detailed than you might expect.
One question that people may have had about the game is how long a playthrough may last. Aurélie Belzanne, Asobo’s Communications Manager, jumped in to let everyone know that the developers think it would take people between 12 and 15 hours to complete the main story. Along with that, the team explained that the game is focused on its story, and as such there are no side quests and only a single ending.
Kevin Choteau, A Plague Tale: Innocence‘s Game Director, explained,
There’s no open world or side quests, but there is a bit of exploration (side paths and hidden things to find) our goal was to focus on the story and not wander into unnecessary things.
There will be three different types of collectibles that can be found in the game. These are designed to help people feel the relationship grow between the sister and brother, Amicia and Hugo, as well as the people they meet. They will also give some historical context about the game’s setting.
A few technical details about the game were given as well. Choteau let people that the game will ship with “enhanced resolution and HDR support” for consoles/platforms that support it. The game was also built on an engine used in-house by Asobo, foregoing the use of Unity or Unreal. The team also noted that the development of the game took 45 people over two and a half years to complete. It also appears that no DLC is planned as of yet, minus the few that were created as preorder bonuses.
As for the inspirations of the game, Asobo cited Ico, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and Naughty Dog games from the last few years as the main sources of inspiration for the game. In the words of A Plague Tale: Innocence‘s Narrative Director, Sébastien Renard,
We wanted to make an intimate game about the relationship between two young characters, and Brothers; A Tale of Two Sons was too much of a little gem to ignore it. Another game like Ico managed to build a lot of emotion around this, using gameplay. The way Amicia and Hugo hold hands partly comes from this.
A Plague Tale: Innocence takes place in 14th century France, and the team took a lot of time to research that era to make the game feel authentic. The team is also fortunate enough to be based in Bordeaux, France, so finding places to research was simple. Asobo spent a lot of time reading through old historical books about the period, as well as drawing inspiration from paintings from the 14th century. These painting actually helped influence the overall art direction of the game. Sébastien explained that the team “used diverse references such as Rembrandt, le Lorrain, Vermeer, to try and make the game look like a painting… a dark and beautiful one.”
It would not be an AMA without a little bit of goofing around. Asobo Studios responded to a variety of inquiries such as if the Disney film Ratatouille was the inspiration for all of the rats in the game. Choteau let the readers know that “there are rats in all of [Asobo Studio’s] games, so it was fate.” There were also questions about the team’s preference between pirates and ninjas, and even a marriage proposal. (Might I recommend a fusion between the two and suggest a pirate/ninja themed wedding?)
In addition, a new launch trailer has been released.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait long, as A Plague Tale: Innocence launches on May 14, 2019. Anyone interested in picking up the game can pre-download the title today, so that the game can be played as soon as the game unlocks. Be sure to read through our very own Joseph Yaden’s interview with Asobo Studio about development and the work that comes with it. PlayStation LifeStyle will have a review for the game up in the very near future, so be sure to keep your eyes out for that!
[Source: Asobo AMA via Reddit]