Asobo Studio once made its name from its knack for developing Disney Pixar game adaptations. Three years ago, this small French development team evolved and rose to greater heights with its hit release, A Plague Tale: Innocence.
After gaining a passionate community of fans with this cinematic action-adventure experience, Asobo Studio is venturing out to evolve its breakout series with a sequel. A Plague Tale: Requiem aims to overcome and surpass the limitations of the original. The key behind this evolution is the push toward being able to play Requiem the way you choose.
In anticipation of the sequel’s PS5 release on October 18, we spoke with its director, Kevin Choteau, about the direction of the title, its development, new gameplay philosophies, and a lot more.
PlayStation Blog: What did you and the rest of Asobo want to accomplish with this sequel to the original Plague Tale?
Kevin Choteau: Everything, honestly. The first thing that comes to mind is our work on the first game. We had no experience at all in this genre of game. We’re not known for these kinds of cinematic experiences. So we started with the action-adventure on Innocence and did so as noobs, not knowing what we were doing.
When we started Requiem, the idea was to take everything we failed with or did wrong in the first one and try to tackle them. We’ve read all the feedback from the players and critics and tried to do something about it. So the first and biggest thing is the gameplay. Innocence was quite narrow, with only one way to approach a situation, and we wanted to address that. We’ve created much wider open areas where you can play as you want. It was the key by the law of the level design. Now you can play Plague Tale any way you choose.
How do you ensure that the player still has a streamlined journey where they can recognize objectives, assets, and everything else while keeping their options open?
There are two things for me regarding that. The first one is the point of view. When you arrive in a situation, you often arrive above the situation or with a clear point of view so you can understand how they are shaped and where you can go. What tasks you can choose, if you want to go this way or this way, or go through a behind this cart, etc.
The second thing is the systemic approach of the gameplay. We set up some rules, and those rules are always true. So when you learn that, you can use it in any situation. For example, as in the first game, if you see a metallic object, you can use it to distract enemies. In Requiem, there’s also a greenish tar that you can use against enemies. Those things and opportunities attract the player and say, “Y