Why A Plague Tale 3 Shouldn’t Take The Modern-Era Approach

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Story Highlights

  • A job listing of Asobo Studio hints towards a possible next entry to A Plague Tale.
  • A Plague Tale games have created a remarkable world filled with a heartwarming plot, impactful characters, and a setting faithful to the core concept.
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem set up the possibility of a modern-era sequel, which could hold considerable problems to justify a rat plague.
  • Fans have grown to adore the world this series has created, and rather than a new setting, it would be better to meaningfully conclude these characters’ stories.

A Plague Tale: Innocence indeed came as a surprise since it was a new IP from a seldom-known developer Asobo Studio. As such, no one had the slightest idea it would be an excellent adventure combining unique elements. The game became an immediate success and quickly received a sequel announcement too, which was overwhelmingly received.

A Plague Tale: Requiem took the brilliant world and improved upon it, making the setting more meaningful and impactful. And now, a job listing has fans speculating Asobo Studio is planning A Plague Tale 3. Regarding its setting, the post-credit scene of Requiem hinted at a possible sequel which gamers have been pondering since then, as it seems like a rather controversial direction.

A Plague Tale Duology Established A Magnificient World

At first, it seemed like a new game with a fascinating concept worth keeping an eye on. After its release, we saw how well the game’s story, characters, gameplay, and medieval setting blended. Set in 14th Century France, the game was a great depiction of the historic Black Plague, using rats to show its spread and influence. The design of the rats and their consistent screeching and grotesque depictions create a remarkable horror feel.

‘A Plague Tale’ has the most realized medieval setting I’ve seen in a game
by u/Representative-Yam65 in patientgamers

Both games are highly underrated gems. They follow Amicia de Rune, a 15-year-old girl who has a sickly 5-year-old brother Hugo. After her house is raided by the French Inquisitors, she learns the truth about the supernatural entity; the Prima Macula, residing in her brother which allows him to control the rats. Many factions seek this despicable ability, and Amicia actively pursues a cure for Hugo while safeguarding him.

The story might seem rather simplistic, but the supporting characters and the highly befitting setting make the experience truly unique. Amicia’s journey is filled with many interesting characters, both who support her in heartfelt moments and those who worship the Macula and try to misuse her brother. Without going into any critical spoilers, the character writing and development are what make the story all the more engaging.

In terms of gameplay and design, the series creates an ingenious mix of multiple different genres. In the first game, Amicia is inexperienced and terrified of the cruel world, which is reflected in the mechanics. You have limited means to attack, like your trusty slingshot. The focus is majorly on using your arsenal and environmental tactics to distract your adversaries and proceed stealthily, which would most likely return in A Plague Tale 3.

Failure to do so will get you killed immediately, which creates a survival horror environment. In addition, the games have a strong focus on puzzle-solving and creative navigation. Rats are highly light-averse and can be manipulated to clear your path. The more experienced Amicia of the sequel has vastly improved mechanics and an expanded arsenal. Once you control Hugo, you also gain the ability to direct them more straightforwardly.

Being Macula's host, Hugo can control the rats to attack enemies
Being Macula’s host, Hugo can control the rats to attack enemies

A Plague Tale has created a unique and beloved world. The Hundred Years’ Wars period of 14th Century France and a time that coincides with the historical events of the plague create a sense of immersion and reinforce the dread. Couple that with a heartwrenching story, a memorable cast of characters, the main sibling duo enduring the merciless reality, and there is not much more you could ask for.

The Problems With A Modern Setting

In the post-credit scene of A Plague Tale: Requiem, we witness some details that can be interpreted as the possible setting for A Plague Tale 3. We see a child on a ventilator in a modern-era hospital evident from the technology like heart-rate monitor sounds in the background. The child has clear signs of bearing the Macula, showing the possibility of the next game being set in the modern era.

Macula makes its way into the future in Requiem's post-credit scene
Macula makes its way into the future in Requiem’s post-credit scene

However, this modern-era approach contains significant problems that would be pretty difficult to mitigate in a way that makes sense. The first issue is how to justify the influence and spreading of a plague in the period. With the advancement of technology, the devastating effects of a plague could be highly minimized. Medical equipment and research make this adversity lose its impact.

Similarly, Macula controls rats which essentially behave like vampires, and it worked best in the dark and gloomy environments of a medieval setting, where they became a dreadful force of nature. Using lights to alter their route was an integral part of navigation and solving puzzles. Thus, with no deficiency of light sources in recent times, these grotesque nightmares of the night would have an awfully hard time even going out.

The rats staying away from light is a major gimmick that can be manipulated
The rats staying away from light is a major gimmick that can be manipulated

For argument’s sake, even if the rats somehow manage to take down the power grid, recent times have devastating weaponry and military strength. Explosives and Artillery could make short work of them. Thus, a modern setting raises many questions. For this predicament, a possible solution would be to adopt a post-apocalyptic setting instead, which could justify the absence of all these above factors. 

This takes us to the next problem, then. The first two games have developed an enormous and remarkable world. The accurate setting, story narration, and character writing, all these factors work together to create a solid foundation and have left us craving for more. It took the span of 2 games to engross us and makes us feel strongly attached to this fictional setting. Thus, an entirely new concept will have to start everything from scratch.

The sense of familiarity and involvement perfected over time will not be retained by a new setting. Bringing new characters and developing them over time will take considerable effort, and still, they’d not feel the same since we’ve known and interacted with the old setting and characters for a longer time. Regardless, it is a strong consensus a modern setting would be difficult to adjust to the core concept.

Thoughts on a Modern day Plague Tale?
by u/SwordfishOk1133 in APlagueTale

A Plague Tale 3 Should Give Closure To Amicia’s Journey

Fans feel, and I agree, that it wouldn’t be a Plague Tale game without Amicia or the characters that could still be explored. Requiem was indeed a splendid sequel. Rather than adopting a wholly different setting, I believe it would be better to give the characters we know and love a meaningful continuation. There are multiple ways by which this task can be accomplished.

Amicia deserves a lot better after all the suffering she has gone through, and her story still holds considerable potential. The same is the case for other impactful characters like Lucas. At the end of the last game, we see a heartbroken Amicia depart on a journey to find and aid the next protector-carrier duo. A Plague Tale 3 can follow this up with Amicia discovering them and safeguarding them from the cruel fate that befell her.

Supporting characters can make a reappearance to aid her or as cameos, as she not only guides the next host but cooperates to suppress the Macula for an extended period. A Plague Tale 3 can give her story a meaningful closure, leaving us satisfied. There is also another fascinating direction the sequel can take. Since it is already a supernatural story, a time-bending twist where two eras interact creates an exceptional premise.

A Plague Tale 3 should be split between past and future
by u/Necessary-Station251 in APlagueTale

We see at the end of Requiem that Macula persists into the future. Since we don’t know what particular time it was, this creates an opportunity for A Plague Tale 3 to create a fictional future where Macula becomes the cause of the destruction of human civilization before it could develop to its present strength, thus creating a post-apocalyptic setting. This refreshes the possibility of being afraid and vulnerable to the plague.

As Macula reappears in the now newly settling world, the game could introduce a new host duo of the future. They could interact with Amicia in the past since both are linked to the entity and the game can take place simultaneously at two different times. This would also give the opportunity to permanently rid the world of this threat and provide an altogether better closure to both Amicia and the new cast.

Since the demand is primarily of bringing back the atmosphere and setting established while continuing the story, A Plague Tale 3 can also shed light on the lives of the first protector-carrier duo; Aelia and Basilius. The game can delve deeper into the origins of this malicious entity, and connect it to how its eventual suppression or eradication should be handled by Amicia and the next duo, whether close to Amicia’s time or a far future.

A Plague Tale 3 could shed more light on Basilius and Aelia
A Plague Tale 3 could shed more light on Basilius and Aelia

All in all, A Plague Tale games have created a rich and befitting world with a heartfelt story and meaningful characters we’ve grown to adore, the reason for its enormous success. Thus, a sequel should continue this setting while free to bring new characters and give the established ones a fitting conclusion. Whatever A Plague Tale 3 ends up becoming, I hope it is a reality and I look forward to the continuation of this epic adventure.

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