Rats were a defining feature of A Plague Tale: Innocence when it first came out in 2019, a physical embodiment of the Plague that was sweeping through Europe and a swarm that had to be avoided at all costs. For the upcoming sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem, developer Asobo Studio has revealed how it has used current-gen console and PC power to push the limits on its unique rat technology, dialing up the number of rodents to a disgustingly impressive new level.
“For this second game we wanted to push new-gen possibilities to the max to bring the rats-induced horror and trauma to the next level,” lead engine programmer Nicolas Becavin explained in a PS Blog interview. “The number of rats on-screen has been multiplied by 60, growing from 5,000 to 300,000! It’s a good number to convey the vision of the apocalypse which keeps increasingly oppressing our heroes.”
Becavin added that the way in which a rat swarm moves has also been changed, and they now resemble a “tsunami” of danger that will come crashing down on players. For an extra-creepy-touch, Asobo Studio has used the DualSense controller to subtly make the presence of a swarm of rats felt through the pad and through stereo vibrations.
Beyond the rat-infested technology of A Plague Tale: Requiem, players can also expect to see improved lighting which the studio uses to amplify the atmosphere of the game. Geometric quality and textures have been improved, which have resulted in terrain being rendered more quickly and realistically.
For the PS5 version of the game, you can expect the spatial experience to be enhanced thanks to 3D Audio and Asobo Studio has focused on the DualSense controller to deliver a more-immersive gameplay experience through the haptic feedback technology of that hardware.
One example of this tech can be felt in Amicia’s crossbow, which will use the DualSense’s adaptive triggers to simulate a more realistic sensation of firing a bolt from that weapon. The DualSense speaker is being used to play the sound of weapons when no headset is plugged in, giving audio feedback to a player when they use the sling and the crossbow as part of Asobo’s plan to create more-subtle feedback.
A Plague Tale: Requiem launches on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on October 18, and if you’re curious to see how much has changed, you can read GameSpot’s preview that praises the emotional narrative of this sequel.
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