– May 14, 2019 – Pop culture
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- Test de A Plague Tale Innocence on PS4 Pro: success without pretension
A real dive into a hell of a rat hole, A Plague Tale: Innocence quickly becomes a touching story.
Few video games are played in France. A Plague Tale: Innonence, developed by a studio in Bordeaux (Asobo Studio) and published by Focus Home Interactive (it’s still with us), intends to contradict this observation.
The game does not start from a very comforting premise: in the 14th century, two orphans must escape the plague, the rats and the Inquisition. Quite a program, for an adventure that turns out to be more amazing than it seems.
Concretely, A Plague Tale: Innonence is an adventure game set in a huge corridor. Very focused on narration, divided into chapters and supported by a gameplay that evolves only slightly (which is not a flaw), the 100% French title seeks first of all to establish a noxious atmosphere. Where a young girl and her little brother try to survive as best they can a series of events, each one more horrible than the next.
A very successful atmosphere
From the very first minutes, A Plague Tale: Innonence seduces with its dressing. Without being the most beautiful game of its generation, the production signed Asobo Studio manages to make the difference with its artistic direction. If the atmosphere created by the period depicted (the Middle Ages marked by the Black Death) is not at all exciting, it emerges fromA Plague Tale: Innonence the willingness to immerse the player in environments that are sometimes charming (nature), often frightening (villages that have become body pits). Regardless of the landscape, the developers were as careful as possible.
We can barely forgive the animations and their annoying tendency to be unnatural. They are forgotten thanks to the effects of light, reflections and the frightening behaviour of the swarms of rats that form deadly obstacles.
The soundtrack, orchestrated by Olivier Derivière (Remember Me, Vampyr), is the other masterpiece of the artistic success ofA Plague Tale : Innonence. In addition to typing just in the tone, the music relies on a welcome discretion to support the visual part. It’s a real treat for the ears and it stands in stark contrast to the world of bullies in which we are immersed.
A Plague Tale: Innocence // Source: Focus Home Interactive
A writing template
A Plague Tale: Innocence follows the tribulations of Amicia de Rune, daughter of a noble family, and sister of Hugo, a young boy protected by his mother because of a mysterious illness. Because he is targeted by the Inquisition, the suddenly orphaned duo begins a forward flight. Amicia, a woman strong by obligation, must protect a brother she barely knows in a world she barely knows. Their relationship to be built from A to Z constitutes the salt of a story where childhood will be irremediably confronted with cruelty, where recklessness will mix with horror. “Sorry to be sick, Amicia,” says Hugo, for example, who sometimes has trouble understanding what’s going on.
A surprise that one takes pleasure in discovering
The screenwriters did not fall into the trap of shortcuts and never tried to spare Amicia and Hugo, aged 14 and 5 respectively. In some passages, one is surprised by the way in whichA Plague Tale: Innocence plays on Hugo’s naivety to reinforce the moments of life allowed from time to time. They are used to soften the subject matter (here we are talking about children fleeing atrocities) and to become attached to the characters we want to follow and protect.
Moreover, it is the absence of pretension that makesA Plague Tale: Innocence a surprise that one takes pleasure in discovering. Without ever trying to overdo it, the title of Asobo Studio succeeds what it undertakes. That’s a great victory in itself.
A Plague Tale: Innocence // Source: Focus Home Interactive
Infiltration that does good
Surprising in shape, A Plague Tale: Innocence is no less innocent in the background. Moving away from the usual shackles (of action in an open world), he installs his gameplay – rigid like animations – in the infiltration genre. As Amicia and Hugo are far from being warriors, they must avoid conflicts as much as possible and sneak away to plot their course. The young heroine, a character played by the player, is still equipped with a slingshot to defend herself or to attract the attention of guards with questionable intelligence, vision and hearing. Later in the adventure, you also get the means to make special projectiles to light/extinguish fires, put enemies to sleep or keep rats away.
Rodents carrying the plague are the main threat facing Amicia and Hugo. As it is not possible to get rid of them once and for all (there are too many of them), Asobo Studio has integrated an element to get around them: they are afraid of light and flames. Thanks to this inherent trick in gameplay, a succession of puzzles awaits the player and he must therefore find the solutions to move forward without being devoured. This constraint is compounded by the need to protect Hugo, who is not old enough to fend for himself and understand what he needs to do to survive. This fragility forces Amicia to take her little brother by the hand and carry him in her wake.
The studio has also thought about objects to pick up, whether they are useful to improve the arsenal or simply cosmetic (flowers, relics, gifts), or optional sequences (which reinforce the narrative if you take the time to find them). These elements increase the service life a little bit, which does not exceed eight hours. This collected format allowsA Plague Tale: Innocence not to scatter. Short, Amicia and Hugo’s quest is all the more striking.
A Tale Ring: Innocence
Indicative note : 4/5
Laudably tender,A Tale Plague: Innocence is an unexpected success. If he does not have the pretension of pulling his meagre ambitions upwards, he manages to distinguish himself by his proposal, which stands from end to end, in substance as well as in form.
The game developed by Asobo Studio also benefits from a never clumsy writing style, which places good feelings at the heart of a gruesome story. Carried by an endearing duo,A Plague Tale: Innocence is simply an adventure with a capital A. A letter that refers, also but above all, to love for a job well done.
- A big effort on writing and narration
- A duo of endearing heroes
- A goldsmith’s soundtrack
- The animations
- questionable AI
- Get out the tissues
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- U.S. App Store customers can file a complaint against Apple for unfair competition
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that iOS users are indeed direct customers of Apple. A decision that gives them the right to sue the trademark for unfair competition.
Can iOS users take Apple to court for unfair competition if they feel they have been wronged? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 13 that it did. According to the court, “it is the indirect purchasers who cannot sue a company for breach of trust or unfair competition.“A fact that Tim Cook’s firm had relied on to avoid going to court so far. Problem for Apple: iOS users are not considered indirect purchasers according to the Supreme Court A lawsuit opposing the trademark to four clients will therefore take place.
The United States Supreme Court Building. // Source: Wikipedia
As The Verge explains, the lawsuit in question originated in 2011 when four iPhone owners accused Apple of creating an artificial price hike on its App Store This reflection comes from the fact that the only store available on iPhone is the App Store Each developer must go through the platform to distribute his application and (more or less, depending on the case) 30% of his sales go to the brand. This environment would push designers to sell their creations more expensively, with a direct impact on consumer purchases.
What are the consequences for Apple?
Apple is therefore heading towards a lawsuit for unfair competition, but this does not mean that the firm will be worried. If the company lost the first inning, the prosecution actually only won the right to launch a lawsuit. The Supreme Court makes this clear in its statement: “At this stage of the case, we are not judging the merits of the plaintiffs’ claim against Apple. “It is therefore possible that the firm was found innocent and that this first step won by iOS users may not have been worthwhile in the end.
In a commentary sent to Numerama, Apple says it is confident : “Today’s decision says that individuals can initiate court proceedings. We are confident that we will convince her when the facts are presented: the App Store is not a monopoly in any way“. The giant of Cupertino also recalls his position: “We are proud to have created the safest and most trusted marketplace for consumers. It is also a great business opportunity for developers, who define the price they want for their apps and Apple plays no role in this. »
The trial will not be taken lightly by Apple. In the event of a defeat, the firm may have to revise the Business model of its application store, which could affect its financial results. Already today, the lawsuit has consequences, since the value of Apple’s shares fell by 5% after the Supreme Court’s announcement.