A Plague Tale: Requiem looks to push next-gen technology on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X by having more rats than ever onscreen at one time in the upcoming action-adventure game.
Developer Asobo Studio broke down the details of how the anticipated sequel is "free from last-gen constraints" in a new blog post (opens in new tab), explaining that the load time is now instant. It also features better memory as well as a better draw distance to create a more open environment. What appears to be an even bigger key feature is how the game utilises its plague-ridden rats to ramp up the horror aspect.
For instance, in the original Plague Tale, the number of rats that could materialise onscreen simultaneously was a maximum of 5,000. This has now been multiplied by 60, so an impressive (and downright terrifying) 300,000 rats can be seen together.
"It’s a good number to convey the vision of the apocalypse which keeps increasingly oppressing our heroes," said Asobo Studio lead engine programmer Nicolas Bécavin. "We’ve also changed the aspect of their movement, so that they look like a giant wave, much like a tsunami crashing down on you."
Further upgrades that can be found on the next-gen consoles include the power of the new GPU, which is said to improve the lighting drastically. New situations including protagonists, Amicia and Hugh, are said to benefit from this, creating an atmosphere that is "enriched with beams of lights". Additionally, 3D audio will look to add a new level of immersion for characters speaking, whether that be in front, above or below.
On PS5, the DualSense controller will act as a central point of focus for 3D audio alongside utilising its adaptive triggers to relay the pressure used in the weapons, such as the crossbow. This tech was used to great effect in Sniper Elite 5, earlier this year. Haptic feedback will also play a part.
"Haptic feedback is used to simulate the effect of every step while sprinting, producing little jolts for the player to feel the sprint’s rhythm, giving the impression to be right by the side of the characters and share their sensations," explains Asobo Studio lead programmer Cyril Doillon.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is a sequel to the 2019 game, A Plague Tale: Innocence, which follows Amicia and Hugo as they travel far south, to new regions and cities after escaping their devastated homeland. They attempt to start a new life and control Hugo’s curse but when his powers reawaken, death and destruction return in a flood of devouring rats.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is scheduled to launch across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, Nintendo Switch (cloud) and Microsoft Windows on October 18th, 2022.
Sony recently has announced what games PS5 and PS4 players can look forward to as part of PS Plus for October, with Hot Wheels Unleashed headlining the selection. Meanwhile, a new Xbox Series X model leaked in a Logitech ad, though Microsoft says it's not for sale... yet.