The Black Death Spreads to Videogames With A Plague Tale: Innocence
By Garrett Martin | February 14, 2017 | 7:05pm
The Black Death eliminated tens of millions of humans throughout Europe and the Middle East, unsettling the very foundations of society that had been built up throughout the Middle Ages. It left an impression on every aspect of culture, including art, where death became a constant theme. It’s surprising, then, that the plague doesn’t have a greater presence in videogames, a medium almost exclusively fixated on death. It’s a perfect fit.
Asobo Studio, the French developers who have worked on ReCore, two HoloLens games, and a variety of Disney tie-ins, wants to fill that hole in videogame’s historical record with A Plague Tale: Innocence. Set in Southern France in 1349, not far from Asobo’s home of Bordeaux, and at the peak of Europe’s first brush with the plague, A Plague Tale shows a studio trying to establish a new reputation for itself, while also paying tribute to its home, its history and a beloved game made by a studio from California.
As Kevin Choteau, the game’s lead designer, tells Paste during a recent demo in Paris, A Plague Tale started with their love of a Naughty Dog hit. Over coffee breaks at the studio, Choteau says, “We’d talk about games that were really immersive. The biggest one was The Last of Us. It had a huge impact on our thinking. They’ve taken so much risk with The Last of Us.”