A Plague Tale: Requiem highlights what’s wrong with cloud gaming

Focus Entertainment
Focus Entertainment /

I remember the moment I finished A Plague Tale: Innocence and I knew it would be my Game of the Year. It looked incredible, the controls felt good, the story was engaging and I was left wanting a sequel immediately. I have been waiting for A Plague Tale: Requiem for a long time and when I was given a code, I was pumped. Sure, it was for Nintendo Switch, which isn’t my first choice for games with complicated controls, but I could make it work. Then I noticed the biggest caveat. The code was for a cloud edition. As someone who hasn’t really played a new game on cloud, I was curious how it would affect the gameplay. Turns out, it affects it a lot.

For those unfamiliar with A Plague Tale: Requiem, the story picks up six months after the events of the first game. In the first game, we meet 15-year-old Amicia and 5-year-old Hugo de Rune. They are a well-to-do family in 1388 France. Hugo is a sickly child and his mother Beatrice is an alchemist who tries to create a cure for her son. While hunting one day with her father, Amicia’s dog gets attacked. On the way back home, they find the Inquisition at their front door. Their father is killed, their mother is taken and Amicia and Hugo escape to find a doctor to protect them and continue on Hugo’s cure. All the while, people are dropping like flies from the plague. Literal waves of rats are the perpetrators and they are very disgusting.

What follows for the siblings is their capture by the English, meeting (and losing) new friends and finding their mother. It all turns out that Hugo’s blood is a carrier for the plague due to a dormant gene called Prima Macula and he can control the waves of rats and the Inquisition wants control of that. In the end, Hugo, Amicia and Beatrice make it out safe with their new friend Lucas. They will continue work on Hugo’s symptoms and keep the Prima Macula from taking him over completely.

Now that brings us to A Plague Tale: Requiem. The family is on their way to Provence to work with an order of alchemists to cure Hugo but unfortunately the plague, and the rats that carry it, have made their way to Provence. If that seems a bit vague, let me explain why.

A Plague Tale: Requiem highlights what's wrong with cloud gaming
Focus Entertainment /

It has been the most difficult game to play since my nightmare experience with The Evil Within on PS3. No matter what I did, the game wouldn’t work and I ended up even getting a new PS3 just to play. Thankfully, the game was great so it all worked out in the end. The first time I tried to play A Plague Tale: Requiem was on Xbox One. I bought a Game Pass Ultimate to play. Unfortunately, it was on cloud only and I felt like I was playing the remix of the game. There was so much stuttering and stopping that it wasn’t even worth the time trying.

Focus Home Interactive was kind enough to send a review code, but due to the limited PS5 code availability, they sent a Nintendo Switch code. Playing games with intricate gameplay aren’t my favorite to play on Nintendo Switch because of the tiny controllers but I was so pumped that I didn’t even care. Unfortunately, this code was for another cloud version. I was still hopeful because my Xbox One has always been on the slower side, so I still wasn’t knocked down yet. While it may not have been as truly awful as playing on my Xbox, there was so much lag, dropped frame rates and issues with graphical loading, I just gave up. There was no way that I could review the game properly with a cloud copy. It just wasn’t fair to the game.

At first, I wanted to blame my internet but I literally have the fastest internet available in my area and it allows two remote workers to get through their workday, 5 days a week. The only correlation was the cloud version. PlayStation 5 has done something similar with its PS Plus. Some games can be downloaded and others can be streamed. My PS5 is on ethernet so I can get the fastest internet for online gaming and even that isn’t good enough for streamed games most times.

All the hype and excitement I had inside of me for A Plague Tale: Requiem decreased faster than my graphical quality after all the trouble I went through just to play. I just recently bought the game on PSN for their Black Friday sale and finally, I get to play the game as it was meant to be. You might be saying to yourself, “Hey dummy, why didn’t you just get it on PS5 from the very beginning?” and you would have a point. However, when you review a lot of games, you have to pick, choose and plan your release purchases and I put too much faith in cloud gaming.

The moral of the story is this: just get an actual digital copy or buy a hard copy of the game. Cloud gaming isn’t worth the trouble and I ended up spending more than the $70 the game costs trying to save some money. On the bright side, A Plague Tale: Requiem looks amazing and plays smoothly now that I have an actual digital copy on PS5. I think it will live up to everything we’ve been waiting for.

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If you have been wanting to play the game, the sale is going on now on PSN and there’s no time like the present to pick it up, especially when you save $13.