Quick-fire August 2021, Part Two

A Plague Tale: Innocence
Developed by Asobo Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive, A Plague Tale: Innocence already got released on the 14th of May 2019. Digital version of it for the next-generation consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S was released on the 6th of July this year, while we will have to wait for the physical versions until 19th October 2021. Follow the grim tale of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo, in a heartrending journey through the darkest hours of history.

Hunted by Inquisition soldiers and surrounded by unstoppable swarms of rats, Amicia and Hugo will come to know and trust each other. As they struggle to survive against overwhelming odds, they will fight to find purpose in this brutal, unforgiving world.

1349. The plague ravages the Kingdom of France. Amicia and her younger brother Hugo are pursued by the Inquisition through villages devastated by the disease. On their way, they will have to join forces with other children, and evade swarms of rats using fire and light. Aided only by the link that binds their fates together, they will face untold horrors in their struggle to survive. As their adventure begins… the time of innocence ends.

A Plague Tale: Innocence tells a story of two siblings during the Black Death plague of 1349. You will control Amicia de Rune, a 15 years old strong and independent woman, who was trained by her father to hunt. She had little contact with her young brother Hugo because of his unknown disease, with whom she will have to reconnect to keep both of them alive. Hunted by the Inquisition, both of them will have to learn to survive by themselves and adapt to the crazy rats-infested world they live in. The gameplay of the game consists of strategic stealth sneaking around the Inquisition, which will take place almost throughout the whole game. Even bigger enemies than the Inquisition’s knights are the rats, which you will fight away with light sources from the flame. There are also puzzle elements in A Plague Tale: Innocence, which are not the hardest and can be conquered with a little thinking. The game’s graphics are outstanding, and everything from characters to environments is very detailed. The voice acting is also done greatly, as all types of emotions are perfectly rendered through it. If you have not played the game on its original release, and you own one of this generation’s consoles, I recommend you getting it and playing it. It has a great story and kind of a unique gameplay, which will keep you on your toes from start to finish. It is an emotional survival happening told through a third-person perspective, so if you like that type of games, it is a must buy. This enhanced version also arrived before its sequel A Plague Tale: Requiem which will be released next year, so you have plenty of time to finish this one first.

Metaloid: Origin
Originally developed by RetroRevolution and ported by 7 Raven Studios, Metaloid: Origin was published by Eastasiasoft on the PlayStation 4, the version we are reviewing. It already got released on the 28th of March 2019 on Steam, with the PS4 launch happening on July 13th. Metaloid: Origin is a fast-paced gun’n run 2D platformer. Take on the role of one out of three android warriors known as “Predator” and dash through 9 different levels in order to save their planet from a robot army led by Lucian Corp, whom invade their planet and exploit the planetary resources to fuel their galactic war efforts.

At the beginning of the game you will choose between three different characters, each with different set of abilities and weapons. With Erika you will be able to flood the screen with bullet fire, Zeta has the use of atomic thunder that will reduce enemies to ashes, and with Neva you will be able to fly across the level with a jetpack and strike enemies from above. In the game there are nine different levels, each with unique tileset and gameplay mechanics. You will engage enemies in a waterfall cave, ride a cart in a volcano mine, and fight on a snow field, to name a few. During the game you will collect Soulrium gems from levels and enemies, and they will be used for purchasing new weapons and acquiring new powers anywhere in the game by simply accessing the pause menu. Some of the upgrades will also cost more than just Soulrium to unlock them. The game has two difficulty settings available, normal or hard, with the hard difficulty being… harder (?), as enemies move faster and deal more damage to your character. Metaloid: Origin is nicely designed and looks pretty good with its pixel graphics. It offers a fast-paced gameplay that delivers a lot of fun by being an action shooter. There is a high number of various enemies and interesting boss fights. The game also offers a high amount of weapons and powers that you are able to use throughout your playthrough. The replayability factor comes in where you can replay the whole game with a different character that, as we already mentioned, has a different set of weapons and abilities. Metaloid: Origin is, in my opinion, not very known, but it is a gem that it is definitely worth playing. You can grab it on Steam for 5,99 € or on PlayStation 4 for 6,99 €.

Metro Simulator
Metro Simulator was developed by KishMish Games and published by UIG Entertainment for consoles on the 8th of July 2021, while it was self-released by KishMish on Steam on the 12th of August, with it being in Early Access state from the 1st of May 2019. Don’t loose your unique chance to take a look at the subway system in a new way – now you can become a train driver!

In Metro Simulator you take control of a metro train. You will accelerate, brake, open doors, switch cameras, set-up the informer and so on. You will need to obey and follow the railway traffic lights, and let the passengers in and out of the train when they wish to – when they see that it is arriving at their desired station, they will stand in front of the doors waiting to exit. There are also more passengers in day time, and no passengers at night when the metro is closed. The stations and railways in Metro Simulator are designed precisely, so you will really get the feeling of being on a metro. In game there are scenarios and various tasks you will need to complete. There also exists a Free Mode in which you will take routes and schedules that you want to. The graphics are detailed, the railway tracks and trains alike, and the behaviour and controls of the trains are very realistic. If you are a fan of vehicle simulator games like Bus Simulator and you wish to try something different, I recommend the game to you.

Where the Heart Leads
Where the Heart Leads is a PlayStation exclusive developed by the AAA veterans at Armature Studio. It was released on the 13th of July this year for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility. The limited physical edition release happened on the 16th July in Europe, while gamers in the US have to wait a bit longer for it.

In the game you will write the story of Whit Anderson with hundreds of choices from a 600,000 word script, which is equal to five novels (!), offering endless permutations. There are also dozens of different endings and hundreds of outcomes of your story. One night you attempt to save the family dog and tumble down a mysterious sinkhole. In it, you will find a distorted reality and a power to change your history by going back to the moments that defined Whit’s life. Where the Heart leads is a surreal narrative journey through his past where you will reevaluate a whole lifetime of life-changing decisions. You will discover if the grass can be greener and if fate can be defied heading towards the end of his life. You will navigate emotional throes of his teenage years, first love, second chances, and the joyful terrors of parenthood. It will be on you if you will attempt to retrace the steps back to present or rewrite his story completely. The amount of choices in this game is insane and can be rivalled by the biggest role-playing games. There will be hundreds of choices to be made and a lot of them will set Whit’s life on a completely different path. You will encounter his emotional highs and lows, and the gameplay can be compared to Quantic Dream’s titles where decisions have a heavy impact on the story and game’s progression as well. Game’s graphics are outstanding and very pretty, reminding us of watercolour paintings we did in primary school. Only actually good and visually appealing, not like our crap. The replay value with Where the Heart Leads is enormous, if you did not decipher that already by yourself through our words in this review. We wholeheartedly recommend this title to every player that enjoys narrative-based games and does not mind reading a whole lot of text. It is available in the PlayStation Store for 24,99 €, currently with a -30% offer that expires on the 2nd of September.