Many excellent games were released in 2022, making it an overall decent year for video games. However, among all these games, two stood out above the rest, and those games were Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok.
The issue with these games was that they were too perfect. Story-telling, graphics, gameplay, narrative, and soundtrack; everything about these two games were just too outstanding. This was why any other game, no matter how good or excellent, could never come close to popularity as these two did.
Among all those games that were overshadowed by Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok‘s popularity, there was A Plague Tale: Requiem. A game that arguably might’ve won the Game of the Year award if it was released in any other year.
A Plague Tale: Requiem was released on October 18, 2022, for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Barely a month before the release of the highly anticipated God of War Ragnarok on November 9, 2022.
A Plague Tale: Requiem was developed by Asobo Studios and published by Focus Entertainment. Focus Entertainment revealed that the game crossed one million players soon after its release. But the game couldn’t keep up the popularity for long.
More than one million players have already embarked on an incredible journey with Amicia and Hugo in #APlagueTaleRequiem.
Thank you so much! 🤎 pic.twitter.com/E43lECRLS5
— Focus Entertainment (@Focus_entmt) November 2, 2022
Once God of War Ragnarok was released, all sights were set on the game because of its hype. It deserved all the praise it received, but people forgot about other excellent games amidst all that, even if those games were objectively better in some aspects.
A Plague Tale: Requiem expanded upon an already attractive setting that was introduced in A Plague Tale: Innocence which came out in May 2019. The game drastically improved upon the aspects that were pretty lacking in its prequel.
The game features great character development of both of its main characters: Amicia and her little brother Hugo. The two siblings continue their journey six months after the events of A Plague Tale: Innocence to find a cure for Hugo, who’s suffering from a blood disease caused by dark magic.
The game features exciting visuals, an excellent soundtrack, and an engaging story-driven narrative. The only aspect the game is lacking in is most likely its combat. A Plague Tale: Requiem drastically improves the combat system that was introduced in A Plague Tale: Innocence. However, the combat and general gameplay remain mediocre.
Despite its shortcomings, the game was much better than almost any other game released in 2022. But did it get the popularity it deserved? At least not on Steam. The game has barely any players on Steam, with a peak player count of 4,927, which was recorded three months ago around the game’s release.
However, most of the game’s audience comes from consoles, so it does make sense for the PC port not to have as many players.
A Plague Tale: Innocence had many flaws. The general gameplay was lacking, and even the story felt a bit dragged at moments. How come A Plague Tale: Requiem, which came out recently, features a better story, better gameplay, an overall better experience, and a satisfying conclusion to the story that has the same number of players as its prequel that came out 4 years ago?
One might think that this game has no players because it is bad compared to other games. But, A Plague Tale: Requiem has a rating of 82 for PlayStation 5 and 85 for the Xbox Series X port on Metacritic. The game was also nominated for the Game of the Year award at The Game Awards 2022.
Indeed, the stealth/action genre is not as popular as other genres. However, look at The Last of Us Part 1 or Uncharted. These games have a massive following on multiple platforms. Maybe the circumstances would have been different if the game had received better marketing, but there’s nothing to be done about that now.
Plague Tale: Requiem received several nominations at The Game Awards 2022, including Best Performance, Best Narrative, Best Score and Music, and Best Action/Adventure award. However, the game did not manage to win any single one of them, despite being objectively better than the actual winners in some departments.
The Game of the Year award was never going to A Plague Tale: Requiem; that much was quite apparent in the presence of Elden Ring. However, the funny thing is, A Plague Tale: Requiem lost every other nomination at the hands of God of War Ragnarok.
If anything, A Plague Tale: Requiem should have at least won the Best Narrative award at the TGA 2022. But what’s done is done. The game is still fairly underrated, and that will likely remain the case for the foreseeable future.
However, it makes you think if this game came out in any other year or in the absence of gigantic competitors like God of War Ragnarok and Elden Ring, would it have been more popular?
Maybe the studios and publishers should plan their game releases more carefully so they don’t end up crossing against any other highly anticipated title and, in return, kill their game’s own hype.
Despite not winning anything at TGA 2022, A Plague Tale: Requiem is a terrific overall game with a superb narrative. We do need more games like it that can deliver a beautiful story with characters like Amicia and Hugo that can make the player feel several emotions at once.
Not to mention the satisfying conclusion this game delivered. Storytelling is already quite lacking in modern video games and is deteriorating further with time. Games that can deliver a decent story with a good enough end are rare.
While brainless hacking and slashing have their own charm, games like A Plague Tale: Requiem, with a tragic yet fascinating story, have their own place in the video games market. We’d get to see something like it more often if this game were more popular and had more players.
Even if we do get something like that often, it is very rare for a video game to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the story like A Plague Tale: Requiem did. We don’t often get to see good stories in video games. it is even rarer to find one that delivers an excellent ending.
But, A Plague Tale: Requiem excels in that department compared to any other game that came out in 2022. It does have its flaws, but it deserves more players than the few it already has. In the end, it is a game that might’ve been more successful if it had been released at a better time of the year.
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