Since this version plunged us directly into the sixth and seventh chapters of the adventure, we will not dwell too much on the scenario, necessarily incomplete and relatively obscure since taken along the way. We have nevertheless noted with pleasure that Hugo and Amicia are still together. The main quest pushes them to search for a mysterious island capable of saving Hugo, manhandled by the supernatural powers acquired during the first episode. These not only serve the storyline but also influence the gameplay. We were able to experiment with two particular abilities: Echo and Imperium. The first establishes a mental connection between the little boy and the rats scattered in the environments, which allows him to feel the presence of the surrounding characters. For the player, this translates concretely into the display through the scenery of the silhouette of enemies, a very practical feature for pure infiltration sequences. More offensive, the second power allows you to take direct control of a group of rats in order to eat up some careless guards. The balance of the game is not upset for as much, because limitations exist. For example, it is impossible to take possession of rodents if there are too many of them. In addition, taking control of the rats in subjective view makes our two heroes vulnerable, since they are left unattended. Finally, the connection time is limited, because if he uses his power for too long, Hugo becomes delirious. If Amicia can only count on rational skills, she continues to play a major role in the adventure. Incidentally, note that the crafting system allows you to improve five characteristics (slingshot, crossbow, alchemy, paraphernalia, instruments) on three levels each, while the three essential abilities (caution, aggressiveness and opportunism) can evolve on five levels. .
A LESS FRIENDLY AMICIA
The young woman, who in the first episode was reluctant to throw a stone at the head of a guard, now has a much more lethal arsenal. Stabbings, crossbow shots and even strangulations seem to have become her daily life, even if she still obviously regrets it. Again, the game does everything right to avoid feeling overpowered, as some guards are shielded to be impervious to most hits. The end of the sixth chapter even placed us in front of a tough mini-boss, for which we had to find a weak point located in the back. The most interesting thing about Amicia is the new management of Ignifer (to light embers), Exstinguis (to put out fires), Poix (to amplify fires) and Odoris (to attract rats) ammunition. All of these products can now be combined with any weapon or jet. The interface therefore makes it very easy to switch from a flaming crossbow bolt to a pot of earth filled with Odoris or a stone coated with pitch, all other combinations being also possible. If the different sequences we played during these two chapters alternated infiltration, puzzles and confrontations like the first game, the direct approach still seems more viable than before. It is now possible to hit an opponent who discovers us, in the same way that a second chance is offered to us when rats jump on us (Amicia then swirls fire to get rid of them). The seventh chapter more particularly allowed us to rub shoulders with a certain Arnaud, nicknamed La Muraille because of his massive stature. This character can be sent into battle to eliminate a bodyguard. Once again, this functionality which could seem overpowering is judiciously balanced, because the fact of rushing on an enemy risks alerting the others, and Arnaud will inevitably succumb in the face of too many opponents.
RATS BUT NO MISSERS
More anecdotally, we also appreciated the discretion and elegance of the interaction icons (black letter on a white background), the possibility of collecting herbs and memories, and the presence of a photo mode. It must be said that the game presents us with high-end graphics. Without being revolutionary, the technique is up to date, and it is associated with an artistic direction that is still as attractive as ever. The medieval period proves conducive to the display of magnificent natural landscapes. Cliffs, shores of the beach and simple fields of flowers are a feast for the eyes, while the faces manage to correctly transcribe the emotions. The rats’ nests seem more sordid and scary than ever. And the arrival of the character of Sophia “The Scorpion of the Seas” at the end of the seventh chapter brings a very nice touch of piracy, enhanced by convincing rain effects. The only black points of this preview version concern the presence of some graphic bugs as well as slight scripting problems on the part of Arnaud. Nothing alarming for a game in development, and we’re willing to bet that these concerns will be absent from the final version.