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PS5 features bring A Plague Tale: Requiem to life

Hello everyone! I’m Nicolas Bécavin, Lead Engine Programmer on A Plague Tale: Requiem. The game launches on October 18th and I’m here to give you a little sneak peek of what you can expect tech-wise.

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Taking the next generation leap

We decided to develop A Plague Tale: Requiem on PlayStation 5 to completely free ourselves from the limitations of the last generation and take full advantage of the features that the new generation brings. The potential it offers is incredible! Take load time, for example: it’s reduced in a way that makes it possible to design new maps and levels. With more memory on top, we get a better draw distance, which means you’ll be able to see much farther. Horizons will literally expand! The result is a much more open environment than the one introduced in the first game.

releasing the rats

Rats are a key feature of A Plague Tale, and for this second game we wanted to maximize the possibilities of the new generation to take rat-induced horror and trauma to the next level. The number of rats on screen has increased 60-fold from 5,000 to 300,000! It’s a good number to convey the vision of the apocalypse that continues to oppress our heroes more and more. We’ve also changed the look of their movement, so they look like a giant wave, like a tsunami crashing into you. We are fortunate to work with and trust our own internal engine to tackle challenging renderings like this, of an element that is completely specific to A Plague Tale.

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Shedding a new light on a cloudy world

Thanks to the power of the new GPU, the lighting quality can be drastically improved. With a wide range of technical tools and reduced restrictions, we can accentuate the role of light and new situations involving light can be introduced. Hugo and Amicia will discover new sensations on their journey south, and so will the player! Thanks to this new level of detail, you will experience an atmosphere enriched with beams of lights and improved lighting on atmospheric elements such as volumetric fog.

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A new generation feast for the eyes

Requiem’s ​​technology will not only bring players into a more vividly atmospheric environment, but will also bring more depth to the overall visual simulation. This includes higher geometric quality: technically, there are more polygons on the mesh! Texture resolution is also improved. A good example of how these advancements affect the game experience is the high level of detail at which terrain will be rendered. For example, we rely heavily on parallax occlusion mapping to add small volumetric details on terrain and props. There will also be more physical and dynamic objects, which will affect the way clothing is rendered.

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3d space

In addition to all this magic, the spatial experience will be enhanced thanks to 3D audio. This means that you will be able to perceive where the character who is speaking is: behind or in front of you, above or below… Players will be completely surrounded by the game and will be involved in a much more realistic and immersive way.

The new PlayStation 5 controller, the DualSense, has also been one of our main focus points. Provides exceptional immersive technology through haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. I’m going to give it to two of my fellow students to explain this further.

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Using the DualSense controller to break down the barriers between screen and player

Hello everyone! We are Cyril Doillon, Lead Programmer, and Aurelien Piters, Audio Director at Asobo Studio. We are very excited about everything the next generation brings to the game… with a special mention to the PS5 DualSense controller! It brings a whole new level of realism and immersion to A Plague Tale, with a bunch of new features added after Innocence. It’s been amazing to work on and we’ve worked hard to get the most out of this brilliant technology. Here to tell you about the DualSense innovations we have in store for you in the next chapter of A Plague Tale!

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Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers

One of the most groundbreaking innovations that the DualSense controller brings is haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. We started thinking about its implementation while working on the next-gen adaptation of Innocence, which gave us an idea of ​​the most relevant options for our new game. Requiem will feature real physics response and gameplay enhancements related to it. The sensory feedback provided will create realistic sensations in the use of weapons and tools.

If a weapon requires more pressure, for example, the adaptive triggers will adjust the feeling of effort given to the player. Regarding the sling, if you hold the button down for too long, you will lose accuracy. Adaptive triggers will give the impression that shooting becomes more difficult, which also works as a marker for the player to gauge the right time to shoot.

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Amicia will also have a new weapon: a crossbow, which will respond to the same law. At the same time, the physics of her is not the same as that of the slingshot. He is more powerful but slower to use and equip. Such sensory qualities will find their place in the simulation thanks to adaptive triggers. You will have to press a first time to equip the crossbow, then a second time to fire. This next generation vibration technology that allows us to link a physical reaction to player input is pretty amazing for us developers. We were used to working with image and sound, now we can create direct effects on the player’s fingers to simulate a real tool.

There are also refreshing features that come to communicate the movement of the character: haptic feedback is used to simulate the effect of each step while running, producing small jolts so that the player feels the rhythm of the sprint, giving the impression of being right next to the characters and share their feelings.

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Haptic-enhanced audio

The audio has also been completely reworked with haptic feedback. Swarms of rats can be subtly felt through the pad, via stereo vibrations. It’s like you can touch the sounds. That’s also the case with explosions and real-time cutscenes; they will affect you physically thanks to the range of sensory information offered by the DualSense controller. The opportunities it presents bring a whole new dimension to gameplay; you will be able to feel movements around you, like where the rats come from! The game will offer richer situations thanks to a greater perception of the environment that will include not only direct interaction but also semi-distant elements.

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Two-way speaker

Another innovation that the DualSense brings is its integrated speaker. We use it to play the sound of weapons when not wearing a headset, giving the player audio feedback when using the slingshot and crossbow. It offers a much more dynamic experience, with the possibility of hearing an arrow or a stone in the air. It’s a third speaker given to the player, allowing subtle feedback to be delivered over the rest of the soundtrack, acting independently of the music and ambient sound.

A plague tale 2.0

To sum it all up, we have been fully embracing all new technological opportunities to provide a more open environment, with more light, more detail, more geometry, more texture. Oh, and more rats!

We hope you enjoy all these insights and are ready to embark on Amicia and Hugo’s next journey on October 18! You can pre-order the game now on PS5.

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