I have been waiting for the sequel to A Plague Tale: Innocence like many players have. Innocence, an indie production of a not much recognizable Asobo Studio, was not a highly anticipated game before it came out in 2019, but after its release it won the hearts of the gamers and the critics. The heartbreaking story, well written dialogues and characters, as well as amazing soundtrack by Olivier Deriviere, which many of us at GameMusic considered the score of the year, were the strongest points of that game. I could not be more excited for the sequel, to get to know the further adventures of siblings Amicia and Hugo and their friends.
Enough said, you want to go back to the game simply to listen to the music.
Olivier Deriviere provided the music to the sequel as well, which made me happy for it might have promised seamless and natural continuation of the first installment’s vibes. So that is what actually happened. A Plague Tale: Requiem OST is a perfect example of what the music can add to the overall plot and gameplay. Enough said, you want to go back to the game simply to listen to the music.
The music in Requiem is much darker than in Innocence. Amicia the protagonist and her younger brother Hugo are suffering from the trauma because of what happened in the first game. Near the end of Innocence, after the very impactful and emotional scene, we hear the track titled The Wrath which clearly describes Amicia’s – and the gamers’ – feelings that accompany us to the end of the game. In A Plague Tale: Requiem The Wrath becomes a theme for Amicia and her journey.
A Plague Tale: Requiem soundtrack is a great continuation to the Innocence score.
This theme can be heard many times throughout the game in tracks such as No Turning Back, Surrounded By Evil Men or the amazing The Rage Within. But the most interesting use of the theme appears in warm and peaceful Hide and Seek and Father Taught Me, where the theme used in a major scale indicates that Amicia, even in her happy moments, is still filled with trauma. This soundtrack is a waltkrough for her state of mind. For example, the track titled Deep Down and many others contain the pattern from the first game when scared Amicia is trying to catch her brother who is running away and in danger.
The use of the first installment’s themes here is obvious since it is a sequel yet it is not repetitive nor boring. The aforementioned Amicia’s theme, the brother and sister theme, the theme for Lucas the friendly alchemist’s apprentice – they are all in the soundtrack but they have many variations, from soothing and uplifting to dark and ominous ones. A Plague Tale: Requiem OST beats the “curse of the sequel” that happens to many of the second and further game installments soundtracks.
Olivier Deriviere worked with the same musicians that were being recorded for the first game’s OST (viola da gamba, nyckelharpa, medieval guitars) including the talented cellist Eric-Maria Couturier again, who performed almost all of the string parts. His skills are unbelievable, as you may witness while listening to the soundtrack and also watching the Requiem live concert. The characteristic sound of the Macula calling Hugo for example in The Dream or his performance for The Spirit of the Island being then rearranged for the choir by the composer are ones of the most intriguing parts of the score.
The composer also used analog synthesizers that added fresh air to the medieval-like vibe of the soundtrack, yet the brightest parts of the OST are the themes for Arnaud the knight, arranged for the French medieval bagpipes. These bagpipes differ from the Scottish ones, they sound more oriental. The Arnaud themes like The Wall, At Peace, A Knight convey most of the in-game emotions. If you are looking for emotions that were accompanying us in the end of the first installment, you will clearly find them here as well.
Other interesting new themes are the ones dedicated to the Count and the Countess, like Holy Child, The Night or The Count, and here is another new part Olivier Deriviere added to the score – the chamber choir. At first I was kind of skeptical about that composing choice but as the term “requiem” means a mass for the dead, it made sense. Moreover, the choir provided many of the layers for the overall score (The Dream, Ruins, The Truth). Also the choir parts during the ceremony in the island reminds of the diegetic music of the BioShock: Infinite, which seemed to inspire the composer.
Moreover, the choir provided many of the layers for the overall score.
A Plague Tale: Requiem soundtrack is a great continuation to the Innocence score. The variety of layers and how the soundtrack responds to the gameplay, and the seamless transitions between the gameplay and the cutscenes regarding the score is what makes that soundtrack my favourite one of 2022 so far.