Vermintide 2 isn't the only rodent-based game out this month: There's also Ghost of a Tale, which launched yesterday. I've been playing it but I'm having a little trouble progressing through the beautiful stealth RPG because I keep stopping to admire my character, The Cutest Damn Mouse Ever.
I mean, come on, just look at this fuzzy fellow (his actual name is Tilo). Look at Tilo in his little hood, lute strapped to his back (he's a minstrel), as he lifts and carries a stool under a key-rack and then clambers on top and grabs the key and escapes:
The cuteness is seriously slowing me down. I'm not really exaggerating—I'm so engrossed in the look and animations of this game that I'll sometimes stop playing it just to watch the Tilo's idle animations, as he looks around, wiggles his tail, and scratches his butt. Whenever I do something for the first time, like hide in a barrel, I'll immediately do it a few more times just to admire the details of the animation. When you're close to an item you can interact with, you can hold the right mouse (heh) button, and he'll lower his head as if examining it carefully. I do that a lot, too. I spent about five minutes with Tilo just standing outside in the sun while butterflies flapped around lazily. It's a pretty game.
Ghost of a Tale begins with Tilo in prison (along with a few other offbeat characters), looking to escape and find his wife who is being held elsewhere. Guarding the prison are towering rat guards in armor and weapons. You sneak around, gathering up whatever items you can find, locating keys to unlock doors, and evading the rats. If the rats spot you, they'll give chase, and if they catch you, they'll kill you.
Which makes it good that you can tip-toe around. As you might expect, it isn't just useful but adorable as hell:
You're not powerless against the giant rats: collect bottles to fling at their heads and you can knock them out for a few seconds. I've also collected a few small vials of slime that you can smash on the ground, which will then cause a guard to slip and KO itself if it walks through the slippery goop. At one point, I pushed a barrel off a balcony onto a guard's head, letting me steal his key and unlock a door. So you've got some moves.
The environments of Ghost of a Tale are impressively detailed, and while items you can interact with will pop up text when you get close, they otherwise blend in perfectly, so it never feels like you're just hunting for glowing objects (as in some other games) but really searching your surroundings for things you can collect and use.
The stealth is pretty forgiving. The rat guards I've encountered are pretty slow to notice you provided you're not directly in their sight or holding your lit lantern or candle, and the rats give up pretty quickly and return to their posts and routines once you've hidden. Which doesn't mean it's easy to lose them: your sprint meter exhausts itself pretty quickly, so it's best used to zip around corners to get out of their sight for a moment before climbing into a barrel, chest, or wardrobe. Also, when Tilo sprints, he does it on all fours. Again: it's cute as all heck.
Currently, I'm trying to find some guard armor so I can dress as a guard rat (a very cute one, I'm sure) which will hopefully allow me to just stroll past them whenever I please. I've got two pieces already, and I need is a few more. I'd probably find them quicker if I could stop looking at how darn cute I am.