The Rat Pack.
A Plague Tale: Innocence released this week, bringing with it an unending horde of rats that can burst through the ground, out of horses, and tear through a human in seconds. Simply put, A Plague Tale’s rats are disgusting little beasts that will turn your stomach several times with all their shenanigans. And while these supernatural rodents do have a distinct ick factor to them, we’ve put together six other rats that make the title of “Most Rat Bastard Rat” in a game a close run thing.
1: Dishonored (2012)
There was only one place to start with this list, the plague rats of Dunwall. Just like A Plague Tale: Innocence, Dishonored is set in the midst of an epidemic, with rats scuttling here, there, and everywhere as they gang up on unsuspecting civilians. There’s plenty to dislike about Dishonored’s rats: the fact that they’ll gang up on you and then try to bugger off once you’ve killed a few of them, as well as the nasty habit they have of turning people they bite – but fail to kill – into zombie-like Weepers. And let’s not forget the time you “accidentally” killed Granny Rags and she exploded into a puddle of rats that went straight for you.
The only good thing about the rats of Dunwall is that you’re able to summon your own little horde which you can use as a diversion for larger groups of soldiers or let a pack of rats murder and eat a guard until there’s nothing left of him except a sword and a puddle of blood.
2: Chrono Trigger (1995)
Time travelling is a tricky business, a small change in the past can impact the future in severe ways as I learnt from a Halloween episode of The Simpsons, while the future is usually one kind of dystopia or another. And the year 2300 in Chrono Trigger is no exception, forcing you to fight terrifying mutants, killer robots, and bike races with mutant Fonzies. And in such a bleak and terrifying future, it only makes sense that rats continue to thrive and the rodents that run amock in Chrono Trigger’s future can be devastating little bastards. Not so much in a combat kind of way but they’ll do things like scamper past and steal items from you – see? Wankers.
Even these thieving rats don’t come close to the true horror of the game’s Arris Dome though: the rat you need to catch to get the lab code. I played a lot of Chrono Trigger when I was little and far too much of that time was spent trying to catch that rat, creeping up as slowly as the game would allow, only to have the rat dart off at the last second, constantly second-guessing me and making me restart. Of course, there’s actually a pretty simple way to catch the rat but back then it was something that made me absolutely hate Chrono Trigger’s future setting.
3: Tomb Raider (1996)
I wasn’t very good at the original Tomb Raider games back on the PS1. 3D games were still in their infancy and my tiny brain couldn’t quite grasp that extra dimension. Still, I had fun watching my sister play through Tomb Raider, fighting dinosaurs, pushing blocks, sliding a lot. It wasn’t until she got to the dreaded Cistern level that I saw the true horror of the PlayStation at work. Lara drops down a big hole and casually waiting for you at the bottom is a bloody gigantic rat. I’m not freaked out by much but seeing a dog-sized rodent charging at you is just horrifying.
4: Final Fantasy 9 (2000)
I love Final Fantasy 9, it was a concerted effort to take the franchise back to its original archetypes while the Final Fantasy games were on the eve of change. It’s a game full of wonderful cities and brilliant characters – mostly. There are a few that ground my gears back when I first played the game and upon revisiting the game, I found that one rat boy Prince Puck was still an absolute dick.
We first meet Puck in the opening moments of the game, where he makes Vivi his slave, forces him to break into a play with him before leaving Vivi when soldiers show up, nice kid. You might think that’s the pinnacle of Puck’s dickishness but you’d be wrong! Because it turns out that the rat boy is actually the prince of Burmecia’s rat kingdom and he rocks up while the sacred city of Cleyra is under siege, where he reunites Freya with he lost love Sir Fratley. Of course, Fratley doesn’t remember who Freya is, something that Puck knew but brought him along anyway, he then sees his father who’s been worried about Puck for years, says hi and then buggers off. Puck really is a rat-faced tornado of chaos, isn’t he?
5: Resident Evil Outbreak (2003)
Resident Evil Outbreak was a game full of great ideas, released in a time that wasn’t really ready for them. Along with a pretty great anthology of stories, the game also boasted a wonderfully stylish intro which shows everything from the point of view of a rat.
It’s not so much that the rats play a huge role in the game itself but they do have the honour of having spread the T-Virus as the game’s snazzy intro shows. So, if (like me) you’re still playing the Resident Evil 2 Remake, being terrified by all the walking dead, just remember that it’s thanks to the rats who chow down on a hapless soldier in Resident Evil Outbreak that you’re having to deal with all this zombie nonsense.
6: Borderlands 2 (2012)
Bandits are hard work, aren’t they? All angry and mean to you when they’re with their mates, plus they usually want to kill you. The rats in Borderlands 2 are like bandits but worse, mostly because they shout things like “I can taste you already” or “Taste the flesh,” which might demonstrate that they’ve got more interests than simple murder but there’s not much in the way of mutual hobbies.
Similar to the rats in Chrono Trigger, these humanoid rats have a nasty thieving streak that sees them nab loot from you before doing a runner and simply killing them isn’t so simple because, being disgusting, these rats are also cannibals… awesome. It means that the rat people in Borderlands 2 can eat the corpses of their fellow mutants to regain health, and then continue to run off with your favourite gun. Absolute rat bastards.
There you have it, six videogame rats that we think give the rodents from A Plague Tale: Innocence a run for their money. Got a rat that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below or harass us on Twitter @ggsgamer