World War II finds itself figuring prominently in most popular media, video games among them. But the Great War, or World War I, was also an epic slaughter of human life that should never be forgotten. And, thanks to games like the downloadable Valiant Hearts: The Great War, it won’t be.
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Valiant Hearts: The Great War Review
Set in the era of World War I, Valiant Hearts is marketed as a puzzle adventure game that is, at its core, an epic tale of warfare and what it does to people.
Underpinned with a subplot involving love, surviving on the front lines, and the bonds between people, Valiant Hearts: The Great War involves a unique blend of gameplay and storytelling that includes fetch quests, puzzle solving, and even dodging bullets on the front line.
Developed by Ubisoft Montpelier and published by the mother company in 2014 for practically every system available, Valiant Hearts: The Great War offers gamers four chapters following the exploits of Emile, Karl, Freddie, and Anna.
Characters have unique traits and abilities that aid them in their specific segments. These gameplay moments include everything from brief melee segments to car chases.
Finding items and using them to solve puzzles is used as a game mechanic quite liberally in a nod to classic point-and-click adventure titles on the PC while the varied talents of the game’s protagonists make you recall everything from the second Super Mario Bros. game in the United States to class-based role-playing games.
People who are fans of history will appreciate the game’s attention to detail in this regard. From actual battles and historical events to a general aesthetic that makes sense, Valiant Hearts: The Great War treats the first World War with the gravity it deserves.
To add replay value to each segment, there are collectible items hidden within the stage. Gamers who encounter difficulty during the game can actually opt to lower the difficulty setting to make it easier to proceed.
Though the plot veers into Hollywood action-flick territory, it remains compelling and interesting to the very end.
Graphically speaking, the game is a beautiful mix of graphics that will age well but still convey a certain artistic aesthetic that is reminiscent of a picture storybook. To keep the mood and ambiance at this level, the orchestral score provides appropriately epic and sweeping soundscapes that would be right at home in a John Williams score.
Well received by critics and fans alike, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is one of those titles that you might not have heard about but is something you should definitely experience. From its unique narrative to its solid gameplay, Valiant Hearts offers gamers an opportunity to experience a “games as art” title.
Given that, it won’t win over detractors of puzzle games with its mechanics nor is it likely to please gamers who need a lot of action. For the rest of us, however, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a charming title worth a playthrough.
- Awesome story in a rare setting for a video game
- Great graphics and score
- Engaging gameplay concepts with an adjustable difficulty setting
- It won’t change your mind about adventure puzzle games if you don’t already like them
- World War I might not be your cup of tea in terms of settings
- Gameplay is varied and you never seem to get enough of the good parts