Valiant Hearts is a stunning game and even though it doesn’t present much of a challenge in its six hour span it is certainly a game that will stay with you long after its completion.
Valiant Hearts has you following the story of five characters (six if you include the dog) on their journey and experiences during World War 1. Where Valiant Hearts is different from most games based on wars of the past is that it isn’t about going from cover to cover mowing down hundreds of faceless, shouting enemies. Nope Valiant Hearts is all about the story of people during war, the toll it takes on them, the bonds between comrades the unimaginable loss that war can bring and also the happy endings that it can provide. It’s this reason and many more that the game is so special, following these uniquely fleshed out characters from battle to barracks is a joy and at times a heart breaking journey and each character brings their own little reasons for being wrapped up in the war which helps in adding another layer to each character and the overall story instead of it just being a situation where they got enlisted and now they all have to be best buds.
One of the most noticeable things about Valiant Hearts is how it looks, the game utilises the ‘Ubi Art’ engine and it shows because the game is a genuine treat to look at from the word go and it never lets up. Constantly I would find myself stopping what I was doing so I could appreciate the detail and the beauty that each new segment seemed to bring. The unique beauty of the game isn’t just appealing for the eyes it also helps it poignancy to the many heart felt moments of the game, from the intriguing look of each of the characters to the blood soaked hills of the battlefield, the game just constantly surpasses itself in how it looks.
The games visual attributes are also helped along by its soundtrack. Before I started the game and the subsequent review I didn’t think I would be dedicating a whole paragraph to its music but here we are, the soundtrack that plays thorough out the game does what so many other aspects of this game do, help add another layer of beauty to each moment. So often when playing the game did I notice just how much the music that was accompanying what I was doing was so perfect for the moment, whether it was a heartfelt moment between characters or an upbeat, smile inducing escape sequence the music is always on point and I will certainly be making an attempt to pick up the soundtrack if it’s available.
The final little piece in the Valiant Hearts puzzle that I wish to bring up is its gameplay. Now I’ve left this bit to last because I’m still not entirely sure if the gameplay is up to scratch with the rest of the game, yes it is fun and though game does have some repetitive tendencies these are slightly counteracted by the fact that it keeps you moving between characters enough so that the mechanics you are utilising are more or less changing. The puzzle segments (which make up the bulk of what you’ll be doing) are not as challenging as I would have liked them to be but they still offer enough variation and at times some clever ideas that put a smile on my face. Despite my unsurety I did still have fun and never felt bored with whatever the game had me doing as it continually has you on the move and changing whatever it is you may be doing.
To finish up all I’ll say is that I loved Valiant Hearts: The Great War. The game is emotionally filled, has characters that have you caring about them all the way through and a story that is point for point well-structured and never dips into any lulls and despite my unsurety of the gameplay experience I would definitely recommend picking up the game. Also any history buffs out there will love the wealth of extra content that comes with the game which looks at varying aspects of World War 1 in detail and for anyone not into history well these are optional so they’re there if you wish to browse. So if you have the time and the £12, check this sweet little game out.