Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, 360, One

Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Atmosphere is incredible, story, sound, graphics, interaction between characters
Bad: Not so challenging
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

A lot among us are quite ignorant. Ignorant concerning the devastating events of both World War I and World War II.  Yes, we all know it was horrible and a lot of people lost their lives for their beloved country but do we really grasp the meaning of war? Valiant Hearts: The Great War taught me to look past my superficial ideas about the topic and gave me a deeper insight in the meaning of war.

Valiant-Hearts-Logo

Story

The game takes you on a journey starting from a peaceful household through the horrors of World War I. As you’re progressing, the player will get to know four characters with each their own motives, background, hopes and dreams. It’s really quite refreshing to experience the war in various perspectives and by doing so, the game keeps things interesting.

Karl is a hard working and family loving man, living in France with his wife and father-in-law although he himself originates from Germany. Unfortunately, when the war commences, French soldiers soon take him back to his land of birth to as he’s not welcome anymore, tearing his family apart by doing so and leaving behind his spouse and baby. Back in his homeland, Karl has to take up arms in name of Germany. His father-in-law Emile soon gets the same treatment, the only difference being the country for which he’s ordered to fight. Situations like this make the player consider that not everything was crystal clear back in that time. Friends and family members were forced to fight against each other, leaving behind the ones they cared for the most.

Then there’s Anna, a Belgian veterinarian whose only wish consists of helping the wounded in the field and rescuing her father from the evil Baron Von Dorf. She soon joins the troops as a nurse and helps out wherever she can. It’s to her credit that she doesn’t care whether the patient is either a Belgian, German or Frenchman; she helps all who need it.

The last character you’ll get to play with is Freddie, a muscled guy who has lost everything due to the war and is out for vengeance. He’s not afraid to stand on the front lines and to kick some German ass but as the story progresses, you’ll notice that there’s more to him than meets the eye.

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Graphics

Valiant Hearts is an eye catcher regarding graphics. The cartoonish drawn style keeps the game from getting too depressing whilst creating a sincere and credible setting. Even though this is a side scroller, the world really feels alive. You can see soldiers fighting in the background, bombs exploding and smoke whirling up in the sky. The amount of detail put in this downloadable title is really astounding and that’s very praiseworthy as some AAA titles on the market can’t even hope to look as beautiful as Valiant Hearts does.

Sound

Another aspect where the game really shines. The sound design has really been thought through. The voice of the narrator is convincing and enjoyable to listen to. Sound effects like exploding bombs and gunfire add a lot to the overall experience and although the tone of Valiant Hearts is quite sad most of the time, there are some more cheery sequences like the taxi scenes where you’ll have to evade bombs and mines which appear on the beat of very familiar songs.

Soundtrack wise, Valiant Hearts: The Great War couldn’t hit the right spot better. Classic instrumental songs provide a certain drama which, of course, fit the theme of the game perfectly.

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Gameplay

As previously mentioned, the game is a side scroller so most of the time you’ll be running left and right fetching stuff or doing a bit of problem-solving. This may sound as it might get boring and tedious after some time but it’s quite the opposite. Puzzles are all over the place and while they might not be very challenging (not at all really), they provide objectives that really make sense in such a setting. For example, at a certain moment, the game makes you fix the water pipe system in a military camp. What follows is an enjoyable mini game where the pipes have to be rotated so the water can flow freely through them. The only complaint with these puzzles could be the lack of difficulty but for those who mainly want to enjoy the story, that can easily be forgiven.

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Apart from puzzles, the game offers a couple of quick time events, mainly when you’re in control of Anna. In the beginning, these QTE’s are hardly a challenge but in the final chapter, they might require multiple tries. Further, there’re also driving scenes as I already mentioned before. Due to the catching songs they provide a perfect moment to take your mind of the more gruesome details throughout the story.

Walt, a loyal companion dog, will assist you numerous times while solving environmental puzzles. You can command him to flip switches, dig stuff up or carry equipment like dynamite and apples. This gives the puzzles an extra dimension which is quite refreshing.

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The collectors among us will be pleased as well as there are a lot of artifacts to be found in each chapter. It’s not always as easy to find them in a first play through so be sure to check every piece of the area before moving on. What’s even more satisfying is the information that comes with an artifact. Like this, players will be given a history lesson concerning WWI but not once does it get boring or tedious because you know all of it happened in real life. On multiple occasions you’ll find yourself thinking about how people could’ve live in these conditions so many years ago.

Conclusion

This is a game that will really get you if you let go of reality and just go with the flow of the story. Playing as either one of the characters will make you wish they make it out okay as you really start to care for them. Beautiful graphics, stirring music combined with four very strong storylines, what do you want more?

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Valiant Hearts: The Great War - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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