Where the Heart Leads
Top Critic Average
Where the Heart Leads offers a supremely compelling and fascinating overall narrative, one that is filled with genuinely meaningful choices – surely a rarity in video games? Unfortunately, its tall tale is also bogged down with numerous presentation issues that result in dull characterisation. Overall an uneven experience that's both brilliant and boring – sometimes at the same time.
Where the Heart Leads does well for what it seemingly aims to do. It’s the surreal narrative journey of a family through years of happiness and sadness with the connective tissue of a disastrous event tying it down to the present. Putting the puzzle pieces of memory, decision, and consequence together as you go takes this game in a number of directions. Not every direction is riveting and there are some definite lulls, but there are also deeply difficult moments to choose between with consequences for the choices made and the paths untaken. If you’re looking for a chill and often lackadaisical journey you'll steer in meaningful ways, Where the Heart Leads is a narrative-heavy series of roads you may be inclined to explore again and again.
All in all Armature Studio has done a good job with Where the Heart Leads, offering a story-driven adventure based on choices that influence the story of the protagonist, but not very satisfying in terms of gameplay.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Where the Heart Leads is a wonderfully crafted narrative adventure, where every choice is felt throughout the story of Whit and his family.
We begin to see our hero’s life as a line—darting and looping instead of living.
Despite its shortcomings, Where The Heart Leads offers an amazing and emotional experience with many endings that would rival games with the best replay value. The game will surely satisfy and maybe even inspire players to reflect on their choices in real life and the consequences it entailed on their loved ones.
Where the Heart Leads is almost impossible to put down thanks to its strong characters, deep story and attention to detail. The game is brought down only by its minor inconveniences such as bugs and typos that detract only a little from the main experience. For fans of narrative games, this is a must-play, but even those who do not consider themselves fans of the genre might find something they relate to in this game.
Where The Heart Leads is a fascinating and enthralling look at life and the full timeline of it and just how every moment shapes us as humans. Marrying gameplay and narrative wonderfully, Armature has created one of the best narrative-adventures ever. Overall, it is a little long and the opening doesn't grab like the end does, but even still, Where The Heart Leads is a journey like no other. It is an experience that I will carry with me as I progress through life.
Where the Heart Leads falls into a short, unique list of titles that lead you to ponder things long after the credits roll. The narrative holds a mirror to the player, cornering them against realistic in-game situations and forces them to investigate their values. It’s not preachy, by any means, but it uses realism in a way that made me want to get my own life in order. If such was the goal, Armature Games has succeeded through and through.
The game does land one or two emotional blows towards the end, but getting to those moments requires a lot of walking — sometimes with only a vague idea of where you’re supposed to be going — and watching dull conversations unfold. Where the Heart Leads is too long, with huge stretches that give you little to do, and in the end you might be questioning whether it was all worth it. That’s life.