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You may find the title music serene if not melancholic when you first load up Valiant Hearts. When you return weeks later to replay favorite sequences and find collectibles you missed, you may find the same music moving for the way it tugs at the heart strings. You will know, as you're returning to the game, the music is a reminder of the tragedy and the beauty that lies underneath the cartoonish art and puzzles of Valiant Hearts.
Valiant Hearts gets most of it right. In the end, it's just an incredible relief—if a decidedly un-American sentiment—to play a memorable war game that isn't some Rambo-inspired revenge fantasy. Well, that's not exactly right. It's a memorable game that just happens to be set during a war. And that makes all the difference.
Valiant Hearts is a rarity: a game from a massive AAA publisher that plays out a personal and intimate story in a largely untapped historical setting. More of that, Ubisoft.
But in a way Valiant Hearts is a challenge to everyone in the industry; it's a challenge to the publishers churning out the same old "war games," and it's a challenge to all the players that continue to buy into these games without really thinking about what they are playing. War isn't fun, and it has a real impact on the people that are involved in it. It's games like this one that, critically, remind us that there is a human side to war.
This game made me shed more tears than any game I have ever played before, and I find that I am not alone in that sentiment. I even think this game communicated parts of WWI so well that it could be used as an educational tool, though the characters' story is fiction. I want my friends and family who don't seek out history for fun or play video games to play Valiant Hearts. I want to show this game to my favorite history teacher in high school– who was also a soldier and a lover of fine art, to see what he thinks, though I feel that I already know the answer. I want to tell everyone how wonderful and important the complete experience of Valiant Hearts: The Great War is so that many more people can enjoy it. Oh wait, I think I just covered that last thing.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is short, but anything longer would most definitely be padding. The entire package fits well together, and it goes down in my book as one of the best and most complete puzzle games since Portal 2. Before you dip into the doldrums of summer, I can't recommend enough picking up this game first. All I need now is for the soundtrack to be officially released, and my life will be perfect.
If you're most interested in a good story, engaging characters and an altogether completely different take on the average War game, you're in luck because Valiant Hearts: The Great War is tailored by folks just like you.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a truly impressive experience that manages to focus on the realities of World War 1 without becoming a dull or upsetting experience. It adds just enough cheerful moments to stay upbeat and you're certainly going to care and fall in love with the main characters, especially the small dog.
There's not many video games that treat war with the respect its participants deserve. Metal Gear is too preachy and ham-fisted while Call of Duty & Medal of Honour are bombastic dude-fests disinterested in reality. Valiant Hearts, by using the war as a backdrop and avoiding too much direct conflict, pays tribute to the 16 million that perished in The Great War 100 years ago and does it with humour, pathos and melancholy.
Overall, I couldn't have been more pleased with Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Beautiful art, moving music and a compelling story that has a heart wrenching and unexpected ending with plenty of subtext for you to chew on, it was an absolute treat to play. While the gameplay itself isn't complex, the puzzles were surprisingly fun even if not overly hard. It also wins extra points from me for slipping in historical facts and subtly teaching you a history lesson.
A few games have had the ability to offer a bittersweet tone and to provide a theme that shows the stark reality of war offset by moments of humanity. The visual display of the game is creatively done and the soundtrack is splendidly made, transporting you into the environment on the first note. The game is a gem, probably one of the best games of the year.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a poignant and powerful reminder of the significant human toll borne of the wars that we so often act out in our favourite video games. It doesn't exaggerate or embellish its subject matter, but rather tells a story rooted in historical accuracy and human emotion. And while the puzzler's gameplay isn't revolutionary by any means, its awe-inspiring visual design, clever soundtrack, and thoughtful plot will break your heart in the best possible way.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a very good game. It has a very engaging story which will bring tears to your eyes while you play. This game has heart, so I can recommend it to anyone who wants to have a journey that won't be forgotten for a long time.
I continue to be impressed with the ongoing creative efforts of Ubisoft Montpellier, and 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' is yet another reason to be excited. They've taken what many consider to be the most tragic war in history and turned it into a game that has a story filled with heart and emotion. 'Valiant Hearts' is as close to an interactive history lesson as you can come, and were I a high school history teacher, I would find a way to work the game into my classroom lecture. Fans of history – tragic or otherwise – and wonderful storytelling will find plenty of reason to see 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' through to the end.
All entertainment media has a tendency to glorify war and games are no different. On most occasions, we select our loadout and happily headshot anything with a pulse. Valiant Hearts tackles the harsh realities of what this war did to regular families. It tore people apart and, conversely, brought strangers closer together. It's a beautiful tale of love and woe, with a consideration for the chilling realism of war. History may be in the past, but it should never be forgotten, for the people affected truly were Valiant Hearts.
I don't want to give too much away, but Valiant Hearts: The Great War is significant in many ways. It not only gives us a rewarding and engaging way to see the horrors of war as it pertains to this particular likable cast of characters, but it also educates us on one of the most significant events in history. Ubisoft Montpellier could have just delivered a good game and called it a day, but they went above and beyond the call of duty to add context to the proceedings, and that is quite the commendable effort.
Brilliant. Ubisoft Montpellier has created one of this year's most memorable games. A story of adventure and tragedy played out against the backdrop of World War I, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a game everyone should play.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War delivers a moving story that will surely leave an impression on you. The UbiART engine delivers another great artistic showpiece telling a story through animation, a powerful and harrowing musical score and documentary-like narration. Valiant Hearts doesn't depict what war may have been like, it makes you feel it.
The five hours or so of gameplay that you'll get from a single playthrough are rewarding and memorable, with that fantastic storyline backing up some great puzzling action. Some may find themselves frustrated when bugs occur, but we think most will be forgiving of them once the end credits roll. As a package, we're sure that Valiant Hearts is something that you'll never forget. And you should indeed never forget.
In the end, Valiant Hearts: The Great War was an enjoyable experience with a satisfying story. The game doesn't include the years when the United States joined World War I, but at the end of the game there's an opening to include that story for a possible sequel.
So in the end, Valiant Hearts is something of a flawed masterpiece. But it's a masterpiece nonetheless. This is a game that definitely won't be for everyone, but it's something that the videogame industry has been in dire of need of. Being a steel-balled, Nazi-killing war hero is all well and good, but Valiant Hearts reminds us that there's more than one way to tell a war story.
Instead of simply running you through various battles of World War I, Valiant Hearts: The Great War uses the story of a French family to build a better understanding of the broader historical importance. This personal story serves as the perfect framing device for the game's documentary-style presentation. While there are a few missteps and areas where it could have been stronger, it is a beautiful and well-executed game that offers a unique glimpse into one of the deadliest wars in human history.
I've never been much of a history buff, but maybe I would be if more games like Valiant Hearts: The Great War existed. Between the artistic backdrops and the soldierly tasks you commit, both right and wrong, Ubisoft Montpellier retells the events of World War I in amazing detail. Yet, the story is always about the people on the frontlines and what they endured, not the politics.
"Valiant Hearts" is able to convey this very real story of war through its cartoon-designed characters. It's gut-wrenching as realistic stories of wartime loss often are. That story occasionally gets lost while shuffling between the four main characters, but the message remains. The perils of war are far more real than the glory of the battlefield that is often depicted in today's games.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War isn't about being the hero, though there is some of that. It's not about beating the "bad guys," as you'll experience the war from both sides. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a beautiful depiction of the horrific effects of war.
These problems don't dilute Valiant Hearts' message, however. Rarely has war been examined with so much honesty and earnestness in a videogame. It only makes us yearn for more games that were less about guns and more about the people behind them.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War will certainly not be the most challenging game you play this year, but it is utterly absorbing, charming and a real experience for fans of puzzle and adventure games. Worth investing in for the soundtrack alone, it's an experimental title that - whilst it feels as if it could be a valuable educational tool for a younger audience - is still a mesmerising game for adventure fans of any age.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War brings an involving and touching experience about World War One to the Nintendo Switch under the guise of a point and click game with puzzles to solve. While this aspect is not the strongest tenet of the game, as its puzzles could use a greater level of challenge, the game delivers everything else in a near flawless way, thanks to its well-devised plot, exquisite cartoon and comic book inspired visuals and overall message, which will go straight to the core about that devastating conflict.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Valiant Hearts is a breakthrough title that attempts to show the gamer the impact the First World War had on regular people. Instead of being given a bag of guns, you're simply tasked with surviving by getting through each area so you can get the protagonists home. This is the game that proves war games don't have to be all about mowing down waves of enemies and the emphasis on the characters and atmosphere outshines the basic puzzling and item gathering.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a graphically superb puzzler, tackling historical events that are not perhaps known to everyone and doing it in a lighthearted, yet respectful manner. Gameplay wise it's not going to challenge but the story, the characters and the emotional response that the combined product will evoke in players is easily enough to justify the asking price.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is an elegant mix of 2D adventuring, simple logic-based conundrums, and effective storytelling. Its puzzles are a little uninspired, while the game's QTE segments can grow rather tiresome. But Ubisoft Montpellier has told a poignant story with real spirit and invention, and that makes this an easy one to recommend.
Four years after its original release, Valiant Hearts celebrates the centenary of the Armistice with this Switch release. With the same strong experience remaining unchanged, it still is a pleasure to (re)discover Emile or Kurt's destinies, tahniks to the beautiful UbiArt Framework. With only two bonuses taking the form of an animated comic book and a regular artbook, Valiant Hearts still deserves another look, whether or not you already experienced it.
Review in French | Read full review
A touching and bold portrayal of World War One in wonderful animated style, Ubisoft Montpellier's Valiant Hearts shows that videogaming doesn't have to be an Anthem for Doomed Youth.
With Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Ubisoft Montpellier has created something magical. That is, a game which manages to convey the seriousness of war, while also being creative and imaginative. All of this is done in an incredibly respectful manner; so much so that the game acts as both a teacher and an entertainer throughout its colourful narrative.
The title is certainly not without its faults with fairly simple gameplay and puzzle-solving, and a sometimes over-reliance on historical facts and pop-up text to describe its WWI-inspired world. Yet, like the greatest feats and tales of the first World War, this tale, though difficult to witness at times, is nonetheless an important and great one for the ages.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a superbly titled game. It is a valiant effort at a sincere depiction of war by developers whose hearts were clearly in the right place, telling a gripping story that is still respectful of its source.
With beautiful art, a sentimental story, and gameplay that emphasizes helping people rather than killing them, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a refreshingly different kind of war game.
Valiant Hearts isn't perfect, and not everyone will like its tone, its graphic novel style or its story, but it's a strange, beautiful and genuinely special game. Let's not get carried away; as a work of World War I art it's no Paths of Glory, Regeneration, Birdsong or All Quiet on the Western Front. It's not even a Blackadder goes Forth.
There has been a large contingency of people asking for a war game in which you don't pick up and fire a gun, so it's great that, when it actually happened, we were given a game with this much charm and emotion packed into it.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is on the short side, lasting roughly 6-hours. That being said; the experience is a powerful and emotional journey. It is one of Ubisoft's best releases and a must-play for gamers this summer.
As with any adventure game, you might feel like you need to backtrack a little too much, though the potential for getting stuck is severely limited by a generous hint system. Valiant Hearts could very well be the most poignant World War I game ever made, especially as it tells a tale from both sides of the conflict without getting bogged down in the unnecessarily stupid allegiances and battles that wasted thousands of precious lives.
While the UbiArt Framework logo at the beginning of the game should be a clear sign that Valiant Hearts is visually beautiful, its breathtaking, unforgettable narrative comes somewhat as a surprise. While its occasionally dull gameplay and noticeably low level of challenge prevent it from being a masterpiece, Valiant Hearts is one of best games a Ubisoft studio has created in recent history.
Despite taking shape as a rather unambitious adventure game, Valiant Hearts: The Great War nonetheless tells a beautiful story of loss and companionship with overwhelmingly evocative success.
Valiant Hearts is a nice game. Nice being a word equally complimentary but damning in its pedestrianism. It's a game worth experiencing; a visual and audial treat; a heart-warming and heart-breaking yarn. But as a game… it falls ever so slightly short of its target.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War presents us the grim side of World War 1 which is now thankfully a thing of the past. It looks pleasant and this Nintendo Switch port seems to have fared better than Child of Light despite running on the same game engine, so if you are seeking a brief interactive story, this gets a solid recommendation.
Valiant Hearts is a good game offering an emotionally satisfying experience. With about six hours of gameplay (depending on puzzling speed) it has solid value. As humans, we should all play this, even though it's not the best gaming has to offer.
Valiant Hearts is confident in its direction and thoughtful in its design. As a puzzle-focused, story-driven experience it isn't going to be for everyone, but those who relish the days of LucasArts' point-and-click adventures will certainly find a lot to enjoy here — doubly so if you are a history buff.
While Valiant Hearts struggles to make sense of itself as a game, in its odd, playful innocence and in its focus on four friends (and a dog) it at least offers a fleeting human perspective on a new kind of war that turned out to be far, far worse in its mechanised violence than anybody was quite expecting.
Valiant Hearts works from a novel concept, and is loaded with brilliant ideas—hell, it's great just to see a war from the perspective of a country other than America—but Ubisoft's lack of self-control ultimately makes it less impactful than it should have been. It's still a worthwhile experience, though it could have been so much better if Valiant Hearts left us wanting more.
Valiant Hearts may get repetitive at times, and struggles to find its tone, but I'd be hard-pressed to name a game that better explores the complexities of war. In the end, we're reminded that lives are valuable regardless of their banner. It's rare to see a video game explore conflict with such nuance, and this one deserves commendation for that.
And so it's a good try, Ubisoft Montpellier, but ultimately in your failure to commit to your high concept, Valiant Hearts is ultimately the same as every other pretty good game: flashes of brilliance countered by nonsense tropes that are inserted just because these are the things you do in video games.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is an extremely linear, extremely easy, and extremely… okay adventure game that deals with the real, non-romanticised side of the first World War. Sadly while a product that's deeply engrossing, technically flawless, and simply beautiful to look at, its core, the story and characters, doesn't manage to ever become the riveting war drama that it is supposed to.
I give Ubisoft Montpellier a lot of credit for taking a level-headed look at a period of history that usually gets overshadowed, but the gameplay didn't get nearly as much attention as the aesthetics. If the puzzles had been more unique or interesting they could've propped up the story instead of dragging it down to mediocrity. Instead Valiant Heart turns one of the greatest conflicts in human history into a dull, repetitive chore.