Visually stunning but mechanically lacklustre, Valiant Hearts gets in the way of its own storytelling.
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 is an adventure more interested in exploring the effects of war, than having you re-enact the violence.
The subject material is ghastly, but Valiant Hearts has the right mix of emotion and entertainment to make enduring the Great War worthwhile.
A heavy-handed but impressively sincere attempt to tackle a subject most other games would never dare, with the end resulting being both affecting and entertaining.
While the puzzles and story aren't especially rewarding, the overall tone is still interesting and successful
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 is an effective, playable history lesson
There's no other war, or game, quite like this.
Ubisoft Montpellier's take on the first World War is a surprisingly heartfelt adventure.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is both touching and educational, a rich experience that lives between two worlds: comics and videogames.
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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.
Valiant Hearts is a confused game, but also a brave one tackling difficult subject matter.
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.
Ubisoft Montpellier's tribute to the war that was meant to end all wars is a deeply stirring -- and surprisingly educational -- experience