You know, there are three types of games that exist in this world. There are games that are talked about and you expect them from their first appearance on the web. The other kind of games is either talked or not talked about and you have pretty cold feelings about them. But, there are games that pretty often are not mentioned by any of the famous game sites but after their release become so popular that some people are fighting to be the first on the leaderboard. Valiant Hearts The Great War has nothing to do with the leaderboards but it is one of those games that I am glad I spent time with and one of those games that made me shed a tear.
Can you name at least 5 games that tell us a story about the period of WWI? Sure, when we talk about money and profit, WWII seems to be like a better option to create a game about. First of all – because it was later in time but closer to our era and second of all – because it was a lot more advanced in technological meaning. But, there was something in common between both of them and that something ain’t pleasant at all. Yes, I am talking about losses and pain, about people who sacrificed their lives to gain us a better future. Valiant Hearts The Great War tells a story about those people and what they did to make us be.
Valiant Hearts The Great War: How It Started?
It is very symbolic to write about the WWI today, in 2014, because it’s been 100 years since the war started. I am pretty sure that partially people who created the game (by the way, Valiant Hearts The Great War was created by Ubisoft) released it on 2014 for a reason, to commemorate the people who 100 years ago died in bloody battles. But, enough with the history and more with the story.
Valiant Hearts The Great War starts with the war. When German troops start knocking on the doors of their French neighbors, a small family of French farmer Emile gets separated by political differences. Karl, Emile’s son-in-law, is forced to join the Germans as far as he is a German citizen. At the same time, because of the complicated situation at the front lines, Emile is being sent to the French tranches. Almost from the very first days of war, two family members become enemies. Unlike the systems, that hate each other, Emile and Karl want to escape the war but are forced to stay in lines. But war won’t let them live calmly and enjoy life because they have adventures waiting for them. Some of them will help them make new friends, but other will force them lose a lot.
Valiant Hearts The Great War: The Gameplay
The gameplay of Valiant Hearts The Great War kind of reminds a good old quest in a 2D worlds where you are supposed to walk here and there and compete various tasks. Technically, it really happens to be so. But that feeling disappears in a while and here’s the reason why: behind simple and obvious, from the first site, quests, lies deep and touching story. You probably think that you can manage it. No, you won’t be able to do that but… let’s not rush ahead that much.
People will change and so will your duties. You will start playing as Emile, who was recruited to the French army. You will put on French uniform and join your comrades on the battlefield. A few levels after you will play as Freddy, a massive African-American soldier who volunteered to fight on the French side long before America joined the war. Some time after, Karl and his adventures will be in your responsibility as well as Anna and her journeys to the front. All characters are charismatic and unique. They know lots of things to surprise you with and lots of stories to share. Even though, they tell their stories via diaries, they are always interesting to read.
As for the gameplay itself, you won’t be able to kill people with guns or destroy them with grenades. Despite the fact that the game is all about WWI, the only weapon you’ll get will be a big scoop. Yes, it might sounds ridiculous but without actually playing the game, it is kind of hard to prove that the game is not violent. At least, the violence won’t be spread by you. The best thing you can do is to blow up a bridge or knock down a few soldiers. Everything else is not your responsibility.
Valiant Hearts The Great War: Where the War Lives
If you look at Valiant Hearts The Great War, it will remind you a nice cartoon story about men and women who were forced to join the war without any interest to be a part of it. Nothing in characters’ moves and actions makes you think that this is a cruel battle between two systems, two European countries. You might even call it a quest for kids, but definitely not the game about WWI. No, there is death and shooting and bombing and else, but they all look funny and comic, if you will.
But that lasts only for a short period of time until the first gas bomb explodes, until the first soldiers loses his leg, until another heart stops beating. All the deaths, all the horror do not look brutal at all and you can even show this game to your child because it is so safe to watch. But only to watch and not to feel. For some reason unreal cartoon deaths surprise and shock more than scenes in Saving Private Ryan. Why? I don’t know but they do and reach the deepest corners of your heart.
Valiant Hearts The Great War of Collectibles
Together with great scenario and amazing characters, you will also have something interesting to play with. This something is called collectibles. There will be lots of them on every level, usually from 4 to 6. These collectibles will be small elements from the past that should give you a better understanding of the WWI and people who fought in it. Gathering them is not necessary unless you run for achievements. But, even if you don’t – I still recommend you to find them all. Every element, every helmet and bullet have a story to tell and those stories are worth reading. All of them. I spent hours trying to recover every item, so badly I wanted to know about the game I play in and the time I traveled to. Trust me – you won’t be disappointed.
Conclusions on Valiant Hearts The Great War
Valiant Hearts The Great War was one of the lightest and hardest travels in my life. I spent a few days playing it, level by level, story by story and I didn’t want it to end. Some people say that it was too short, other say that it had pretty easy challenges and some complain about the chase levels. We are all masters of our lives and only we decide what to like and what not to like. But from the very first second to the very last you will be carried away to the other worlds by the great music, deep narrative voice and always charismatic characters of Valiant Hearts The Great War. And remember – dogs are the best friends.