Video games are obsessed with war: ancient, secret, modern, futuristic. But Valiant Hearts is one of only a few to watch the first World War. It is a studied performance, but one in which you rarely pull a gun. It is a puzzle adventure that is much more interested in how people are affected by these terrible events that recreate the violence. He sometimes gets too bogged down with historical anecdotes, but overall it is an elegant and heartfelt adventure with a big heart.
The most striking aspect of Valiant Hearts is the beautiful art direction. Play it really feels like watching a wonderful piece of animation, and I was surprised to see how the style is versatile. Of course, it shines in the beginning when asked to describe the tranquility of rural France, but it is equally effective in addressing much more challenging environments. The trenches and front lines of the war, in particular, look like scenes from hell, with thick smoke that hangs over and piles of bodies providing cover. Importantly, the cartoon style does not hide the horror of what is happening.
Similarly, the characters have much more depth than their flat appearance at first suggests. Located along the border of France and Germany, the story tells the interlocking stories of the five protagonists all affected by the war. You spend time with each of them, and while the story is strong enough, it is the animation that shows brilliantly as on each of them. Barrel-chested Freddie struts into battle with the conviction of a man out for revenge, while Emile was an oppressed approach betrays a weariness that can not be neglected. Although there are snatches of dialogue, a lot is also transmitted through the inarticulate sounds intelligible yet strangely made by these stocky figures.
The bold art style succeeds because of some clever touches, it is unfortunate that the narrator has no qualms with the laying on a little thick. is nowhere more pronounced than at the end, which is expected move, although somewhat spoiled by the narrator noting that I was already spontaneously.
Unexpectedly, there is also a sense of humor to find. This works brilliantly on occasion, as when Ana flees Paris for strains of the can-can. But elsewhere, it is less well judged. One of the points of history goes a long way to emphasize is the universal horror of war and how it affects people of all nationalities; one of the characters you play is a German soldier, even. So to have a loving villain pretzel bratwurst-chomping as the only identifiable antagonist seems to contradict the rest of the experience. It is certainly more than the cartoon character.
When it comes to gameplay, Hearts Valiant is full of adventure puzzles that are not all that difficult to solve. It is clear that the experiment is launched everyone, rather than those who need a challenge. It never bothered me in the slightest – the puzzles are satisfactory enough to work through, and I think actually puzzled would undermine my interest in the plot.
And there’s a lot of variety in what you have given to do. Some puzzles involve the collection of simple objects, while others require changes to strategic costumes. You lend your hand to plumbing, digging trenches, and safe cracking. And it is at the service of the plot, either to meet loved ones or venture behind enemy lines, the puzzles as you drive forward. There are also more directed action sequences dot – again, they are not particularly demanding, but create some standouts times. A special highlight of the mine escaped from a POW camp in the moonlight, torchlight and avoid hiding behind scarecrows, bushes, and even a stray sheep.
Throughout its time to race time of six or more, Valiant Hearts did a magnificent job of integrating many aspects of the First World War. Each chapter presents the most iconic elements: zeppelins, flamethrowers, tanks, barbed wire, mustard gas, and even things like the military insurrection. Everything has its place. But what is really great is that they are not just thrown in – they are always used in a way that makes sense: as a mechanic to learn, an obstacle to overcome, or even the basis for a new type of puzzle.
Less successful is the way he wears historical powers along the fiction, he tries to unfold. You are constantly bombarded with boxes of historical fact. Reading them is entirely optional, but I find the prompts too pushy and a little irritating. It runs completely with the sense of style created by art. Valiant Hearts does an excellent job of presenting this information to the world itself. It does not need Encarta ’95 -style notes.
It also creates unnecessary tension between fact and fiction. From the beginning, freely we are told these stories are adapted, and sometimes it’s a pageant play, and I totally agree with that. For example, there is a section in which you attack a zeppelin with the help of a church organ broke out in the cathedral of Reims. I’m pretty sure that does not happen … but it works, providing a fun, memorable encounter that does not affect the object. The slight awkwardness comes when the tragic historical reality is presented immediately after one of the most fantastic interludes.
Valiant Hearts focuses on how life is torn, how strangers become saviors, and how prosperous madness. It is a human point of view small-scale war, which is trying to save these small acts of love and heroism of a world overwhelmed by violence. There is not much of a challenge or a reason to return once finished, but history alone is worth the experience. Ultimately, it is a war game that is more interested in people and their experiences, the bullets and targets. I would have done without some of the notes and the heavy narration, but still a nice painful experience anyway.