review
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POSTED 25/6/14


VALIANT HEARTS: THE GREAT WAR

Ubisoft



Just think. If Franz Ferdinand hadn’t declared “Take me out!” that Yugoslav nationalist may not have duly obliged and there’d not have been a First World War.

Of course there was, and most like if the Archduke hadn’t been snuffed out something else would have sparked conflict. Humans are shit like that.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War (we always thought that term for WWI was dumb, for there’s nothing particularly great about tens of millions being slaughtered) combines a (literal) lesson in history that should never be forgotten with tales from letters sent during that particular war and Ubisoft’s gorgeous UbiArt engine to make a rather unique, incredibly human puzzle/platformer. Imagine if your treasured Tintin comics sprang to life, and you could interact with them.

It’s, perhaps ironically, a beautiful world. From the stunning visuals to the stirring soundtrack to the captivating story of four characters and how their lives intermingle in the most trying of times. As you flip from snipping barbed wire fences to knocking out enemy grunts to going the full “Oh, the humanity!” while bringing down zeppelins, your emotions are tugged this way and that. If you reach the end without shedding a tear then you’re completely, entirely, totally, utterly and tautologically broken.

Puzzles range from gently logical to traditionally Gallic illogical, and collectibles can be so well hidden that you’ll miss them on your first trenches tromp. Yes, even WWI had stuff strewn about to stick in your videogame menu equivalent of a scrapbook.

There are also simple duck and weave bits, and rhythmic bits where you go all Peso from the Octonauts as you bandage those needing bandaging. In honesty, the gameplay isn’t as magnificent as everything else, but all that everything else helps you forgive many sins.

Boy George told us war is stupid. Valiant Hearts: The Great War underlines, bolds and italicises that observation.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.