VALIANT HEARTS: THE GREAT WAR
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.
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
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
Boy George told us war is stupid. Valiant Hearts:
The Great War underlines, bolds and italicises that