Skip to main content

Ads

loading...

Featured Post

The Mountain Goats - In League With Dragons Music Album Reviews

John Darnielle explores the humanity of wizards, sports legends, Ozzy Osbourne, and other folk heroes and beacons of hope.
“Old wizards and old athletes are the same,” John Darnielle said during a Facebook live stream at the headquarters of Wizards of the Coast, the game company that owns Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. He was there to announce the latest record from the Mountain Goats, In League With Dragons, and his rhetoric was appropriately fanciful: “They were once magic,” he offered by way of explanation.

Ads

ads

Flipboard

Flipboard

Valiant Hearts: The Great War review


"Adventure game set during World War 1 and styled like a French animation" is the kind of description one might expect from an experimental indie game, but not so much from Assassin's Creed and Far Cry publisher Ubisoft. Here's Valiant Hearts though, the prettiest thing you ever did see.

It's very easy to expect it to be a subdued, tragic affair, covering as it does one of humanity's bloodiest conflicts. However, the beautiful 2D, comic-like graphics are the only way in which Valiant Hearts is genuinely unusual. At its heart it's a fairly routine point-and-click puzzle game, with a propensity for the wacky and outlandish rather than dwelling too much on the reality and darkness of war.

There are sad moments in its tale of four very different protagonists drawn together through conflict, but for the most part it's cartoon capers. There's even a suspiciously smart and super-helpful dog in there - it's not quite Scooby Doo in the Somme, but it's certainly not All Quiet On The Western Front.

It's difficult to tell from afar - especially as the marketing has tried to make Valiant Hearts look like a hand-drawn War Horse - but it may well be that this is really a children's game. Carefully-told nuggets of WW1 history are in there, and might well be picked up by a curious young mind in between solving puzzles about organ-playing dogs and giant underground gas machines, or rhythm action sequences in which Parisian cars dance to the Tango. On that basis, Valiant Hearts is a triumph - educational without being at all overtly so.

For an adult, it's more problematic. The rhythm action sequences (also used, bizarrely and inappropriately, to perform field surgery on shelling and gas victims) are irritating, while the more general puzzles too often involve finding levers to open doors, so it can be a bit of a slog. They're rarely hard - if anything they're too obvious - but there's a lot of trudging back and forth required to complete them.


A sustained level of visual invention makes Valiant Hearts hard to put down despite this, but the reason to continue is to find out what artful oddity will next occupy your screen, not because of any sense of triumph from the puzzles.

The game's tendency to lean towards the absurd also harms its ability to be moving, which is a great shame. When tragedy does occur it rings hollow, because we've seen characters survive other things unscathed and repeatedly perform superheroic acts.

 The takeaway sense is that Valiant Hearts has a bold appearance and a bold subject matter (both in terms of World War 1 being an uncommon game setting and that this isn't an action title) but it couldn't quite find the game design to go with it. Even so, it's really not far off 'not to be missed' status. It might not get it quite right, but games that aim as high as this - especially when they come from an organisation which usually makes determinedly mainstream action games - really should be encouraged.

Comments

ads

loading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Nokia 7.1 Review

With Android One, great build quality and a sensible price the Nokia 7.1 is a winner in a crowded market. Here's our full review
Should I buy the Nokia 7.1?
The Nokia 7.1 is a familiar mid-range phone for the end of 2018: a notch, big bottom chin and dual cameras. But these cameras are pretty good, and the display is lovely.Its build quality is above average though, and with Android One on board and decent performance it’s an excellent mid-range phone with the advantage of three years of guaranteed security updates.

Nokia 7.1 Review: Hands-on

With Android One, great build quality and a sensible price the Nokia 7.1 could be a winner in a crowded market. Here's our hands on review By Henry Burrell | 5 hours ago
The Nokia 7.1 is a familiar mid-range phone for the end of 2018: a notch, big bottom chin and dual cameras.

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G Is First Huawei 5G Phone To Go On Sale In UK

Huawei has confirmed that its first 5G phone will arrive in the UK next month as the Mate 20 X 5G.
A larger version of the Huawei Mate 20, the Mate 20 X has some interesting additions, not least of all in this new edition support for 5G, which promises mobile data speeds 20 times that of 4G. Today Huawei has confirmed the Mate 20 X 5G will go on sale in the UK in June at £999.

Mark Zuckerberg Builds A Sleep Box For Wife To Have A Peaceful Sleep

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressed his love and gratitude by making an innovative wooden ‘sleep box’ for his wife Priscilla to have a peaceful sleep at night. The American tech entrepreneur, took his Instagram account and showed off his invention that helps his wife to sleep peacefully through the night as she cares for their children. The invention is known as the sleep box and emits a faint light between 6 am and 7 am so, Priscilla Chan can know that their two toddler daughters are about to wake up, without the need to have to check her phone.

Like Fan Page