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I played – Valiant Hearts

In 2014 Ubisoft Montpellier released a 2D adventure puzzle that takes place during World War 1. It’s name is Valiant Hearts – The Great War. It is an anti war game and it is truly and I mean truly amazing. I have played this game 2 years ago I think, but just recently I was thinking about it again and how much it moved me. And I thought that if I can bring just one person to play this game I have done good.

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Right from the beginning I knew that Valiant Hearts was that kind of game. The kind that moves you, makes you tear up and leaves you thinking. And that stays with you. After all the other games you have played, you still think about it and feel a sense of melancholy.

So, in this game you play 5 characters: the frenchman Emile, his son in law, the german Karl, the american soldier Freddy, a Belgian nurse named Anna and Walt, a dog. It comprises of four chapters that again are split into sections. The game is about love and the horrors of war. About the strength you receive from love and friendship. It is about a family that is separated by the cruelty of war and pitted against each other.

In the beginning of the game, Karl is deported by the french and put in the german army. His french wife Marie and his son Victor are left behind. Maries father Emile and Karl’s father in law has to join the french army. The two of them are in opposing armies now but the goal of the game is to reunite Karl with his wife and kid. The characters have different skills like using a bone as a makeshift lever or a wire-cutter to get through obstacles. To progress in the game you have to solve puzzles and find your way through a terrifying war landscape with bombs going off nearby and shooting and screaming. I thought that the difficulty of the puzzles was just on point. Not to tough and not to easy.

And then the music! Oh the music!

Listen to it:

I don’t remember how long it took me to finish the game but it’s said to take between 6 to 8 hours for the story. The price is around 15 $.

What I find so appealing in this game is the fact that you play in a historic event but that it doesn’t feel like the boring history class we all had to endure. History comes to life here and as I said it is terrifying, but also beautiful.

Halo: Retribution

Although I am still finishing the Karen Traviss trilogy right now, I am already hyped for the next installment of Halo lore. On August 29th Troy Denning’s Halo: Retribution will release. The cover art alone is just beautiful!

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Here is the official summary:

December 2553. Less than a year after the end of the Covenant War, a string of violent incidents continues to threaten the tenuous peace in human-held space, culminating in the assassination of UNSC fleet admiral Graselyn Tuwa and the abduction of her family. It is a provocation so outrageous that the Office of Naval Intelligence must retaliate swiftly and ferociously—but only after its operatives identify her killer and rescue the hostages.

This mission will be the first for homicide-detective-turned-ONI-operative Veta Lopis and her young team of Spartan-IIIs, and something feels wrong from the start. The obvious suspect is an infamous Brute who leads the Keepers of the One Freedom, an ex-Covenant splinter group in fierce opposition to the UNSC. But Lopis and her team soon realize that the truth is much more insidious than they could ever have imagined, and with Fred-104, Kelly-087, and Linda-058 of Blue Team for combat support, they must stop a plan hatched in the bowels of the secret research station Argent Moon — a plan so sinister it could destroy all those still reeling from thirty years of intergalactic conflict…

I haven’t read Last Light by Troy Denning yet, but this seems to be kind of a successor to it. At least some of the same characters will appear. Most importantly Veta Lopis. I am really looking forward to her character and story and I will definitely read Last Light before Retribution.

The story is set in pre Halo 4 times, which is a little sad, because I am dying to read more Halo 5 era stuff like the one story in Fractures. Which one was that? The one where BB and Osman land on this secretive planet? Gosh, excuse my memory. It is the worst.

Hah! I just found out. It is Rossbach’s World. I really liked that story! And I would love to see more lore from this era. But that is a tricky part for 343 I guess. I don’t think they will make the same mistake as they did with Halo 4 and the Karen Traviss trilogy. Telling the complete pre story of the game in the books and the people who haven’t read that and only played the game (like me, back then) are completely lost. I don’t think that they would do that again, so I don’t expect much or any Halo 5 sequel lore soon.

But 343 could always extend the very weak plot of Halo 5: Guardians couldn’t they? They definitely could.

Gamescom 2017

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It’s this time of the year again. E3 is history and the Gaming World is looking towards Cologne, Germany. The Gamescom will open it’s doors on August 22th for Press and Media and on August 23th until August 26th for everyone who is lucky enough to have bought a ticket early on. As we have seen last year and the year before, tickets are selling faster and faster. By now there are no tickets left for Friday and Saturday. You can still get tickets for Wednesday and Thursday but I would hurry if you are interested in going.

343 has already confirmed that there will be no announcement of a major Halo title like Halo 6. We have to wait for next year. If you ask me I think that is quite alright. Although I would love to see maybe like a tiny teaser or something. Like the Halo 5 teaser with Chief in the Poncho.

Microsoft is going to have a live event on August 20th which will be hosted by the lovely Maxi and well known Scotsman Acey. The focus will be on the new Xbox One X and probably some of the new titles like Forza 7 and Sea of Thieves. I am looking forward to August!

 

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