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.
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.