Valiant Hearts: The Great War - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

25 June 2014

Also on:

PS4 Xbox One

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.7

Summary:

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on the PlayStation 4 is a 2D look inside of the most important conflict tin the history of the planet Earth. Looking at World War II (The Great War) through the lenses of comic book inspired artwork with multiple POVs gives the historical fiction new life. In Valiant Hearts we are delivered a stirring set of narrative story lines by way of a constantly altering POV system. The experience is borderline revelatory due to how deep and broad the expanse of emotion is that gets deliver in these simple 2D graphics.

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Details

Technical Information

  • Required Disk Space:
    • 1.2GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 11 Hours
  • Add-Ons:
    • Available
  • Engine:
    • UbiArt Framework
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Posted:
2015-10-11

Den_Merry

Writer

PS4

7.7

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on the PlayStation 4 is a 2D look inside of the most important conflict tin the history of the planet Earth. Looking at World War II (The Great War) through the lenses of comic book inspired artwork with multiple POVs gives the historical fiction new life. In Valiant Hearts we are delivered a stirring set of narrative story lines by way of a constantly altering POV system. The experience is borderline revelatory due to how deep and broad the expanse of emotion is that gets deliver in these simple 2D graphics. The title was also developed and released on the PS3, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and iOS software. While the 2D artwork will immediately put some people off, we quickly found ourselves immersed in a story worth listening to.

Perhaps we are jaded at this point in our gaming lives or maybe we were always cynical but most times when we boot up a video game it is without the thought of actually feeling anything. Most games we drop into and play to our hearts content before dropping back out. Most stories we don’t remember and most'big moments' are completely lost on us over the years. So you could imagine our surprise when we found ourselves thinking about Valiant Hearts during our time away from the video game. What we quickly came to realize was that The Great War wasn’t simply a 2D platformer with puzzle elements. It was a theatrical experience that leaned heavily upon the UbiArt Framework system. What we had here was a moving novel that kept us engaged and thoroughly entertained while we played.

In Valiant Hearts you play as a group of different characters and experience their specific storylines firsthand. You will play as a US Commando by the name of Freddie, a French war vet by the name of Emile, and a Belgian nurse by the name of Anna. These three characters are the roads by which you travel through The Great War and you will take their different paths to their fullest and sometimes bittersweet fulfillment. As you play through the game you will rotate between different characters, sometimes leaving their story hanging in the balance while you work on a different aspect of the game. Your goal as these characters isn’t necessarily to win or lose, but simply to empathize as they go through something transformative.

When you play as Freddie, the soldier, you also get to utilize a dog companion that will maneuver with you throughout the game. Switching to your puppy companion will allow you to experience the platformer/puzzler aspects in entirely new ways. Your dog can be sent underneath barbed wire in order to fetch items for you or he can initiate levers and squeeze through cracks that you wouldn’t be able to fit. Whenever you control the dog your human body will be relegated to AI control and vice versa. This leads to some precarious situations where you must trust the AI with your life but for the most part the AI seemed competent in our playthrough, never endangering our companion while we did other jobs.

UbiArt has been known in the industry for quite some time as somewhat of a juggernaut of the graphical industry. They were the team behind the underrated Rayman Legends as well as Child of Light. Both of the aforementioned titles looked gorgeous and played to absolute perfection, blending in story and gameplay with absolute aplomb. So we understandably had pretty high hopes when we saw their credit in the art department for Valiant Hearts. For the most part, their touches are there on the artistic side of things. The game has that comic book aesthetic but it invokes the old oil paintings that were so prevalent during the setting of the game. The artwork is a pleasure to look at and each character is that much more unique as a result. Animations in the game are gorgeous and unique and the all around vibe is rather pleasant.

As far as what you will be doing while you are in the game, well, that depends on who you are playing as. As we stated above this is a platformer sidescroller with puzzle elements. For the most part you will be wandering from unique scene to unique scene in order to solve mysteries, collect clues, and find ways to progress through the game. There are moments of thrilling action as well, where you will be chased or forced to fight for your life through small groups of enemies. We are reminded of one scene where we had to ride in the back of a truck as we floored it to get away from chasing soldiers. The action sequences are fairly rare, all things considered, but they are more impactful as a result.

The action in the game is rather sleek and we found very few instances where the engine suffered for what was going on during the game. There weren’t any issues with stuttering framerates or dropped images. Clipping was non existent in the problem department for Valiant Hearts as well. Still, we did run into a few glitches that made our gaming experience pr game rife with a strong narrative and unique art style.

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By:

Ubisoft

Release Date:

25/06/2014

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