There's nothing worse than investing time and effort into a game only to finish it and realise you hated it, even one minor issue with a game can change your entire opinion. Thankfully for me, Valiant Hearts didn't leave me this way. I bought the game on a whim and started playing it in some down time I had and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. There's something in this game for everybody I'm sure.Gameplay
The gameplay was probably the least enjoyable part about it but that's not to say it wasn't still great. Side scrolling can be tricky to pull off and Ubisoft barely managed with some puzzles requiring timing and vertical movement which didn't always go hand in hand. Often I would be seeing kill screens because the controls weren't straight forward. You would also occasionally find yourself stuck because you were expected to do an action you haven't needed in 2 or 3 hours. These problems aside it still worked great. Puzzles made up half the game and they weren't too tricky but still had you scratching your head for a few minutes, the rest of the game was nearly all time based and it felt like an RTS. If you haven't guessed just from the cover art,
The graphics are fairly unique. They're high quality in places, poor in others but the colour and tone used really set the mood for the game. At the end of the day that's not what you're playing this game for.Storyline
The storyline was by far the best thing here. The writers for this game are geniuses with the emotions they gave me through this roller coaster of game. I would laugh, cheer and cry before this game ended. I've not felt so much for a game in a long long time. There are times it isn't historically accurate as some people might find a problem with but if you can put those discrepancies behind you for one second and look at the bigger picture you won't care. It's hard to go into detail without giving away any information, and believe me I want to talk about the plot line for weeks on end, but the storyline is a perfect example of a game that lets you have fun in the middle then brings you back down to Earth what is really happening everywhere in between. If nothing else it captures the mood of WW1 perfectly and I don't think I've seen any game do that for any war yet.Achievements
Very easy achievements, I completed it in 2 days of casually playing it which even for an arcade game is ridiculously quick. As the game lets you replay missions the optional story achievements you might have missed are easy to pick up again. Probably the worst achievement in the game is the collectables achievement because as much as I enjoyed this game, I hate replaying puzzle side scrollers just for collectables (
), that's why I played through the campaign with a collectables guide up as I went. It didn't ruin my experience in any way or spoil any of the story so I recommend it to save yourself a lot of time.Extras
There was an interesting part about this game which was the historical facts. Some games come with these and I always enjoy it when they do. In each level you could read about the items you were using/fighting, the places you had been and they integrated this with the collectables section as well allowing you to learn more about the equipment used if you wanted to go and find it. It's always nice to learn about the history of the events you are playing through.Other stuff
I can't leave here without mentioning the music. This games soundtrack is phenomenal, I thought I'd be tired of it within the first hour but I absolutely love it. Not only is it very well used in the storyline but also in the gameplay itself as there are several vehicle missions which you play to the sound of classical chase music as hazards are dodged to the sound of the high notes (hard to explain but once you're there for the first time you see it immediately and begin to giggle).
In the end it really was a near perfect game for me. The slightly annoying gameplay wasn't enough to put me off from anything else, I couldn't stop loving this game even if I tried. You know a game has done well when it's all you think about afterwards and this is one of those games. My emotions are everywhere still, even after completing it hours ago, because if nothing else it's reminded me of the severity of the first world war and that alone is something to always remember. Lest we forget.