While most associate Ubisoft with big blockbuster franchises like Assassin’s Creed and the upcoming Watch Dogs, they recently gave the greenlight to two smaller passion projects from their internal staff. Child of Light has received high praises recently and its counterpart, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, deserves just as much.
A 2D puzzle adventure, Ubisoft Montpelier’s latest work has charming gameplay. While a bit too simple to offer any sort of challenge (most likely due to the nature of the early levels of the demo), the game seems likely to increase the difficulty as you progress. Each character has a few unique abilities and items at their disposal that depends on their role in the French military (cook, engineer, medic, soldier, etc). Only able to play the first two levels, the game left me quite excited to come back for more.
Weaving the stories of 4 strangers throughout the French forces fighting in World War I, Valiant Hearts manages to create a narrative without a single line of dialogue. Gestures and thought bubbles (with pictures) give you directions of where to go and convey the emotions felt by each of the characters. In only a few minutes the game was able to trigger an emotional reaction from me through the events experienced by a certain character. They tout that their game’s story will chronicle the emotional tale of strangers entering the battlefield to help a young German soldier find his love in a story about survival, sacrifice and friendship. I have no doubt that they will do exactly that.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is due for release this year (the 100th anniversary of World War I) on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.