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Title: Valiant Hearts – The Great War

Platform: PS4

Personal Trophy Completion: 100%

Rating: 7/10

This was definitely the most unique game I’ve played in a while, not to mention the most educational. This game takes place during World War 1, and switches between the stories of several characters who are participating in the war and relief effort, on multiple sides. I really didn’t have too much knowledge about WWI beyond the basic American History education stuff, but this game provides journal entries, artifacts, and historical fact sheets that really painted a picture of what it was like. There were fact sheets about everything from certain battles to the fact that to protect against the chlorine in some of the gases, men wore urine soaked handkerchiefs over their faces. That’s for sure something I never would’ve known.

The gameplay is really creative, it’s essentially a 2D scrolling game, where you have to solve puzzles to proceed. Each character has their own set of tools and talents, one has a shovel to dig, one has wire cutters, and there’s even a dog named Walt who can carry things and crawl into spaces you can’t reach to pull levers. The puzzles are satisfying and tricky, some require just the right angle or timing, but non of them were experience ruining hard. And the music is PHENOMENAL. It’s classic and moody and perfectly matches the tone of the scenes. There are also a lot of stealth sections that are very well done (coming from someone who hates stealth), at once point you’re carrying a scarecrow and stopping to duck behind it whenever the search lights come near!

Trophy wise, the majority are story completion and collectibles. While the collectibles were really interesting, I felt there were a few too many and the acquisition took a bit away from the storyline. The other notable trophies are skill based which was a nice change of pace, one was for completing a vehicle section without damage – something I’m normally TERRIBLE at but enjoyed here, and the other for perfectly completing a rhythm based “healing” section. That was a bit more challenging, but I still managed without wanting to tear my hair out.

This is a neat little game, and if you can get it for free or cheap like I did, definitely give it a shot – but only if you can handle the tearjerker of an ending.