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Genre: Puzzle, Adventure, Educational
Developer: Ubisoft Montpelier Studios
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Network (PS3), Xbox 360 Games Store, Xbox One
Let’s Player: Cryaotic
Some spoilers for the beginning.
“War makes monsters of us all.”
-George R. R. Martin “A Game of Thrones”
“I was never a hero. That’s just how they justify war.”
There is nothing great about war, but there is something to be garnered from its portrayal. Inspired by letters found during the First World War, Valiant Hearts is nothings less than a a bittersweet masterpieve.
I actually wound up watching this game by accident; I thought I was clicking on Vandal Hearts, but even when the realization set it, I was already hooked. Valiant Hearts: The Great War manages to be entertaining, funny, heartbreaking, and educational. I learned more about the first World War than I ever did in history class. I knew about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand (hell there’s even a street near me named after him), but I didn’t know about the treaties France had signed prior that drew them into the conflict, nor was I informed about what they did to their German residents, though I’m sadly not surprised. It’s not without its precedence, nor have we presently learned.
Karl, a farmer living in the French countryside with his wife Marie and their son Victor, is forced to leave and return to Germany where’s he promptly drafted (like…seriously? Why would you do that France?? Obviously any able-bodied men sent back are going to be conscripted! I mean…I understand the “logic” behind it, xenophobic and paranoid as it is, but I don’t understand why they didn’t realize that someone like Karl would be loyal to the land where he and his family resided and ousting people like him from the country is a bad move since it only served to augment their enemy’s ranks *sigh*). Not long after Karl’s forced departure, Marie’s aged father Emile is impressed as well, leaving the young mother alone to tend to the harvest and care for her son.