Valiant Hearts: The Great War sends you to the trenches of World War I
As we approach the 100th anniversary of World War I, Ubisoft -- or rather, a small team of developers at Montpellier -- is looking to create a way to share the experience of the "Great War" with a younger generation who may not be as familiar with this deadly conflict. Their way is through Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a new side-scrolling puzzle adventure for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Valiant Hearts is "the story of 5 crossed destinies and a broken love in a world torn apart. All of them will try to survive the horror of the trenches following their faithful canine companion."
The game takes place between 1914 and 1918 and tells the story of five characters: Emile, a French farmer who becomes a prisoner of war when looking for his son-in-law. Freddie, an American soldier fighting in honor of his fallen wife. Ana, a field medic -- a "rose in the trenches -- surrounded by blood and gore. George, a British aviator who lied about knowing how to fly. The last is Karl, a German soldier lost in the trenches alone and sick with his love for Emile's daughter Marie. These five characters are accompanied through the horrors of war by a canine separated from its owner during an artillery attack. The dog not only helps the characters survive, but also guides players through action sequences and puzzles.
As for gameplay, Valiant Hearts includes a variety of puzzles to solve that increasingly become more complicated. The ones shown in the preview consisted of things like Emile using a bone found on the ground as a makeshift lever. Ubisoft also finds these salvageable items as a way to incorporate some lighthearted charm into the game. For example, that same bone, once used to complete the puzzle, can be used to play fetch with the dog.
Built on UbiArt Framework -- known for the Rayman games -- the exaggerated art style and approachable character design serve as a nice juxtaposition to the horror and gore of the war in the trenches.