Valiant Hearts: The Great Wars tells you the story of 4 different characters where destiny brought them together. As soon you start the game the first thing you will notice is the simple yet very creative art-style from the world during dark times. With brights colors and a very warm design, soon you find that while the cartoon style may try to tone down some aspects of the true events of war, the pages of the Diaries as well the photographies from these past events may hit you. I dare to say that, depending on your sensitivity one or two can actually make you feel uncomfortable, but war never was a pleasing sight to start.
The soundtrack is quite simple but it’s strong enough to make a nice companion here and there or even on those tiny bits when you find a solution to a puzzle or when are about to discover something related to the main plot. You can expect one or two plot twists but it’s nothing serious, yet, the story managed to keep me hooked until the very end. I simply couldn’t stop until I found out what happened to them, and I’m glad for being able to experience this game from start to finish without feeling any sort of boredom. There was however, some emotions which brings the next point.
The game may offer a big contrast depending on who is playing and how someone plays a game. If you play for a mere completionist purpose or because you simply like to play videogames, you will find a 6-8 hours long depending on how much time you take to discover the solutions to the puzzles or if you are interested in collecting every hidden object. However, this game offers much, much more depth. It’s clear that the creators did their homework and worked hard to deliver great content for those interested in the culture of war. The “Facts” are filled with a variety of knowledge from all sorts of equipment, weapons, special events, conditions from the soldiers such diseases and locations where this war took place. Since a little bit of knowledge is always welcome I found this to be a satisfying surprise to see in a 2D game. Then there is the immersion. I felt for it and I’m glad I did. By letting myself "fall" into the game I could enjoy the Story as it might be intended by the creators. A warm hearth will love the constant ups and downs that the player will experience. This game did not made me laugh, but it did made me smile quite sometimes and while It didn’t made me cry, it made me a bit emocional because they created a story showing the horrors of war, where when you are faced with a bit of hope, it quickly dies and you are in deep trouble yet again.
It’s not a fair story, there are no heroes, there is no right or wrong, only wrong because this game showed how pointless and destructive is the war. The letters who are based from real ones, written by the people back then showed how the quick turn of events made regular people into soldiers and how bonds like family and brotherhood can play a decisive role during such times.
I honestly hope anyone can play this game with a open heart and look at it as a mean, cruel time-machine who let you experience a tale of the horrors that happened during war and how love can patch a wound, offer hope or give the only strength to sustain such adversities when all seems lost and pointless.