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Power Member - Level 10
A few days ago I picked up Valiant Hearts -The Great War-
Yesterday morning I beat it. Ever since finishing the game I have been scouring the internet for other peoples thoughts on the game, looking up reviews and videos on it. I'm not going to try and comment on the reviews themselves or whether I agree with them, but they do bring up some legitimate points.
One thing that kept popping up was whether or not Valiant Hearts would have done better as another form of media. Reviews for the game all speak towards the gameplay aspects as being the lowest point for the game, and praise the story and storytelling as the best parts of it.
I have dwelt on the subject myself. Could this game have done better as a movie? Or a tv show adaption? At first I thought about how that could have been done and began thinking that maybe they were right. A tv Mini Series in the vein of Downton Abbey would probably do really well. A movie adaption with the same mood or outlook as Les Miserable, or the Kings Speech would have been great. A comic book even of the same exact story would be awesome. But would any of them have been the same as Valiant Hearts the video game? To another point, would they have told the story any better?
This is where I begin to disagree with reviews/ other peoples opinions. While the gameplay aspects of the game are where some of its flaws are, Valiant Hearts to me is at its best as a game. The developers did a great job making sure that everything about the game complemented each other. The art is beautiful and the music engrossing. The story is fantastic and is only made better by the fact that you play through it, rather than passively watch it from afar. All of the games most powerful moments are moments that you PLAY through. You the player are making everything happen. This has been a trend that has arisen in gaming of late and its one that I whole heartedly support.
The point im trying to make is this. Would watching a medic running across the battlefield to save an injured man have as much impact than if you were the medic running across the battlefield saving people instead? The fact that you are the one literally driving the story through your actions? When a character is shot in front of you your no longer just watching an actor trying to drag them to safety, YOU are dragging them to safety because you do not want them to die. The ending to the game is a perfect example of this that I won't spoil. It is an event that will not happen, will not trigger by itself. It is not a cutscene, it is not a thing that happens by itself. It happens because you are pushing it forward.
In closing, I think that Valiant Hearts is a great game. It has its flaws. As much as I say that it is perfect as a game some of the gameplay mechanics could have been perfected more or just outright changed to fit the situation better. But that does not take away from the experience that i had with it. I will not lie when I say that I cried at the end of Valiant Hearts. The ending to this game will most likely stay with me for years. The entire game is a love letter to the period that it takes place in and is one of the first actual "War" games that actually gets War right. I don't know when this turned into me advertising for the game, lol, but I will say that if your the kind of gamer who prefers Story over gameplay then this game is one that you shouldn't miss out on.
If you've made it this far, thanks for listening. It means alot to me. I have gotten a little too used to hearing myself talk and it rings hollow in my ears after a while.