Games News and Reviews | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Games : Recommended
Release Date: June 25th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Overview -

There's no shortage of war-themed videogames. And although I may have lost track of how many 'Call of Duty' games have been released over the years, you can set your watch to the inevitable next entry. The once epic stories of World War II have been replaced with fly-by-night, Michael Bay action set pieces; inclusive of brief campaigns that are often ignored for the more frantic and fast-paced online multiplayer. Ubisoft Montpellier aims to shake up that format with 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War'. To aid in this story-telling, th game is powered by the same UbiArt Framework engine that underpins 'Rayman Legends' and 'Child of Light,' Replacing kill/death ratios and weapon upgrades with storytelling and historical poignancy, 'Valiant Hearts' proposes interesting gameplay ideas. But can originality equate to anything more than a bloated history lesson?

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
Audio Formats:
7.1 LPCM
Release Date:
June 25th, 2014

Video Review


Utilizing the UbiArt framework - an in-house engine that has enabled visuals stand-outs like 'Rayman Legends,' 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' takes a slightly different slant with the artwork, but one that is no less impressive. Where 'Rayman' was incredibly colorful and vibrant, 'Valiant Hearts' embraces dull browns and greys in an attempt to further immerse the player into the harsh conditions of war. But as depressing as that particular color palette may be, it is perfectly balanced with some of the more colorful and impressive set pieces throughout the game: raging fires, starry skies, full moon.

Just as interesting was the comic book style of storytelling. While not used as often as I would have liked, splitting the on-screen images with separate panes to detail events occurring at different locations was a fantastic way to cut back on final game edits, while keeping the player engaged with the action and events happening on screen.

Audio Review


Although 'Valiant Hearts' replaces spoken dialogue with voice bubble images and unintelligible character gibberish, the voice-over narration that occurs in-between chapters is on the level of a high quality Discovery channel mini-series. The voice actor is incredibly effective in delivering narration that sets an appropriate mood across the character's struggles – emotionally and physically.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War PS4

Ubisoft generally aspires to high levels with their quality musical scores associated with many of their games, and 'Valiant Hearts' is no exception. A morose and sorrowful tone is frequently established through the use of a simple, yet effective, piano score. Slow and deliberate, with an emphasis on tearful emotions. Contrast this with the high energy, big-band style emphasized during the frequent driving sequences, and the mood of the game is dramatically altered.

Final Thoughts

I continue to be impressed with the ongoing creative efforts of Ubisoft Montpellier, and 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' is yet another reason to be excited. They've taken what many consider to be the most tragic war in history and turned it into a game that has a story filled with heart and emotion. 'Valiant Hearts' is as close to an interactive history lesson as you can come, and were I a high school history teacher, I would find a way to work the game into my classroom lecture. Fans of history – tragic or otherwise – and wonderful storytelling will find plenty of reason to see 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' through to the end.