Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a rather unique Windows 10 game that places you in various stages of World War I. Available for both Windows 10 Mobile and PC, the game includes a nice mix of exploration, action and puzzle solving.
The graphics are stunning and reminiscent of a graphic novel and there are plenty of factoids throughout Valiant Hearts: The Great War to give you a historical perspective. Gameplay nicely tests your powers of observation, timing and puzzle solving skills.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a unique Windows 10 title and an immersive game to spend a little time with.
The primary menu for Valiant Hearts: The Great War includes options to jump into gameplay, view exclusive content that includes two graphic short stories, access to the gaming store and access to Valiant Heart's settings.
Settings for Valiant Hearts includes options to reset the game, view your control options, turn on/off the hints (Veteran Mode), turn on/off story sub-titles and view the credits. With respect to gaming controls, Valiant Hearts supports touchscreen gestures, keyboard controls, mouse controls and Xbox controllers on the PC.
The free version of Valiant Hearts: The Great War that is available in the Windows 10 Store includes the first episode of the story. The additional episodes are available through in-app purchases that range from $0.99 and up depending on how you bundle the additional episodes. While the first episode is enough to either sell you on the game or for you to give it a pass, in-app purchases with Valiant Hearts has a bug. You can see the episodes to purchase, but no price is listed. When you go to buy the episode a "Please Check Your Internet Connection" error is displayed.
Hopefully, this bug can be addressed by the developers. Otherwise, you are limited to the first episode that doesn't take long to complete.
In-app purchase bugs aside, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is an entertaining, eye-appealing game to spend time with. The first episode has you playing the role of Emile, a Frenchman thrown into the turmoil of the War. You guide Emile through his enlistment, basic training and first encounter with the battle. The game does include tutorials to walk you through the gesture-based controls during this first episode and as new controls become available in the game.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War also has plenty of pop-up windows to offer clues as to your actions. Gameplay involves scavenger hunt styled puzzles, action scenes and logic styled puzzles to tackle and at times those clues can come in handy. For example, to get past a French Officer a pop-up clue appears filled with musical notes. This clue tells you in order to get past the Officer, you should get the nearby band to start playing. You tap on the four band members to get them to begin playing their instruments. However, you have to choose the right order of instruments to get the band playing as a whole. Once the band strikes up, the French Officer moves aside and you can continue on your journeys.
Along with the pop-up hints on what to grab, where to go and who to interact with, Valiant Hearts also has historical factoids that become available throughout the game. A stack of books appears in the upper left corner of the gaming display that, when tapped, pulls up snippets of information on that particular moment in the Great War.
Gameplay does pick up in pace with action scenes such as a grenade toss during basic training and a battlefield race where Emile has to dodge incoming mortar rounds.
Overall, the more I played Valiant Hearts the more I found myself wanting more. The artwork is top-notch, much like you would find in a graphic novel sitting on a comic book store shelf. The narration and picture board dialog boxes help set the mood of the game and the darkness of war.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War offers a nice blend of gaming styles in a wonderfully illustrated setting. Simply put, it is just a nice, well-rounded Windows 10 game.
I would have liked to have seen the ability to synchronize gaming progress between Windows 10 devices and that may be a feature in the works. As is though, had it not been for the glitch with purchasing additional episodes, I could see Valiant Hearts: The Great War being a five-star title in the Windows 10 Store. We can only hope a fix comes into play soon to allow the experience to continue.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.