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Valiant Hearts: Coming Home Makes World War 1 Brutality Comes To Life

Platforms: Mobile platform via Netflix App gaming cloud
Genre: Narrative, Puzzle, Adventure

Following its world premiere at The Game Awards 2022, Netflix unveiled the first title launched through its partnership with the famous French game developer Ubisoft – Valiant Hearts: Coming Home. The sequel to the multi-award-winning Valiant Hearts: The Great War, it’s the first of three mobile games that Netflix and Ubisoft will be bringing exclusively to Netflix subscribers via Netflix’s cloud gaming service.

Many were in awe and eager to try out the upcoming sequel to the BAFTA Games Award-winning survival game, Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, and with good reasons: its animated graphic novel style and the story of the hardship experience of the many soldiers during World War 1 (WWI).

Courtesy of Ubisoft and Old Skull Games, we were given the opportunity to play the final preview of Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, the sequel of the first instalment of Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Personally, I am not a fan of narrative adventure platform games, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Coming Home.

ARMY OF ONE

Valiant Hearts: Coming Home tells the story of four unsung heroes: Freddie, James, Anna, and George each with a different set of journey and role that crosses each other’s path in the most unexpected ways during the turbulent war. Also, it pays homage to the Harlem Hellfighters, the first African-American infantry unit to serve in WWI, who broke down racial barriers at home and abroad. Interestingly, one peculiar enemy from the German navy named Ernst, adds a wonderful twist to the whole game. Not to forget, Walt the dog, the trusty companion to help out on your journey. I will try my best to not spoil the whole story in this review as the story is the icing on the cake.

Coming Home consists of 3 chapters with 19 episodes in total. Players will have to complete one episode to another to progress the gameplay. Within each episode, a script of a written diary will be unveiled from a character detailing their desires, regrets, or thoughts throughout the war. Facts of the war will be unlocked as well, showing visuals from WWI, including a summary of the visuals to get a better understanding of each scenario. The last bit of interesting input from the developers is the scattered objects, in which players will have to explore every nook and cranny and collect the objects to have a deeper understanding of the whole bigger picture of the episode.

Finding the scattered objects is optional and they require a bit of backtracking, but they add a lot of details, especially if you’re an existing fan of the franchise.

HONOUR, DUTY, WILL

Amidst all the histories presented, there are also traversal puzzle elements in different types of forms: surviving the trenches, collecting information on the enemy, flying a plane, rescuing allied forces, and even hitting the right notes of musical scores! The puzzle gets trickier, and perhaps it’s a good thing if the developers had in mind for players to grasp the characters’ hardship in their role in WWI. It would be great to have the difficulty modes feature included, especially for the younger audiences to enjoy the Valiant Hearts: Coming Home storyline with easier challenges.

As previously mentioned, the icing of the game is definitely the storyline. It is such a roller-coaster ride of emotions traversing each chapter filled with sadness, joy, humour, and the longing feeling of the heroes to return back home. Fates intertwined in the most surprising ways and embraced a glimpse of hope, even in the darkest moments. War no longer felt noble, even as some of the men who fought it were noble beyond compare. I personally feel the storyline itself deserves to be made into an animation series or even a live-action film.

I did face a few issues, including several crashes while doing the challenges. I really hope the launch build of the game will be more stable in this regard, as it’s a huge part of the gameplay. Having these bugs break the flow of the narrative does ruin the experience somewhat.

IN PEACE AND WAR

Simply put, with all the new characters and intricate storyline, Valiant Hearts: Coming Home proves to be the second home run success of the franchise and a brilliant introduction to the Netflix and Ubisoft gaming lineup. Old Skull Games really poured their hearts and souls into making an incredible war narrative game that is befitting for any players of all ages.

PROS

  • Stunning animated graphic novel style.
  • The history of WWI is told in every aspect for easier understanding.
  • Recommend for history buffs, first-timers, and players of all ages.

CONS

  • No available difficulty modes.
  • Can be daunting for those who are not keen to read the history bits.

 

FINAL SCORE: 80/100

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