Monday, June 30, 2014

What Valiant Hearts Is Like

Over the past few days I've become obsessed with the game Valiant Hearts, which is set in World War I, a time of colossal human tragedy, devastating horrors and rampant fetch quests. The era was apparently filled with needy people who needed things, and you and the other characters you control (including an adorable pup I named Barky) are the only ones who can get stuff for anyone.

It's an amazing game -- my favorite of the year so far outside of Mario Kart 8 -- but it also has the tendency to stress me out. Nothing in the game comes easy. If you want to do something as simple as get a bottle of medicine to help a dying soldier, you will have to pay for that medicine, possible with an apple. Do you just find an apple on the ground? No. You will also have to pay for that apple, which will have to be looted from a corpse trapped inside a cave blocked off with steel you have to dynamite by throwing a stick through fire you create by patching up pipework via pulling a string.

So, tough times. But you feel triumphant, if exhausted, whenever you manage to solve its crazy labyrinth of fetch quests. If only the game had started in time to tell Archduke Franz Ferdinand not to get assassinated and set off a senseless conflict.

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