Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. 100
    In a way Valiant Hearts is a challenge to everyone in the industry; it's a challenge to the publishers churning out the same old "war games," and it's a challenge to all the players that continue to buy into these games without really thinking about what they are playing. War isn't fun, and it has a real impact on the people that are involved in it. It's games like this one that, critically, remind us that there is a human side to war.
  2. 95
    This game made me shed more tears than any game I have ever played before, and I find that I am not alone in that sentiment. I even think this game communicated parts of WWI so well that it could be used as an educational tool, though the characters’ story is fiction.
  3. Aug 7, 2014
    It offers an appreciation of the smaller struggles during The Great War while exposing its horrors. The characters are charming, the gameplay is interesting, the storyline is gripping, and the visuals are full of heart.
  4. Compelling and respectful in a way few games can match. [Aug 2014, p.90]
  5. 90
    Overall, I couldn’t have been more pleased with Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Beautiful art, moving music and a compelling story that has a heart wrenching and unexpected ending with plenty of subtext for you to chew on, it was an absolute treat to play.
  6. 90
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War delivers a moving story that will surely leave an impression on you. The UbiART engine delivers another great artistic showpiece telling a story through animation, a powerful and harrowing musical score and documentary-like narration. Valiant Hearts doesn't depict what war may have been like, it makes you feel it.
  7. Jun 27, 2014
    Valiant Hearts is quite a peculiar title: behind a simple (and even questionable) videogame lies a stunning experience than will warm your heart while teaching you actual history. If everyone played it, the world would surely become a better place.
  8. Jun 26, 2014
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a poignant and powerful reminder of the significant human toll borne of the wars that we so often act out in our favourite video games.
  9. Jun 24, 2014
    Valiant Hearts is a masterpiece, a game that combines gameplay and narration so well that it should be an example for every game designer. And it can teach you a thing or two about the Great War and the human nature. You should really play this game.
  10. Jun 24, 2014
    Valiant Hearts tackles the harsh realities of what this war did to regular families. It tore people apart and, conversely, brought strangers closer together. It’s a beautiful tale of love and woe, with a consideration for the chilling realism of war.
  11. Jun 24, 2014
    Ubisoft did it again. After Child of Light there is again a unique downloadable game. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a compelling puzzle game, a must have. It has a funny look but it's actually a game with many layers.
  12. Jul 3, 2014
    So in the end, Valiant Hearts is something of a flawed masterpiece. But it’s a masterpiece nonetheless. This is a game that definitely won’t be for everyone, but it’s something that the videogame industry has been in dire of need of.
  13. Jun 24, 2014
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War is one of the best graphical adventures you can find nowadays. Its beautiful visuals provided by UbiArt engine was already known as a good choice, so the surprise comes with the amazing story it manages to unfold.
  14. Aug 28, 2014
    While it can be completed in less than six hours, it perfectly explores themes and concepts that triple-A titles still have difficulty grasping: gray morality, a poignant, thought-provoking storyline, and appealing gameplay that isn't based on killing everything in sight.
  15. Jul 16, 2014
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a history lesson as you have not experienced it, ever. The story is full of touching moments, small pieces of joy and at the same time it shows the horrific impacts of war. The gameplay remains varied, although the puzzles are a bit repetitive.
  16. Jun 28, 2014
    Valiant Hearts’s low barrier of entry difficulty-wise makes it a perfect gateway game for those who don’t usually enjoy the genre. While the puzzles are simplistic, they’re also fun to solve and never get in the way of the interesting storyline going on.
  17. Jun 28, 2014
    A very unique experience, which mixes delicate graphics to the gritty storytelling of the worst war the world has come to know. When it tries to be anything less than tragic, it might lack some of that energy, but it's still a game anyone should at least give a try.
  18. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is inspired by letters written during the Great War and has four characters on the battlefield. They sneak across enemy lines and solve puzzles to fight for their survival. The artwork looks amazing and is complemented by the game’s soundtrack.
  19. Jun 24, 2014
    After Child of Light, Valiant Hearts is another great game from Ubisoft on the UbiART Framework engine. And it proves the publisher can make something great, even with a tiny budget. Even with its WWI background, Valiant Hearts isn't just an historic documentary: it's really a story-driven title, which focuses on characters and successfully displays quite classic gameplay.
  20. Jun 24, 2014
    Hearts has been a total surprise, first for its historic fidelity and then for its gorgeous comic visuals. A master class not to be missed.
  21. Jun 24, 2014
    Behind the cartoonish visuals, there's a great game that deals with a conflict as deep as the World War. A beautiful experience on every front, we think it would have been released as a full retail game if launched a few years ago.
  22. Jul 29, 2014
    Never syrupy, sensationalized, or cliched, but dulled by puzzles that veer between easy and illogical. [Sept 2014, p.72]
  23. Jul 16, 2014
    The heartbreaking First World War is a perfect setting for games and as expected with Valiant Hearts, Ubisoft delivers a beautiful, intimate tearjerker. It certainly does not excel in terms of gameplay, but this is compensated, by strong, impressive artwork. The world is so attractive that they could have skipped the puzzles to make an animated film instead.
  24. Jul 2, 2014
    Ubisoft Montpellier's take on the first World War is a surprisingly heartfelt adventure.
  25. Jul 1, 2014
    In any case Valiant Hearts does something genuinely different, and it does so well. There has been a large contingency of people asking for a war game in which you don’t pick up and fire a gun, so it’s great that, when it actually happened, we were given a game with this much charm and emotion packed into it.
  26. Jun 30, 2014
    Valiant Hearts could very well be the most poignant World War I game ever made, especially as it tells a tale from both sides of the conflict without getting bogged down in the unnecessarily stupid allegiances and battles that wasted thousands of precious lives.
  27. Jun 30, 2014
    It is not perfect; it is far, very far from the intentions of other IPs like Medal of Honor. And, the most significant thing: It's a war game without shooting mechanics. Valiant Hearts: The Great War not only tells us the story of the First World War, that one that seems not to be very interesting looking all the games based on WWII, but it tells it with a visual sense of pure art, the only one that the UbiArt engine achieves. It is about soldiers and battles, about lost and death, but also about things the new generations should know, because it is our story after all. Visual novel concepts mix with the core of the graphic adventure, and the result needs some adjustment and balance here and there, but it is one of those experiences that can touch us.
  28. Jun 29, 2014
    Its gameplay is too linear and basic but from the plot to the art design is a marvelous project.
  29. Jun 26, 2014
    It's a valiant little game, then. One you won't begrudge for its final monologue about honor, homeland, and freedom -- words that usually have my eyes rolling whenever lesser games dare to utter them.
  30. Jun 25, 2014
    While Ubisoft has shown that it can deliver outstanding blockbuster AAA titles, its growing library of creative downloadable games should put EA and Activision on notice: this is how to be creative.
  31. Jun 24, 2014
    There’s not much of a challenge or a reason to revisit once you’ve finished, but the story alone is worth experiencing. Ultimately, it’s a game about warfare that’s more interested in the people and their experiences, than bullets and their targets.
  32. Jun 25, 2014
    Valiant Hearts is a good game offering an emotionally satisfying experience. With about six hours of gameplay (depending on puzzling speed) it has solid value. As humans, we should all play this, even though it's not the best gaming has to offer.
  33. Jun 24, 2014
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War can be poignant and contemplative, but it does undermine itself by including a cartoonish villain. Superb art direction and a genuine interest in its own subject matter count in the favour of a game that is unremarkable in a mechanical sense.
  34. Aug 20, 2014
    A rare gem that takes the time to commemorate a tragedy, exploring its human cost in a way that's both meaningful and moving, and relying upon core interactions that are mostly about helping others rather than harming them. [Sept 2014, p.114]
  35. Jul 1, 2014
    A surprisingly sensitive, if flawed, retelling of a harrowing time in human history.
  36. Jun 28, 2014
    Its narrative is able to offer a story that manages to be humorous and even lovely during one of the darkest periods of humanity, but there are hardly any serious obstacles and it leaves no desire to play a second time.
  37. Jun 27, 2014
    Valiant Hearts doesn't make the most of what it's got: the four playable protagonists (the dog is essentially a tool for fetching things) each offer different perspectives on the war, but their stories are predictable and too dependent on coincidence to really engage...No matter. Valiant Hearts may be confused, but it's also brave.
  38. Jun 27, 2014
    This game could be considered as a good one in terms of gameplay. But the whole package is a very intense, very moving experience. Thanks to its graphics, its story, its characters and the clever way it talks about a very sad part of History, Valiant Hearts can be considered as one of the best initiatives this year. With games of this kind, with a soul, even not perfect, we ask for more.
  39. Jun 26, 2014
    A heavy-handed but impressively sincere attempt to tackle a subject most other games would never dare, with the end resulting being both affecting and entertaining.
  40. Jun 24, 2014
    It may not be challenging or action-packed, but Valiant Hearts provides some thoughtful and sobering looks at what life was like on the front.
  41. Very pretty, but pretty shallow. Unchallenging – both emotionally and as a puzzle-platformer. [September 2014, p71]
  42. Jun 29, 2014
    This game feels like a well intended failure. Its puzzles are too simple and easy to solve, the action parts are diluted minigames and the animations feel cheap. However, the historical context is interesting and the visual style is amazing. In the end, sadly, Valiant Hearts is unable to overcome its weaknesses.
  43. Jul 24, 2014
    There’s good puzzling to be had, and some engaging stories here, but a lean towards either fictional fun or serious stories would have worked better. And while this was an interesting experiment, we //really// don’t want to see a WWII game presented the same way.
  44. 60
    A short and simple adventure game with strong atmosphere delivered via an unique visual style. If you're looking for something different, this is it. [Issue#244]
  45. Jul 11, 2014
    And yet, even in its current state, you still have a game that aims to be more than just a jingoistic, us-versus-them shooter, and Valiant Hearts comes off as a blessed gasp of fresh air as a result.
  46. Jun 30, 2014
    Valiant Hearts is a correct game, but also a superficial tribute that lacks some boldness and will to adopt fresh gameplay solutions.
  47. Jul 23, 2014
    Valiant Hearts is a really ambitious war game that has the most of the ingredients that have been missing in the genre so far. Most of the characters is really enjoyable and the graphics is fantastic. Unfortunately the mechanics are too basic and the story isn’t very well written.
  48. Jun 30, 2014
    As a means to tell stories based on actual events Valiant Hearts: The Great War works fairly well. The plot is engaging, the characters compelling and the use of World War One as a backdrop is a bold, but ultimately good decision by Ubisoft Montpellier. The beautiful, hand drawn graphics are stunning to look at, and manage to underscore how difficult life in the trenches was. Unfortunately Valiant Hearts isn't able to justify itself as a game. The gameplay is, ultimately, not very interesting and completely without challenge.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 363 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 63
  2. Negative: 5 out of 63
  1. Jun 27, 2014
    Unbelievable. Emotional, moving, intimate. Beautiful. This is what is taking gaming from a child's activity to the most powerful mediumUnbelievable. Emotional, moving, intimate. Beautiful. This is what is taking gaming from a child's activity to the most powerful medium available for storytelling. Simple story based on a truly horrific event. Easy to identify with, lovable characters, and an interface so friendly this is accessible to gamers of all skill level.

    This is a MUST play for all of those passionate gamers who need more to a game than a reticle with some explosions. The best advice I can give is to stop reading about this game and go buy it now. A beautifully rendered, inspiring journey is only $15 away. Show Ubiart that we NEED more of this in our lives!
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 24, 2014
    Finally there is a war game which is not to gun blaze every one all the time. Valiant Hearts: The Great War has a interesting, touching andFinally there is a war game which is not to gun blaze every one all the time. Valiant Hearts: The Great War has a interesting, touching and meaningful story line. Gameplay is quite good. The puzzle solving is great. It even creates more intense moment than other ordinary action adventure game. It is probably the best game Ubisoft has made this year. It is very cheap and you should pick it up. 1 marks extra is given to all the emotional and beautiful trailers of this game. Full Review »
  3. Aug 24, 2014
    Moving and intimate. These are just two words to describe this game. Ubisoft have shown the true horrors of war with grace and truthfulness,Moving and intimate. These are just two words to describe this game. Ubisoft have shown the true horrors of war with grace and truthfulness, yet with respect. All should play this game just to get an idea of what it would been like for all those brave men and woman. Full Review »