Ubisoft has revealed one of its latest projects built on UbiArt Framework — known for its use in the marvelous Rayman games. Titled Valiant Hearts: The Great War, this puzzle adventure will follow five characters from different countries as they struggle to survive one of the most devastating events in human history: the first World War. Ubisoft Montpellier is handling development of Valiant Hearts, and aims to launch on PS3 and PS4 sometime next year.
In Valiant Hearts, the five characters are drawn together by one common cause: reuniting a young German soldier with his lost love. As the five suffer through the unimaginable dangers of the trenches, they’re guided by a single canine companion — a German dog separated from its owner during an artillery attack. This dog will not only help the characters survive, but also serve as a guide to players during both action sequences and puzzles.
The art of Valiant Hearts tackles the tragedy of the war with an almost unassuming innocence. Characters are drawn as caricatures of each nation, and the battlefields are stylized exaggerations of their real-world counterparts. And yet, Valiant Hearts is utterly serious about its subject. The small team of developers at Montpellier (a group of ten) want a younger generation to experience a part of history that’s fast approaching its 100-year anniversary.
In fact, the team has several personal connections to the war. Producer Yoan Fanise had a great-grandfather who served with the French during this remarkable time. Several of this man’s letters make an appearance in Valiant Hearts, lending an air of authenticity and respect to the project.
Player interaction in Valiant Hearts includes a variety of puzzles to solve. For example, players may have to overcome obstacles with items salvaged from the battlefield, and all the while their trusty dog will assist. For example, players may have to command the dog to crawl under barbed wire in order to fetch a piece for a puzzle. Players can also use the touch pad to interact with the world, like drawing an arc on the pad to throw grenades, or (in much calmer moments) petting the dog.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War aims to tell a touching story in the midst of perilous turmoil. Despite its approachable art style and charming characters, players can expect a heart-wrenching narrative when it launches next year.