You Won’t Feel Good After Playing Valiant Hearts!

Experience The Distressing Reality of War Through a Heartbreaking Narrative.

You Won't Feel Good After Playing Valiant Hearts!
Nothing But a Distressing Experience!

*Contains Spoilers*

Most people rely on video games as a coping mechanism that promises them an escape from reality. Video games driven by good narratives guarantee an immersive experience and happy endings that are enough to calm your life. Those happy endings serve a great closure and a sense of accomplishment for your time invested in that game.

Key Takeaways

  • With its powerful storytelling, Valiant Hearts is a heartbreaking journey through World War I of four individuals.
  • The players get to control Emile, Karl, Freddie, and Anna, who have their own purposes for serving in a war.

However, some games exist that, by the conclusion of it, stand on the pillar of a sad portrayal. Such narratives create an emotional depth between the character and the player and prompt catharsis. A few universal examples of such narratives are Lee’s and Arthur’s deaths from The Walking Dead S01 and The Red Dead Redemption 2, respectively.  

Yet, there’s one game that I believe is the epitome of having a story that kills you from the inside. ‘Valiant Hearts: The Great War’ is one of those games that compels players to confront raw, human emotions.

The Imitation of World War I

The grim backdrop of World War I, which reshaped the history of the world with mass destruction and losses, serves as the setting of this game. The game follows the story of four characters: Emile, Karl, Freddie, and Anna. Each of them is interconnected and woven into the same fabric: WAR. 

Graves of the Fallen Soldiers.
Graves of the Fallen Soldiers.

With its somber tone and graphic novel-type animation, Valiant Heart uses muted colors and stark lines to depict the gruesome realities of battles. The powerful melancholic score of Ian Livingstone takes a big move to tug the heartstrings. They create an atmosphere of impending sorrow.

The puzzled gameplay itself draws players into the character’s vulnerability to the effects of war. However, the true power of Valiant Hearts lies in its gut-wrenching storytelling.

The Sad Narrative Might Leave You Utterly Drained

 Valiant Hearts did not offer the traditional happy endings I expected. Instead, it depicted the reflection of war and the pain it inflicts on the individuals in war and their families.

One of the most saddening moments of the game is Emile’s letter to his daughter, Marie. Amidst his execution, the letter describes how much he hated war, and there was nothing in it but misery for him. The letter reminded me of the emotional toll on Emile, making his ultimate fate more devastating.


Moreover, Karl’s journey to reunite with his family through the ruins of war is equally devastating. His distraught attempts to return to his French wife and son are fraught with despair and peril. Karl’s story particularly underscores the sacrifices of the soldiers who were forced to fight in a war, leaving behind their families.

Karl and Marie.
Karl and Marie.

Another layer of sorrow is added to the game through Freddie’s quest for vengeance. Shown as a tough guy from the outside, he was actually shattered from the inside because of his wife’s death from a German bombing raid. As he enlists in the war to avenge his wife’s killing, it shows how personal vendettas and destructive losses often make a person choose pathways he would have never thought of choosing before.


A Belgian nurse named Anna played a key role in dedicating herself to saving lives amidst such distressing chaos. Her witnessing of the suffering soldiers underscored the sacrifices made by the medical personnel. Valiant Hearts beautifully showcased that it’s not only the soldiers who take part in the battles but also highlighted the importance of medics.


Valiant Hearts: The Great War Stands in a Different League

I considered Valiant Hearts: The Great War to be a different genre. It brilliantly depicted the scenes of widespread destruction, the devastation of villages and homes, and the haunting aftermath of battles. The profound impact of far-beyond battlefield truly makes this game a deeply moving experience.

An industry that highly prioritized AAA titles with good graphics and action, Valiant Hearts is a strong narrative-driven experience. It told me that war is just an excuse to fight. It is inhumane scenery to witness where thousands of innocents lose their lives while the ones sitting on the top capitalize on those losses.

You Ain't Ready For This Tear-Jerking Masterpiece.
You Ain’t Ready For This Tear-Jerking Masterpiece.

Ultimately, Valiant Hearts is a tale of four souls having their own reasons for being in a battle. If you choose to play this heartbreaking interactive war drama, take my advice and prepare yourself for an emotional ride.


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