Tackling WW1 In Video Games: Valiant Hearts

War and gaming are a not uncommon partnership. This is particularly true in the field of strategy games, where the last twenty years have seen the kind of historical gaming once confined to pen and paper (and tables and rulers) brought to the digital world in an increasingly advanced and enjoyable way.

Outside of Strategy games, however, it is not often that past wars – or the people and personalities within them – get the individual treatment. At least not with any depth beyond that which is required to advance from one mission to the next. The original Call of Duty was perhaps one of the only real stand out exceptions to this, providing a genuinely interesting insight into how operations in WW2 affected individual combatants. It is an approach that the modern version of the game has long since moved on from, however, which while understandable perhaps presents an opportunity lost.

Bearing all this in mind, it was genuinely pleasing to see given both time and hype at Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference today. Given the constraints of time and the much bigger games they could have given that time too, it was nice to see a small game that attempts to take a look at WW1 in a non-standard way a big push.

Following the lives of five people and basing their experiences on real-world accounts and letters, Valiant Hearts is looking very interesting indeed.

You can watch the game’s trailer by clicking the “play” link in the image at the top of this article.

The author

Editor of Lapsed Historian, John Bull is a journalist and a historian whose interests cover everything from the Classics through to the history of computing. He has a particular affection for obscure moments in history that have had a big impact, but which are today otherwise forgotten. In addition to writing about history, he also writes about London Transport for London Reconnections and on football for .

Leave a Reply