Valiant Hearts Will Try To Make You Cry In June

By Alice O'Connor on May 8th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

Shut up no I won't cry about this dog and you can't make me stop it no I won't look into its eyes why are you doing this to me?

A word of warning: Ubisoft are trying to make you cry. On purpose. They’re making Valiant Hearts: The Great War and intend for it to make you blub. Are you going to take that from them? Are you going to sit here and just let a video game company seize control of your tear ducts, of your brain? Don’t let them! Don’t give them that power!

Get angry! Get furious! Stomp around the room right now, sweeping small items off surfaces and bellowing resistant slogans like “This isn’t on!” and “My tears are my own!” Then come back and watch the new trailer Ubisoft has released to announce Valiant Hearts’ June 25 release date.

Valiant Hearts, see, is a character-driven adventure game set during World War I, with a rag-tag group (and their dog) discovering the meaning of love, friendship, and sacrifice during one of the worst times of look no it’s cool sometimes I just press my fingers into the corners of my eyes when I’m writing no big deal. Anyway, the trailers tell us right from the start (or hint awfully heavily) that most of them won’t survive the war. And the trailers have that music, you know, that music, that sort of sad piano that makes you punch yourself square in the thigh because that’s the reason you’re tearing up and not anything else why are you looking at me stop looking at me.

Our Nathan saw it during E3 last year chatted with producer Yoan Fanise of its makers yet didn’t think to grab him by the neck and make him cry just to show him what it’s like.

If the dog dies and it makes you cry, I am so done with you.

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48 Comments »

  1. Low Life says:

    I’ll wait for the DLC-bundling Prepare to Cry Edition, thanks.

  2. Michael Fogg says:

    This looks very intriguing and didn’t need a million dollar funding drive to make.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Um… Because Ubisoft already have a million dollars?

      Given WW1 was basically senseless massacre, it’ll be interesting to see what king of meaning they try to find in it all.

      • GernauMorat says:

        Hopefully the will stick to following the characters particular triumphs and tragedies – unless of course they go the current UK govs route and attempt to repackage the whole thing as a glorious war for democracy.

        • Fiyenyaa says:

          Yeah, I really resent that. You’d think that WW1 would be the epitome of a war not to be celebrated.

        • Dozer says:

          I’m returning to the UK from Australia in July and by goodness you can join me on the barricades if the UK govt dress up the anniversary of the start of war as a celebration.

          • GenBanks says:

            I’m not a conservative and I hate Michael Gove but to be fair I think his outburst wasn’t so much out of a desire to turn WW1 remembrance into a jingoistic military display as an (insultingly worded) reminder that a lot of the people who fought didn’t just see themselves as helpless victims sent for slaughter, but men with dignity and a just cause. I have several friends who last year started saying that remembrance day itself is fundamentally a glorification of war so they shouldn’t be respecting it with the poppy etc., and a couple of editorials in the Guardian to that effect as well.

            I think the current state of the literature on the ‘pointless, avoidable slaughter’ vs. ‘just cause/german aggression’ debate is well summarised in this really interesting article: http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21599798-first-world-war-was-defining-event-20th-century-thousands-books-have
            It looks at how the ‘Blackadder consensus’ came about in the war’s aftermath.

            **Oh and this was meant as a general reply, not you specifically Dozer, sorry hehe

          • Josh W says:

            Interesting article, the feeling I get from it is a confirmation of my own views (how surprising), about how it was a war of ignorance and stubbornness:

            I think part of the reason that the sense of waste was so vast later on was because the toll the war was taking was not recognised at the time in any country but russia. You’d think that surely, with everyone seeing that they were obviously lining up their troops at each other and sending them to die, like some kind of command and conquer tank rush formed into an endless stalemate, that the people in charge would see what this was costing them and pull back, or that the people serving would rebel.

            Later in the early cold war, many people in positions of power had the idea that so long as it cost them less than their opponents, a conflict could be considered a victory, however many millions died from it. But throughout that period people rightly criticised this, they saw the cost and said that a war was not worth it.

            In the first world war, the cost was huge, and what was won was an end to the war. It continued until one side was so damaged and defeated that they couldn’t continue any more, when they had suffered losses beyond what their industry and discipline could handle. But it was only afterwards that the victors really put together what it had cost them.

            What if it had stopped with a treaty? With both sides saying early on in the war that the cost was too great, and that national pride was not enough of an excuse for it, and so they were willing to admit that no-one had won. To get something like that, you’d need a different way to make treaties; all the imperial powers had been fighting asymmetric wars around the world where they would force treaties out of conquered poorer countries, taking whatever they could get, and you’d need a way of countries working together that dealt with differences in a more democratic way, that had some framework of fairness, not just power.

            This is one of the things that annoys me about UKIP actually, their fondness for a world of trade wars and “having the whip hand”, and imperial geopolitics. Things like the EU are obviously half finished, but most of it’s failings are things where it is too much like that old politics. We need ways to make treaties boring careful things carefully worked out between countries with standing relationships of respecting and sharing decisions with each other. We need ways for people to just stop fighting, and make peaceful agreements that are not about who would win if they started fighting again, because then there’s just no reason to get into stupid wars like that one ever again.

        • darkath says:

          Well first this is made in a french studio, and in france, the whole “fighting for democracy” narrative isn’t so popular.

          From what i heard this will be mostly about the personal stories of the characters (which are from different sides of the war, british, french, german, and i think the fourth is a medic woman, there’s also the dog) and how their path are crossing and how their stories become intertwined in the middle the brutal chaos of the war.

          This isn’t so much about the war, it seems to be more about the character, using war as the setting.

          • Xyviel says:

            In France, it was all about revenge after the humiliating defeat in 1870-1871 and getting Alsace-Moselle back.

          • darkath says:

            Revanchism and chauvinism kinda died down since then, you won’t hear many people gloating over the “victory” in WW1.

      • Michael Fogg says:

        This also proves that big publishers just don’t do trad adventures anymore, maaan.

      • P.Funk says:

        Every war has meaning, just usually not a very good one.

        My grandfather used to tell me all sorts of fascinating, humourous, bloody and sad stories about WW2. He also told me that his own father never breathed a word about WW1. I guess it was particularly bad.

        What meaning can we all get from WW1? Guess Black Adder using it as a medium to tell a truer story of history is as good as we’ll get I suppose.

      • Meneldil says:

        I wish we could go past this whole “WWI was a senseless massacre” thing.

        Looking back at it a century ago, knowing there was another, even bloodier war after this one, it’s easy to wave hands in the air and say “terribad senseless slaughter lol”.

        Fact is, that’s not how the men saw it at the time. Because back then, it was a fight for freedom/democracy/your country/whatever. Hence why French and German alike went to war with a cold resignation. Hence why volunteers from the Commonwealth and the US took the arms when nobody forced them to at first.
        Hence why, despite the artillery shelling, the mud, the rats, the diseases, and death waiting at every corner, millions of men endured and kept fighting for four years. No doubt they hated it, wondered what they were doing in this hellhole, and would have prefered to go home to their wife, but they, for an overwhelming part, stayed and did their duty, as sad and weird as it is.

        I know in this age of individualism, facebook and selfies, it’s hard to imagine that people could go and get shot for something. But that’s how it was back then.

        And even though people have been criticizing WWI even before it started, the view that it was meaningless is pretty recent, and dates back from the 80′s (approximately when WWI vets started dying like flies and stopped voicing their opinion).

        It’s also pretty sad, if you ask me, that “celebrating WWI” = “being a jingoistic douchebag”. I usually try to go to the 11th november celebrations, to honor the memory of the fallen, not because I think the war was glorious.

        • Michael Fogg says:

          WWI ended with democratic states beating out absolutist monarchies and ousting feudalism and royal houses from Europe. That counts as something at least .

        • Josh W says:

          That’s a bit ignorant Meneldil.

          Have you actually read the reflections of people from the first world war? The irony is that people like you are the ones forgetting their messages. Of course they hoped it would be worth it, but if you feel their voice is being lost, I suggest you read some of their poetry and reflections about it.

        • darkath says:

          The way WW1 started was senseless (invading a whole country over a murder case about which nobody really cared even in austria), but what followed was just the cold logic of alliances. Not going to war would have meant allowing austria to invade any country for dubious reasons …

        • cpt_freakout says:

          Stop idealizing wars. There’s no need to, because our culture has a very ingrained romantic respect for sacrifice, so we all have the tendency to idealize them anyway, which often turns any discussion into a mess of accusations. Also, don’t think that by not idealizing a war someone is immediately enacting some form of disregard for those who fought in it. You can be against a war and at the same time have some empathy for those who were unfortunate enough to live it… and it also doesn’t mean you concur with whatever ideology-in-turn they hold or was used in general as justification. All in all, there’s always another version to the same story, and among them a comedy, a tragedy, a romance…

        • Phasma Felis says:

          “Fact is, that’s not how the men saw it at the time. Because back then, it was a fight for freedom/democracy/your country/whatever.”

          There’s nothing worth celebrating in good men with noble motives being tricked into laying down their lives by power-hungry warmongers far from danger. The Great War should be remembered in the same way we memorialize massacres and industrial disasters: a reminder of innocents destroyed by evil men.

  3. bstard says:

    It’s a small step from Uplay to Ucry.

    • mrwout says:

      It’s also pretty close to Ukip

      (With that I refer to the sleepy meaning of the word and not the slightly dodgy political party … But works either way)

  4. Sheogorath says:

    I already cry when I see a game I want that requires Uplay. Ubisoft is trying too hard.

    • basilisk says:

      Yes, because screw you Ubisoft for creating a framework that can be used to create timelessly beautiful 2D games. Screw you for exploring topics and settings no other triple-A publisher would touch with a barge pole. Screw you for supporting your huge studios in making small-scale, cheaper and semi-experimental games on the side. You are forcing us to use a client and we won’t stand for that, no sirs.

      • Emeraude says:

        Yes, because screw you Ubisoft for creating a framework that can be used to create timelessly beautiful 2D games. Screw you for exploring topics and settings no other triple-A publisher would touch with a barge pole. Screw you for supporting your huge studios in making small-scale, cheaper and semi-experimental games on the side.

        Nahhh, bless them for that.

        You are forcing us to use a client and we won’t stand for that, no sirs.

        I sure won’t, and we shouldn’t. And do screw them for that, yes. You know, recognize the merits and punish the faults. Seems fair enough to me.

        • Shooop says:

          Because Steam isn’t a required client for Valve games right?

          • Emeraude says:

            I don’t use it either – and personally have more antipathy for Valve than for Ubisoft, given what the company’s done to the PC market.

      • Sheogorath says:

        It’s more the idea of having to launch a client from within another client that galls me. But do carry on with your strawman.

  5. Harlander says:

    What’s he doing with that giant spoon? :O

  6. Armante says:

    Looks quite interesting. I imagine the bits where we see the characters running about, cutting barbed wire fences etc are the gameplay bits? Wonder how this will work. Looking forward to a WiT, thanks.

  7. Soulstrider says:

    In all honesty I am really hyped about for this game, actually right now I can’t think of another game that is coming this year that I want more barring Civilization: Beyond Earth.

    Not only WW1games are rare (because of misconceptions about WW1 being a boring setting), I am really interested on the different take and the unique style of is one.

  8. Aethelwulf says:

    If you ever get to interview the chaps responsible please please please ask what ever happened to UBIart Framework being released as open source. So many of us would love to get our grubby mitts on this and I have been waiting patiently for Ubisoft to grow a heart and just allow it.

    Source: http://www.joystiq.com/2011/07/13/ancel-wants-rayman-origins-ubiart-to-be-open-source/

    • Philomelle says:

      While I admire his ideas, I have to say he is actually wrong with his naive praising of Disney artists. Yes, some of them release books and guidelines on how to draw and make animation look good, but none of them ever released the technology used to produce their works. Disney Studios kept the CAPS tech behind closed door since its inception and all the way until it was dismantled in mid-2000′s (for very stupid reasons).

      So as much as I would love him to win this fight, I’m pretty sure it will end up exactly like Disney’s tech did.

  9. JFS says:

    I dunno. The art style is great at first glance, but has lots of over-the-top cartooney parts in the trailer, which to me seem sort of ridiculous and destroy the whole atmosphere. Some of the shots are more “Freedom Force vs the Third Reich” than “heart-wrenching tale of loss and war”.

    I mean, the part where they’re driving a Mark IV tank and shooting a biplane from the sky with it? What the heck? And that zeppelin chasing a car like it’s some James Bond 1916 movie? Afterwards, it’s coming up from below the horizon in the style of a Metal Slug end boss? I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to depict WW1. Humour, why not, but this is just unfitting.

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      Yeah, this looks like a prime example of a game that everyone will praise to the high heavens before it comes out and then pan once they get a chance to play it, throwing another log onto the fire of “indie games just aren’t profitable”. No, it probably won’t be profitable because it doesn’t look like a game anybody would really enjoy.

  10. Sc0r says:

    Kind of reminds me of metal slug

  11. Folly Incorporated says:

    Crap, even the trailer makes me tear up a bit. I don’t think I’ll Make it though this game

  12. VladVoivode says:

    What I am sensing from this game is actually a beautiful homage to a generation now lost. As I was watching the trailer my mind wandered to the Christmas “truce” of 1914, The Angel of Mons, and Erich Maria-Remarque’s unflinching account of the personal stories of his comrades. I thought of the arrogant British captain who kicked a soccer ball into No Man’s Land just as the Battle of the Somme was beginning as though it was a mere game.

    Many of us viewing this thread should remember that we will witness something unprecedented in history, namely, that we have witnessed the passing of those valiant hearts of The Great War and in a couple of decades at most, the passing of those who fought in another global conflict a mere 27 years later.

    May all of their memories be eternal.

  13. Jason Lutes says:

    The writing for that trailer is awful. Really, really bad. I never expect much from a trailer voiceover, but because of the serious-sad-poetic tone they’re going for, the mixed metaphors and bad grammar really stand out.

  14. TACO BOY says:

    im sure the joke has already been made but did they make this in Cry engine…

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