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Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a puzzle adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft. The game is inspired by letters written during the Great War and has four characters on the battlefield help a young German soldier find his love in this story about survival, sacrifice and friendship.

Plot

The story begins in the year 1914. Archduke Franz Ferdinand has been assassinated and Germany declares war on Russia in response. Anticipating war, France begins to deport all German citizens. Karl, one of the many Germans deported, is forcibly separated from his wife Marie and their son Victor. Karl is then drafted into the German army. Likewise, Marie's father and Karl's father-in-law Emile is drafted into the French army.

After completing his training, Emile is thrown into battle at the Marne, where his unit is wiped out and he is wounded, captured, and forced to cook for the Germans. His captor is the infamous Baron Von Dorf, who uses many advanced weapons such as Chlorine gas and zeppelins to defeat his foes. In a twist of fate, Karl is serving under Von Dorf as one of his soldiers and he recognizes Emile. However, the Allies attack Von Dorf's camp and Karl is forced to flee with Von Dorf. Emile escapes in the confusion and meets Freddie, an American who volunteered to join the French army after his wife was killed in a German bombing raid led by Von Dorf.

They also meet Anna, a Belgian student who doubles as a battlefield nurse, and Walt, a Doberman Pinscher dog from the German army who is always willing to help. Anna is also tracking Von Dorf since he has kidnapped her father and is forcing him to develop advanced war machines for him. The three unlikely friends chase Von Dorf's zeppelin from Ypres to Reims and shoot it down. However, Von Dorf escapes with Anna's father in a biplane. Karl survives the crash and is captured as a prisoner of war.

While Anna accompanies Karl to make sure he recovers from his wounds, Emile and Freddie go to get revenge on Von Dorf and rescue Anna's father. They assault Fort Douaumont at Verdun where Von Dorf is hiding and capture his newest war machine, a large armoured tank. Although they rescue Anna's father, Von Dorf escapes again. While Emile is separated, Freddie continues his pursuit and finally corners Von Dorf during the Battle of the Somme, defeating him in a fist fight atop his ruined tank. Despite his desire for revenge, Freddie realizes that he will not gain anything from killing Von Dorf and spares his life. For his repeated failures, Von Dorf is demoted and sent away from the front lines which for the status-obsessed Von Dorf, is a fate worse than death. Meanwhile, in a French POW camp, Karl learns that his son is ill. Determined to reunite with his family, Karl escapes the camp. He encounters Anna, who helps drive him back to his farm at occupied Saint-Mihiel, but they are both captured by the Germans.

Karl escapes when the Allies stage another assault and reaches his farm. Unfortunately, he discovers his farm has been shelled with chlorine gas. He saves Marie's life by giving her his gas mask, but he succumbs to the gas himself. Anna then arrives and saves Karl's life. When he recovers, Karl is finally reunited with his wife and son.

Meanwhile, Emile is forced into the bloody and suicidal Nivelle Offensive. As his commanding officer constantly forces his troops into the line of fire to their deaths, Emile finally reaches his breaking point and strikes the officer with his shovel, inadvertently killing him. Emile is court martialed and sentenced to death by firing squad. In his final letter to Marie, Emile expresses his hatred for war and hopes that she and her family can find happiness. Emile is executed, and some time later, Karl and his family (with the newly adopted Walt in tow) visit Emile's grave to mourn. The story ends in the year 1917, right when the United States officially enters the war and sends its own army to Europe, to fight on The Western Front.

Trivia

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