Valley is a game about exploration and discovery while implementing various playing styles all within one of the most beautiful and best sounding games you will ever experience. Brought to you from the same people that did Slender: The Arrival expect to be mystified and excited all while being astonished at what you are capable of doing during the game. This game combines story telling, platforming and minor puzzle solving to finish the story line.
Stupendous Story – This is one of the most incredible stories you will work your way through while playing the game. The story unfolds like a book and every step of the way it’s brought to life piece by piece. Unlike many games that will throw you into a world and set the rules for you from the beginning this game slowly puts the rules in place bit by bit and at a pace that’s not overwhelming but also not so slow that you feel you have to work really hard to make it to the next best thing. It uses some mythology that I wasn’t aware of till playing the game and to avoid spoilers I will not mention what it is or about. I was in awe of this for most of the game up to about the half way point when you understand most everything about it. The final ending was a bit of a disappointment as it ended as expected after this wonderful journey. This still doesn’t take away from how great the story is. It is however one of those situations where there was no wiggle room for a second edition of this game and that’s a rarity in story telling no matter what medium.
Great Graphics – One of the very first things that you notice is the love and care taken in the graphical department. My favorite game for graphics this year was The Solus Project but it isn’t anymore. Valley is simply beautiful both above ground and below ground where The Solus Project was a little let down when going underground. In every aspect of Valley the graphics pop. Nothing ever look flat or rushed. Every pixel had it’s place and fit perfectly. While streaming the game I had people saying the game looked amazing to them with comparisons to some of the best graphical games out there.
Pitch Perfect Sounds – Every step of the way the sounds in this game delivers and helps you feel what it’s like to be in this world wearing the special suit you will find. Everything you step on has a unique sound to it. If you are walking on nature you hear the crunching sounds and if it’s a metal roof the clank is there unless you hit a wooden spot then you hear the thump. Ever bolt of electricity or energy sparkles in your ears. The music is a thing of beauty and helps deliver the story line and mood you are feeling at certain points in the game. The crackle of the play back of some old tapes you listen to and the voice acting is spot on. I would strongly recommend playing this game with headphones so you can enjoy every part of the sound this game provides.
Flawless Controls – I also wanted to mention how perfect the controls where on a game where you are doing things that you have never done before. They slowly bring you into them as you start off basic. Some of the platforming type things you need to do in the game to accomplish your goals require this to be spot on and they are. The utilization of momentum and how you are able to control it during these times is as perfect as everything. There is some levels where you are moving so fast however the controls where difficult however this might have been done on purpose but it felt a bit uncontrollable in those sections.
Level Design – At the start of the game you are just a dude that washed up on the shore of the Valley and you can walk. As the first level starts to unfold itself to you and you discover the suit you are capable of doing only one more thing and that is jump. And boy can you jump. It makes you feel like a super hero when you combine everything I have stated above. But every level unfolds new and different capabilities as you upgrade your suit. This allows every level to bring a different element into the story and make every level feel different from the previous one.
Very Little Not To Like – I wish the game was a bit longer since as it ended quicker than expected. I did run into one problem towards the end where I got trapped and had to do the final level over in order to make my way in the game. To be honest that is about all I can complain about in this great game. Oh and the fact I don’t see how there could be a sequel to it does bum me out as well. Funny is that I’m complaining about not being able to play it more. I do look forward to going back into this world to finish off some of the achievements needed.
Valley is a game that needs to be experienced by every gamer. Whether you play it or simply watch someone play it the story is something that everyone could enjoy. It’s cute and dangerous all at the same time. It’s beautiful and dark and really the best part was playing while wearing the suit you find. I never felt like I was in a game as much as I felt I was in this one and that was due to the combination of all the upsides I mentioned above. They play off each other perfectly. This is just shy of a “Must Have” title in my opinion.
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Valley was developed and published by Blue Isle Studies. It was released on Xbox One August 23rd, 2016 and is also available for Playstation 4 and Steam. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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