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The sequel to Valiant Hearts has finally come to PC after more than as a year as a Netflix exclusive

 Valiant Hearts: Coming Home - Five people and a dog standing in the background as an ambulance drives away from the viewer.
Valiant Hearts: Coming Home - Five people and a dog standing in the background as an ambulance drives away from the viewer.

I really liked Valiant Hearts—more than our reviewer, who found it "visually stunning but mechanically lacklustre." That's a fair assessment, but for me its humanization of the world's first industrial war, from the excitement and patriotic fervor of the early days of mobilization to the grinding, soul-crushing horrors of muddy trench warfare, delivered a genuine narrative gut-punch that I wish more games would dare to strive for. Without wanting to oversell it, I see Valiant Hearts as proof that Ubisoft is capable of great things when it stops chasing trends and franchises, and gives its teams the opportunity to fly free.

I was understandably disappointed, then, when Ubisoft released the sequel, Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, as a mobile game available exclusively via Netflix. I don't have any beef with mobile games, or Netflix, but sitting hunched over my phone, poking away at a tiny screen, really isn't how I want to partake of that kind of experience.

As of today, I don't have to. More than a year after its release on Netflix, Valiant Hearts: Coming Home is now available on PC, and consoles if that's how you roll. The new (to us) game features a structure similar to the original, telling the interconnected stories of four characters in the dying days of the war: James, a member of the Harlem Hellfighters; Ernst, a German diver; George, a British flyer; and the nurse Anna, returning from the first game. The German Army medical dog Walt is also back, to lend a hand (paw, I suppose) with puzzles and exploration.

Ubisoft said it developed PC and console versions of Valiant Hearts: Coming Home "for the dedicated community of players who had long been requesting the additional platforms [and] to bring the stories to even more players." For those who haven't played the original, it also put together Valiant Hearts: The Collection, a bundle that enables players to play through both games at a very slight discount.

I wouldn't expect the gameplay in Valiant Hearts: Coming Home to be significantly deeper or more complex than the original, and it's a very compact game: Gamespot's review of the mobile version puts it at around 2.5 hours in length, which is considerably shorter than the first game. But watching the trailer, I feel like that might be enough. Valiant Hearts is a memorable experience but with a focus that so intently prioritizes story over gameplay (and a heart-wrenching story at that), sometimes less is more.

Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, and Valiant Hearts: The Collection, are available for PC now on the Ubisoft Store.