Author Topic: Valley – August 2016 [Score: 8.1]  (Read 27 times)

Offline bobdog

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Valley – August 2016 [Score: 8.1]
« on: December 02, 2019, 03:44:07 PM »
Color me surprised by this one!! Valley offers fast-paced gameplay interspersed with a unique and original story. And the game shines graphically, with some gorgeous level design.

You are a researcher who thinks they have found a mysterious “Life Seed”, only accessible in a particular location in the Rocky Mountains.  Upon arrival, you are trapped and wander out of a cave into a stunning valley filled with life and unique creatures. Very quickly you find a LEAF (Leap Effortlessly though Air Functionality) suit, which was created toward the end of World War 2. With the LEAF suit, you can run faster, leap higher, and even take or restore life to other living plants and animals. The LEAF suit allows you to access new locations, and it can be enhanced over time with new features, including supersonic running, double jumping, rope swinging, running on water, and more. And if you happen to die, the LEAF suit will suck up life from your surroundings and bring you back.

You’ll quickly start hearing messages left behind by previous occupants of the valley, and can seek out additional scattered writings to glean more information on what happened to everyone. Most notably, the Life Seed you are seeking was at the heart of many experiments in this particular valley – all designed to gain more warfare capacity and help the Allies win WW2. Unfortunately, grandiose egos pushed the valley’s resources to the limits, only stopping once saboteurs were able to act.

The first-person platforming elements are challenging but mostly fair – when you get past them, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And when you can run down hills or along a supersonic electrified track, you feel a whiff of speed like I haven’t seen in many games before. Combine the speed and jumps with the opportunity to swing from cables, and you’ll feel like a superhero by the end.

Collecting orbs to ensure your LEAF suit works properly does grow tiring, but it at least gives you an excuse to seek out hidden notes and power-ups. You’ll also come across a few enemies that can be banished by using the LEAF suit’s “remove life” function. And when enemies and trees drop acorns, those can eventually be traded in to open locked areas that lead to more notes and power-ups.

The game moves along pretty quickly, with gorgeous scenery throughout, and the constant story reminders will keep you on track with your next move. I enjoyed jumping through the air with a resounding thud when I landed, and the breakneck speeds that I achieved in an underground mine. And by the end, I understand how special this Valley was, and what needed to be done to protect it. 8.1 out of 10