Content of the article: "I just finished Valley (2016), a quirky and exhilarating first-person action/platformer"
Yesterday I saw a post on one of the game deals subreddits about a game called Valley which I had never heard of. Everyone in the comments gave it high praise so I grabbed it on Steam.
The best way I can describe Valley is a cross between Portal and Sonic the Hedgehog. You've heard games described as "walking simulator" well this one is more of a "running simulator." Its a fast-paced and adventurous platformer with a few unique twists.
You have an ability which interacts with the environment in various ways to help you advance through each level, and a suit that greatly enhances your mobility. To start out, the suit just lets you jump higher and run faster, but you quickly and regularly receive powerups to the suit that expand your abilities. The plot is rather thin, but it's interesting enough to keep the action moving along.
The movement mechanics are crisp and straightforward. There's no mantling/sliding/parkour as you might expect in this type of game. Instead its all jumping, momentum, and timing. This gives it a more old-school feel like Sonic as opposed to newer running games like Mirror's Edge. Some parts of it were reminiscent of the freerunning sections of Titanfall 2.
Due to the rapid powerups there is a gratifying sense of progression. The sense of speed is incredible; it's easily the most enjoyable part of the game and what kept me engaged throughout my playthrough.
The outdoor levels are huge and gorgeous. The indoor levels aren't quite as pretty and I wish they had done more with lighting and environment for the interior sections. The game rewards you for exploring with physical bonuses as well as additional lore and backstory. However, you can blaze straight through without really missing much if that's your style.
The fast-paced gameplay gets bogged down briefly in the middle when you're forced to navigate through a few large interior levels (however you soon receive a new power up which keeps things interesting).
The game is short – I finished it in approximately 5 hours of playtime and that included a fair amount of exploring. There isn't a ton of replay value here either.
It's also very easy. The levels and puzzles are intriguing, but not at all difficult to navigate. The combat is light and not a focus of the game at all. The 'enemies' are not there to try and kill you, just to slow you down slightly. They do get a little harder as the game goes on and there is a final boss which presented a moderate challenge.
Despite those negatives this was an extremely entertaining game to play through and absolutely worth the price i paid. I recommend you check it out if you're looking for a fun way to kill an afternoon.
EDIT: oops, not allowed to post the price of the game, just search for it if you're interested
- WSIB if I like originality, even though most games today lack exactly that
- Sonia Mania is the best Sonic game ever made
- I’ve been playing the classic Sonic trilogy my entire life, but I only just now beat Sonic 2 for the first time tonight
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