Valley is one of those games that follows a model that I wish all video games would follow. That is, make your story first, make it interesting and complicated, then build around that. I’ve spent the past few months playing Horizon Zero Dawn, and it is great to play a game that is all about exploring a very unique world and discovering the wonder therein.
I’m not certain where Valley takes place, but it’s pretty clear that it is set sometime before the end of World War II, when America was seeking the weapon of mass destruction that would help them win the war. Fortunately, there is this mysterious valley in the heart of…not certain…where and ancient and lost race developed this Lifeseed capable of emitting tremendous energy.
You the player are put in a first-person POV, and you have been given the gift of L.E.A.F.. I honestly forget what that stands for, but they are these robotic legs that make you capable of superhuman stunts like jumping higher than normal.
The first parts of the game are all about learning what is going on, not to mention how getting a running start can make you leap farther. A major part of this game is just following the road ahead so you get further, and I am pretty impressed at how big this world is. Yes, it is just leaping and discovering, but once you start, you won’t stop until you have too.
The mythos of Valley is also very intriguing, and in the place of lives, the player has some energy that he/she absorbs from random orbs lying about. If the player runs out of energy or falls to their doom, this causes the energy in the valley to run out. This is represented by a branch with leaves that fall, but you can give the valley more energy by giving life to the plants around you. You can also suck the life from plants or animals to give you energy.
I’m not doing a good job of explaining it, but it is a very unique way of having life in the game. The game has a look that is reminiscent of Bioshock, with a lot of natural forest as an outdoor frame. There are times where you go inside buildings, along with some clues so you can figure out what the story is. I don’t think I’m going to hint what it is, but it is interesting enough to suck you in.
I’m going to give this game four and a half out of five stars. I would rate it higher, but the save feature isn’t as accurate as it should be. I had to redo a section that I saw a “saving” prompt from.