Ever wanted to run as fast as The Flash, walk along walls like Spiderman or play around with squishy pillow shaped beings that sound like baby kittens? Scratch that, have you ever wanted to raise the dead or take life from the living. I know you do, no need to deny it. The indie game Valley let’s you do all that. In Valley, you a god. That said, while being a god is fun and all, you have your fair share of responsibilities.
The player character sets off on an adventure in search of the famed “lifeseed” that is said to contain enough power to give or take life from all living beings. However just like every adventure, things turn out to be way more complicated than anticipated.
Valley: Gameplay and Story
Valley is essentially a walking simulator with overpowered abilities. You can run ridiculously fast, walk along walls, skim across rivers and here’s the kicker, you can quite literally steal or grant life to the natives. Thanks to the L.E.A.F Suit, the player can kill vegetation and wildlife to replenish the suit’s energy and do the opposite as well. The gameplay and objectives usually involve exploring the valley and reviving certain dead vegetation. You can upgrade the suit to jump higher and run faster, as well as acquire a climbing hook.
Valley does have a crude combat system, but it barely passes as one. The antagonists consist of flying swarms who leach your energy and if you’re at zero energy, their attacks cause death. You just have to dodge their lousy moves and hit them with a couple of energy beams, and then they became harmless. While initially you may seem immortal, every time you die, the valley around you gradually fades as well. If the entire valley dies, the game gets over as the LEAF suit takes life from the nearby denizens to bring you back from the underworld. So in order to keep that from happening, you are supposed to revive dead vegetation every time you are killed to keep the valley green and healthy. This is a really thought provoking mechanic.
Valley has a gorgeous and breathtaking world, beautiful beyond measure and running across the green landscape is quite a pleasure. It’s a calming experience which might prove to be boring for those not used to walking simulators, but to be fair this is a fast paced parkour game, so most people should find it entertaining. Running on rails as fast as The Flash is a thrilling experience, and should keep the most adrenaline addicted players interested.
There is not much in the way of story and characters. You collect voice tapes and documents to discover the history of the valley. The message that the game tries to send is powerful, although one that has been the theme of numerous media. Power corrupts and you always have to give up your human side for it. The Amrita power orbs that power the core mechanics of the LEAF suit have a really disturbing secret, one that will shake the most stoic of people. It goes a long way in making the message all the more prominent.
Valley is a pretty, fast paced parkour game with some compelling mechanics, but the quest design and story fail to impress. Furthermore, the game is quite short and 100% completion takes around only 2-4 hours. The amount of content doesn’t justify the $20 price tag, and in the end Valley fails to compete with popular parkour based games like Mirror’s Edge. Given the excessive price, you might want to wait for a sale if you thinking of picking up the game.
- Beautiful game
- Entertaining fast-paced parkour mechanics
- Powerful theme
- Relaxing environment
- Lack of Content
- Weak plotline and writing
- Mediocre quest-design