Valley is a First-Person adventure in which you go off and explore the mysteries of a deep remote region of the Rocky Mountains. With the aid of the L.E.A.F Suit “a fierce exoskeleton that grants exceptional speed and agility along with the phenomenal ability to manipulate the life and death of all living things.” So, is Valley worth discovering? Read on to find out..
Valley mixes first-person exploration, story telling and platforming together with other unique gameplay elements for a different kind of adventure game which offers a lot of cool ideas. The use of a specialised suit (L.E.A.F Suit) which the player grabs early in the game grants them special abilities such as being able to run at extreme speeds and jump immense height and distances gives players a different kind of exploration experience.
I won’t go into to much detail but the main plot of the story revolves around an object and a special energy which have both been exploited to grant L.E.A.F Suit users the ability to manipulate life and death. This offered plenty of opportunities for unique gameplay elements but a lot of this gets disregarded for one particular element which is a great idea but doesn’t work well because Valley isn’t supposed to be challenging. Using the valley itself as a life bar, every time you die in the game some of the valley dies to bring you back until there is no valley left at all.
Using the ability to bring things back to life you can heal the valley and by doing that, yourself. It is a very unique and cool concept but you very rarely find yourself dying or in a position where you die so it leaves the health system a bit out of place. Combat in the game is also rather out of place since it is an exploration game and there isn’t much offered in the way of combat besides one ‘boss fight’ in the game. I feel as though puzzles rather than combat segments would’ve been more appropriate.
Valley’s environment looks great, especially the natural areas. Some of the game sees you exploring old research facilities from the 40’s which is full of different kinds of tech. It had a bit of a Bioshock feel to the game with the finding old tapes left by long-gone citizens and the advanced tech with a 40’s look to it; so as dull as it might look in the facilities it brought back some memories. This is also accompanied by a great instrumental soundtrack which really sets the mood for an adventure game. My only issue with the environments is that some parts have things like never ending alarms in places where you need to wander around for a while so it can get very obnoxious.
All the environments are linear within the game but there are a few collectables and secrets to find, some of which can only be reached with upgrades acquired later in the game so you have a reason to go back to previous areas of the game to explore further. This is good and nice that players are offered reasons to go back and explore but ultimately going back to check out these areas will usually just lead you to an extra bit of info as to what happened in the years prior to your arrival.
It would be worthwhile if all the secondary story info such as notes left behind wasn’t mostly just characters which only get one or two mentions in the game and are long gone anyway. It’s not even like you can find hidden upgrades since they are all left along the main path you have to follow. For an exploration game it would’ve been nice if the players were given a reason to invest their time more into exploring the environment.