Steve Carlsberg
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6.6 Hours played
Good Ideas in Dire Need of a Cohesive Design

To convey my feelings while playing Valley, a play in three acts:

Act I
The core mechanic said "let's allow the player to run, glide and jump at great speeds"
- "Great idea," said the level design, "I'll give them vast expanses of nature to run around at their leisure."
- "Sweet, let's also give them beautiful music that evokes feelings of freedom and boundless possibility!" chimed in the sound design.
- "And, uh... to give the players something to do, let's have them stop every 10 seconds to rummage through grass to look for tiny, sometimes barely noticeable collectibles the whole time. Make it feel like they've lost a contact lense" said the gameplay loop.
- "what"


Act II
- "For special abilities, the player will be able to wield the power of life and death!"
- "Awesome!" said the players, "will we be able to use these powers to kill or revive trees to solve puzzles, create new pathways, open new areas?"
- "Not really... you'll mostly be able to make branches with no leaves have some leaves on them" said the gameplay loop.
- "what"
- "you can also kill some innocent deer if you feel like it. Consequence free"
- "right... but will we be able to turn a dead landscape into a lush thriving forest then?"
- "No, not really, it mostly stays the same" said the visual design "and I hope you can tell brownish green from greenish brown at high speeds too, otherwise forget about using your power."
- "why."


"Oh, but wait!" said the plot, "there's a whole story about a secret government project to harness the valley's life powers to create a super weapon, and the rogue scientist who wanted to stop them!"
- "ok, that sounds... promising" said the player, warily
- "And it will mostly be told through text on tiny little notes that we hid throughout the levels
- "what, why?! I thought you wanted me to be moving fast!"
- "what ever gave you that impression?"


And scene
Don't get me wrong, the actual experience is not as bad as I'm making it sound. Movement is still the main appeal and it works really well. It's a shame that the different elements keep pulling in different directions and the game is constantly tripping over itself. It's weird that games like Mirror's Edge came out almost 15 years ago and much newer games still can't grasp how to incorporate their parkour-ish mechanics into their own gameplay loop like ME did. When Valley remembers what it wants to be it's capable of creating honestly beautiful moments. There are some gorgeous scenes, great music and truly memorable sequences. Definitely worth playing, especially for its length, though it's hard not to notice that it's those shining moments that make the squandered potential sting so much more.

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??? Apr 6 @ 11:04am 
thanks for trade :steamthumbsup:
Fluffy Sheepy Nov 24, 2022 @ 6:41am 
:tm2_leaf: Happy Thanksgiving! :tm2_leaf:
jimyang2003 Jul 9, 2021 @ 5:12pm 
+rep, good and reliable trader, thanks.
kawa_ Jun 26, 2021 @ 9:45pm 
+rep good trader. thank you very much!
Duke Jun 3, 2021 @ 10:07am 
+rep, very friendly and trustworthy trader; recommended! :)

sporter83 Jul 7, 2020 @ 1:06am 
Thanks for the trade, appreciated! :)