Not everyone has time to stay on top of all the video games landing on the physical and digital store shelves each week. Wouldn’t it be great if someone were to comb through the games and highlight the ones most worthy of your attention? Wish no more, because we’ve gone through all the big review sites and chosen a list of the best games to come out last month. Read on for the top five games of July 2014.
5. Valiant Hearts
(PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
Metacritic Score: 78
Hundreds of video games take place during a war, but most of them put a gun in your hands and ask you to kill as many enemies as you can. That’s not the kind of story Valiant Hearts wants to tell. This adventure game drops in on the personal stories of four ordinary people whose lives are deeply affected by the war. The puzzles that make up the gameplay sections have you do things like perform surgery as a medic character and dig trenches as a soldier. Between puzzles, you explore the world and end up learning a lot about that part of history — which is a pretty rare thing in video games.
As Polygon sums it up, “In its best moments, Valiant Hearts is basically a playable history lesson. Its personal, heartbreaking fiction is bolstered by bits and pieces of real-life history that resonate with unexpected intensity. Valiant Hearts strikes a difficult balance in depicting the horrors of war and the hope that peeks through its cracks, but it does so with grace.”