Ubisoft devs behind Valiant Hearts: Coming Home explain how the Netflix-exclusive game honors a legendary United States regiment from World War 1.
Ubisoft developers behind Valiant Hearts: Coming Home have opened up on how their latest game honors the Harlem Hellfighters, a legendary United States regiment from World War 1. Their deep dive into WW1 history and their own artistic inclinations arrives a week after Netflix released Valiant Hearts: Coming Home.
The follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2014 puzzle adventure Valiant Hearts: The Great War is the first of three games that Ubisoft agreed to develop for Netflix as part of an exclusive partnership announced in September 2022. Much like its predecessor, the sequel tells the story of fictional characters in a historic setting inspired by true events. This time around, players control James, a member of the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment, nicknamed Harlem Hellfighters after their roots in the 15th New York National Guard.
In a newly published interview with content manager Maya Loreal and historian John H. Morrow Jr., Ubisoft provided meaningful insight into how Valiant Hearts: Coming Home came to be, and how its team went about making a game that’s both historically accurate and inclusive. Loreal explained that representation was an early development goal for Coming Home, which aims to pay tribute to the “unsung heroes” of Harlem Hellfighters whose contributions to WW1 were long overlooked, as were those of 360,000 other African American men who enlisted to fight in the horrific conflict.
Illustrating just how remarkable this regiment celebrated by the new Valiant Hearts game was, Dr. Morrow Jr. recounted that the Harlem Hellfighters never lost any prisoners nor ground to a German attack. Not only do they consequently boast the best service record in the history of the American Expeditionary Force, but they were also renowned for the exceptional talent of their band, led by famous composer James Reese Europe. True to the name of their bandleader, the Hellfighters Band ended up introducing jazz to the Old Continent, solidifying the Harlem Hellfighters’ legacy as not just brave soldiers, but also cultural ambassadors, the historian concludes.
Given the historical focus of the game, Ubisoft devoted special care to the music of Valiant Hearts: Coming Home. As Dr. Morrow Jr. explains it, music—and jazz, in particular—was not just a source of entertainment for the Harlem Hellfighters’ soldiers, but also a unifying force that transcended cultural and racial boundaries on the Western Front. Valiant Hearts: Coming Home seeks to bring all of that, and more, to light.
The remaining two Netflix exclusives that Ubisoft has in the pipeline are a sequel to Mighty Quest for Epic Loot and a new Assassin’s Creed game. Both are set to release for mobile devices later this year. Outside its Netflix partnership, Ubisoft has more mobile games planned for 2023.
Valiant Hearts: Coming Home is now available to Netflix subscribers on Android and iOS.
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