[PS4] Where The Heart Leads Review
Narrative-driven Where the Heart Leads from Armature is an adventure about family that you have to check out on PS4. Learn more in our Where the Heart Leads review!
Narrative-driven Where the Heart Leads from Armature is an adventure about family. After the family’s dog goes missing during a storm, Whit Anderson goes down a sinkhole to try and find it he ends up on a journey of self-discovery that mixes past, present, and future. The sinkhole opened up in the middle of the Anderson’s farm because of the storm, Whit must do whatever it takes to recover Casey while exploring a surreal world where nothing is what it seems and where memories will help him discover a whole new side of his life.
Armature previously worked on games such as Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, which I got to review on PlayStation Vita many years ago. That’s a very different type of experience compared to Where the Heart Leads, since Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a 2.5D with a focus on stealth and action. There are many choices to make for this journey, and you can go down a wide variety of paths as the story progresses. As the team has reported, the game includes over 600,000 words, which they state is bigger than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
You’ll move around with the left analog stick, swinging the camera as needed with the right one. To zoom in and out, press the R1 and L1 buttons, respectively. You can interact with items or other characters and memories by pressing the X button. For some actions, you’ll have to press and hold down the Square button. Any memories you collect will be added to your inventory, which you can check with the Triangle button. If you want to enable auto-text, you can do so with the R2 button, and you can review the text log at any time by pressing the L2 button.
You’ll be collecting a ton of memories as you explore every corner of this new world. You might find manuals for old board games your kids left out somewhere. You’ll also add new information as memories while making choices in the game. Take, for example, an early choice in the game. You can decide to go to save Casey on your own, and this will reveal to you some information on how Whit and his wife Rene handle things. Whit is a bit more independent, while Rene likes to micromanage things. This means that Whit does not take the time to discuss what he’s going to do next instead of diving right into things.
Something I noticed as I started to play Where the Heart Leads is that the text was extremely tiny and hard to see, even on a large TV. The good news is that the team realized this as well after some feedback and included an option to increase the text bubble size so that you can find the right setting to experience this one. As a heads-up, I suggest that to enjoy Where the Heart Leads, you increase the text bubble size to the maximum setting.
As for the trophies, Where the Heart Leads features a full trophy list with six Gold trophies, eight Silver trophies, and sixteen Bronze trophies, with a Platinum trophy waiting for you at the end of your journey, but you won’t be able to collect all trophies in a single run. Due to how the game is structured and how some choices will cancel out others, you won’t get a chance to make every trophy pop during your first time with Where the Heart Leads. Without spoiling things too much, at the start of the game, you can decide to call Casey to your side after descending into the sinkhole to try and save her or find another way to save her. One choice will reward you with a trophy, while the other one won’t.
Where the Heart Leads is an interesting narrative-driven adventure that will show you how every choice we make will have an impact on our lives and the lives of our families. You’re looking at 8-12 hours to complete a run, depending on which choices you make and how fast you are at reading since there’s a ton of text on this one. There are multiple endings to reach as well, which boosts the replay value. When the Heart Leads is out tomorrow on PlayStation 4, with a $24.99 asking price.
This Where the Heart Leads review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Armature.