Return to a familiar battlefield
- System: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
- Publisher: SEGA
- Developer: SEGA
- Release Date: Sept 25, 2018
While Valkyria Chronicles Revolution graced our consoles last year, the change in pace and design made it feel less like the Valkyria Chronicles we knew and loved from the past. Developer and publishers Sega must have heard the fans’ cries for change and returned to proper form with their most recent title Valkyria Chronicles 4. However, did Sega bring back the strategy elements we knew and loved from Valkyria Chronicles 1 and 2—3 was never released stateside—or did too many years pass by? These questions and more will be answered below as we dive into a lengthy review of Valkyria Chronicles 4!
Similar to the original Valkyria Chronicles released originally on the PS3, Valkyria Chronicles 4 returns to the series’ roots with a focus on tactical turn based play. Players will guide their units—this time following a squad known as Squad E—through tough battles that will test the player’s tactician skills. Along the way, Valkyria Chronicles 4 will feature a new story following a battle that was untold in the original title with new characters, new enemies and new battles all wrapped up in familiar setting. Fans of the original two Valkyria Chronicles will love the fourth installment’s return to the basics all while adding some new units and clever systems to keep things from feeling overly rehashed. Even if you somehow missed Valkyria Chronicles 1 and 2—as well as the recent remastering of the original—you can enter Valkyria Chronicles 4 and still enjoy the tactical stratagem it begs of players.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place parallel to the original Valkyria Chronicles title but focuses on another battle that changed the tide of war between the Federation and Empire. The Federation wished to attack the Empire with a preemptive and hard strike not only on just their troops but their main base of operations. Dubbed Operation Northern Cross, this definitive battle would either save the Federation from suffering more loss and defeat the Empire or face utter annihilation as their armies entered enemy territory. Following Squad E led by commander Claude Wallace we get to see the world of Valkyria Chronicles through another team’s eyes as they live through numerous battles, grow stronger as friends/comrades and survive challenge that would test anyone’s soul. Welcome to Valkyria Chronicles 4 where a new war begins once more…
Valkyria Chronicles 4 might be the fifth game in the Valkyria Chronicles franchise—including Revolution—but that doesn’t mean newcomers need to have played any of the previous titles to truly understand what’s going on here. Similar to any war story, Valkyria Chronicles 4 follows a clash between two opposing forces—the Federation and Empire—but in particular, a small group known as Squad E. While there are some throwbacks to Valkyria Chronicles original in Valkyria Chronicles 4, none of these small details need to be known for a newcomer. Now let’s move on from the story elements of Valkyria Chronicles 4—which are very solid we will say—and focus on the gameplay you’re going to get into.
The main concept of Valkyria Chronicles 4 is turn based strategy with RPG mechanics thrown in for good measure. Players will enter combat and see a map that shows various troops—the enemy and you—and will move your units around the map to accomplish objectives and defeat enemy soldiers. However, while Valkyria Chronicles 4 might be a turn-based game, the combat isn’t. Instead, Valkyria Chronicles 4 echoes the original Valkyria Chronicles by having players choose their units, move them around in 3rd person and shoot at enemies. Though this just explains the bare-minimum as there is a lot more to Valkyria Chronicles 4 than just simple turn-based combat.
There are a multitude of things to consider when you go into battle. Besides enemy locations and what your mission parameters are, you need to be weary of what class to use and when to utilize them. For example, if you need to navigate around a map quickly to scope out enemy location—as sometimes they won’t show on the main map—you’ll rely on scouts who have a higher AP—action points which are essentially how far and how much a unit can do per turn—and are quick movers. If you need firepower, you can use shock troopers who have machine guns and are stronger than scouts or even use various other classes—such as the new grenadier class or the main Tank called the Hafen—to keep you from meeting a quick end. Then there’s the other elements to Valkyria Chronicles 4 which shows off the RPG systems.
Outside of combat, players will need to truly outfit their units in more ways than one. Early on, players will unlock the headquarters which allows them to equip units, advance classes and even research new equipment to better prepare your units individually. You can also look up your current units and learn more about them—their likes and dislikes matter as that can affect their combat performance on the field—as well as participate in non-story missions with your troops. Don’t fret if this all seems like too much for you though, folks. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is chock full of tutorials and holds your hands for quite some time in the early game so you can get truly acclimated to all of its finer details.
Now, let’s discuss the graphics and sound for Valkyria Chronicles 4. We honestly will say we have not a single issue with either category in our minds as Valkyria Chronicles 4 does a great job in both fronts. Voice acting—English and Japanese dub—is wonderful bringing individuality to each unit and a true narrative focus that keeps you engaged from your early time in Valkyria Chronicles 4 to your latter. The graphics for Valkyria Chronicles 4 are also very impressive as SEGA continues to use its watercolor-like shading engine for the visuals. While Valkyria Chronicles 4 might show a bit of age here and there—it’s minor things like map designs and character models that aren’t the main cast—we truly have little issue with SEGA still relying on this awesome engine.
Lastly, we should say our few minor gripes with Valkyria Chronicles 4, though let us point out that we are being serious when we say there are only a few. One thing we noticed with our time with Valkyria Chronicles 4 is that the maps you do battle on feel a bit less epic than Valkyria Chronicles’ original maps. It doesn’t mean the battlefields are bad—far from it—but they just feel less diverse and interesting. Our last issue comes in the form of a thing we’re use to in RPGs but it should be noted to those who might be new to Valkyria Chronicles. Expect a lot of dialogue and story scenes in Valkyria Chronicles 4 before you enter battles. Often there could be several story sections before you even reach a singular battle and it’s quite noticeable in the beginning of the game. That isn’t to say the story scenes are bad—as we mentioned we loved Valkyria Chronicles 4’s story and characters—but more action would have been nice to see.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 proves that tried and true systems of a game loved before still work in the modern day. While battles might not be as epic as the original Valkyria Chronicles 4, that doesn’t mean this title has any less strength behind its engrossing story, characters, tactical strategy RPG mechanics and graphical look. Valkyria Chronicles 4 shows that sometimes changing a formula—as seen in Revolution—isn’t for the best and you need that familiar feeling to really keep fans coming back for more. We certainly hope for a Valkyria Chronicles 5 one day in the future and that is solely because of how much we loved this fourth installment. Whether you’re a fan or not of the original titles, Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be a great title to add to your gaming collection and it gets our Honey’s Anime seal of approval.
When Valkyria Chronicles Remastered released on the PS4 only last year, we kept remembering how great that system was in comparison to the ho-hum mechanics seen in Valkyria Chronicles Revolution. That’s why Valkyria Chronicles 4 was a sigh of relief that SEGA didn’t abandon the better gameplay format and were more than willing to return to what made fans happy. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a definite buy for fans of the series but equally for newcomers or those who just love fun and solid RPGs. Are you thinking of picking up Valkyria Chronicles 4? Let us know in the comments down below so we can also discuss other thoughts we have on Valkyria Chronicles 4. Remember to keep stuck to our hive for even more game reviews and news curtsey of us here at Honey’s Anime.
078 Aaron , 2018-10-04 01:21:19
Content from https://honeysanime.com/valkyria-chronicles-4-playstation-4-review/