Valkyria Chronicles was easily one of my favorite RPG games of of all time with the diverse cast of characters that were enjoyable to use, unique gameplay that was incredibly fun, and a new art style that stood out. While Valkyria Chronicles was an incredible title, it didn’t last long as the second installment was exclusive to the PSP, and the 3rd game was only released in Japan. When I heard that the Valkyria series was coming back for the PS4 with Valkyria Revolution, I was more than excited to continue the series; even knowing that the gameplay was getting a revamp. The only thing that came to my mind while playing Valkyria Revolution was that the series should’ve stayed done because this title ruins everything positive about the Valkyria series.
One of the strongest positives in Valkyria Chronicles was the deep story set in a reimagined World War 2. Not only did the story offer great elements of emotional moments showcasing the harsh realities of war, but continuously added depth to the characters in the story as the slowly overcome their difference with one another growing into a family unit. You not only felt an understanding for why every member of the militia began fighting, but you even felt sympathy for the enemies as some fought for noble causes. Instead of retaining some of these elements to add a positive to the game’s story, Valkyria Revolution did away with this to bring a bland an incredibly uninteresting story. The game focuses around two main protagonists, Amleth and Ophelia Augusta af Jutland, who have as much depth as a piece of paper. While Amleth seeks revenge against Emperor Klaudiusz of the Ruzhien Empire, he single-handedly plunges a war between Jutland (the small country he resides) and Ruzhien.
The story isn’t horrendous, but the presentation of the story completely ruins what could be a decent story. The first major issues is how bland the characters act within the story. Cutscenes are overly long, and way too detailed, with no moments that build up any excitement. To make things worse, a majority of the cutscenes go with little animation; where the characters mouths are the only things moving; and with terrible lip-syncing, it’s just bad. Add in numerous loading that extend the overly long cutscene more, and it’s possible to go quite some time without playing at all.
Gameplay in Valkyria Revolution is not bad, but it is nowhere near good; while that sounds like a paradox, here’s why. The third person action in Revolution is, in a way, like Chronicles combat in real time. Features such as commands return, and aspects like cover are present with new wall cover present also; this would’ve been incredible in the Chronicles games. Sadly, Revolution completely ruins every element of the gameplay to the point where it just isn’t very fun. Characters are armed with swords, with most characters also carrying rifles and grenades, with special magical abilities based around Ragnite (the same blue material that was used as fuel in the Chronicles games). Combat focuses on the use of the X (or A) button to attack with a combo attack. Characters with side arms are able to use fire arms to deal ranged damage to enemies; but due to limited ammo, you shouldn’t rely on this to win. There are elements of emotion also present where enemies will actually get scared, and are supposed to run away and hide…..at least that’s what the game says. Enemies will end up just frozen, not moving at all making them even an easier target.
When progressing through areas, players are in control of a 4-man squad where the other 3 characters are controlled by the AI. Players can either use commands to get the AI to complete certain actions, or take control of the characters themselves. Now the commands should make the game even easier (if that was even possible), but most of the time the AI will completely ignore your commands.
In terms of presentation, Valkyria Revolution doesn’t do much to impress visually. To make things worse, the game drops the water paint style found in Chronicles titles. The one redeeming factor is the soundtrack which is just as gorgeous as the songs from the Chronicles titles.
Valkyria Revolution was a game that we hoped would do a good job at continuing the series great gameplay, story, and depth even if it reinvented how it presented everything. Instead Revolution feels like a half-assed game that could have been incredible. Without even comparing Revolution to Chronicles, it still feels unfinished and unpolished in almost every area. If you enjoyed the Chronicles series, and expect Revolution to continue the great experience, don’t buy this game.
- Combat has potential
- Soundtrack is pretty amazing
- Bland cast of characters
- Way too long cut-scenes that are incredibly boring, with numerous load screens between making it take forever to get to actual gameplay
- Lackluster story
- Various elements of the game feel unfinished, or just flatout broken