Platforms: PS4, PC, PS3
Release Date: 17 May 2016
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When the original Valkyria Chronicles released on PS3, it was well received, but at the same time extremely underrated. The game’s turn-based tactical combat, and its rich story was overshadowed by a few titles which released around the same time. In theory, hype killed the game. Now that it is out on PS4 for half the price, there is no reason why anyone should not give it a go. The game is a great way to experience the RPG in all its glory.
If you have not played the original game, Valkyria Chronicles follows the story of a group of people during a fictional age. The year is 1935 E.C and the continent of Europa is at war between the Autocratic East European Imperial Alliance and the Atlantic Federation. The game follows a tactical approach to combat whereas you get AP (Action Points), and have various things you can do while using these points in battle. You choose a character which is present in battle, and move them to a spot, you then shoot, throw a grenade or use an ability, this then ends that AP.
As a typical battle plays out, you cannot help but get involved in the approach you can take when handling a character. Every decision you make can change the outcome of the battle as you could be left in the line of fire, or leave a squad mate vulnerable for flanking. It is tough at first to grasp the concept of the battle system as there is a steep learning curve. We had to replay a few missions again to get the hang of things, and even when we thought we nailed it, a tank ruined our day. Choosing the right troops and equipment is key to surviving a mission, once you have mastered that, then things start getting better. There is a scout or character class for each enemy you face, bring the wrong one along, and you will struggle to complete the mission.
Combat is also reliant on these classes and weapons. A rifle can easily take down a grunt, but when you need to take down a tank, positioning a Lancer in the right spot to sort of predict the enemy’s movements is all the fun. You kind of feel like a general who’s sitting back and controlling chess pieces on the board in front of him.
When you are not in combat, you will find that the game has quite the load of cutscenes. These play out in episodes and tell the story of the characters and troops you meet along the way. The war is also tearing families apart and to watch this all happen in a beautiful art style, really adds to the game’s lore. The stories are very touching and make for an enjoyable experience to sit through. This is also all thanks to the game’s Canvas Engine, which gives the game its art style with light water colours and a gorgeous sketchbook look.
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is definitely a one of a kind experience which is really a must play for those who enjoy tactical shooters. Its rich world and great art style makes it a warm experience throughout the game. Its charming and unforgettable.