- System: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
- Publisher: SEGA
- Developer: SEGA
- Release Date: Sept 25, 2018
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Strategy, Turn Based, Tactics
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://valkyria.sega.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
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.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- The return to the original Strategy RPG elements was a great idea on SEGA’s part
- Excellent story with some awesome new characters and various new dramas
- Watercolor graphical engine still looks incredible even several years later
- Solid voice acting in both Japanese and English dub with a solid OST as well
- New map locations don’t allow for the same epic feeling as seen in the first Valkyria Chronicles
- Expect some lengthy story segments before missions begin