I'm not a Valkyria Chronicles veteran by any means, but I do enjoy the series enough to finish each game as they release (except for the abomination that was Valkyria Revolution). Valkyria Chronicles 4 does feel overly familiar at times and while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's also not always a positive. The new game provides just enough tweaks and additions to make it feel slightly different from the first game. What Valkyria Chronicles 4 does do well, is portray war and the people caught within it.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 follows the story of Commander Claude Wallace and the squad he commends, "Squad E". The story plays out over the same time period as the first game, so keep that in mind as we move forward. Fans looking for a continuation of the overall arc might feel disappointed but the story in Valkyria Chronicles 4 is strong enough to hold its own. Valkyria Chronicles 4 manages to strike a good balance between visual novel-ish storytelling and action-packed tactical combat. The serious story, sometimes mixed with quirky moments, doesn't feel like a slog when you know it's building up to an awesome battle. The narrative also has enough depth to it and the combat is fun enough to let it stand on its own.
The series has always told great stories, but most players come for the strategic combat. Each battle starts with a top-down tactical command view of the battlefield. Here, you can look at the layout and form a potential grand strategy to complete your objective. This sounds pretty simple but the enemy is smart and has their own strategies in place. After this, you can select a unit and spend their Action Points to perform various actions. Send a Scout ahead to get the lay of the land, or take down an enemy with a far-seeing Sniper, the choice is yours. These actions aren't limited to just one turn per unit, you can move a unit multiple times, at a cost, of course. Using a single unit more than once will see them incur a stamina penalty on subsequent turns. Think carefully before using a single unit multiple times.
The series has always told great stories, but most players come for the strategic combat.
...it felt like I was genuinely equipping someone I care for with the best possible equipment to ensure their success, and more importantly, their safe return.
You might think your next skirmish is a short one, only for it to explode into a multi-objective marathon, complete with constant surprises from the enemy.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
21 September 2018
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