Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (PlayStation 4) Preview

By Az Elias 20.04.2016

Review for Valkyria Chronicles Remastered on PlayStation 4

Critically acclaimed and spawning two sequels for PSP, 2008's Valkyria Chronicles on PlayStation 3 was undeniably a must-have title for strategy fans, blending tactics and real-time action under a World War II-inspired motif. A Steam release followed six years later, and now comes the time for PlayStation 4 owners that missed out on a SEGA great to embroil themselves in war made fun. Ahead of its 17th May release, Cubed3 provides an overview of the updated port after playing through the opening chapters.

Like the PC port, all extra DLC is made available, and includes two side story missions for Edy and Selvaria, six challenge missions, and the Expert difficulty for the main game's skirmishes (the latter becoming accessible after beating the story). Naturally, it's best to proceed with the core plotline before jumping into the extra missions, but the option is there to engage in the DLC side ops for anyone that has already been through the story before.

Early scenes set the stage for what is a bleak reality of war, as the main characters' home town in Gallia is invaded by the Imperial Army, looking to claim the land in search of ragnite, a mineral held in high esteem. Somewhat tied to real life World War II events, Valkyria Chronicles wastes no time in making the harsh realities of war known; death and loss is a recurring theme, but effort has also been made to counter the tragedies with anime-style characters and humour… sort of similar to the Advance Wars series.

Screenshot for Valkyria Chronicles Remastered on PlayStation 4

The first taste of combat begins quickly, and it's here that the mix of strategy and action combines. Minimal tutorials pop up as and when they are necessary, allowing you to play and learn as you go. Starting each stage in an overhead map view, an entire squad of units, including reserves, can be chosen and then assigned to certain positions on the field. Depending on what enemy units are present, the tactics come in the form of which unit types to select and the places to put them in. Foot soldiers include snipers, scouts (mid-range, with a handful of shots) and Shocktroopers (many shots), and perform best against the Lancer brutes, which deal with snipers and tanks. Tanks are most effective against ground personnel, but are big and slow movers.

After picking and deploying units, CP details the number of turns the player gets until it is the enemy's turn. Choosing a unit uses up one CP (tanks use two), and then the action switches down onto a third-person point of view on the battlefield. At this point, AP determines how much ground the unit can make before coming to a halt, and can be freely moved across the terrain to wherever necessary, be it towards a foe, then taking aim and attacking, then ducking around a corner for cover, or just simply advancing to a certain destination and camping out on high ground as a sniper. The overhead map and 3D perspective must both be taken into account when plotting and performing moves, as not all enemies are visible at eye level, and many are hidden completely on the map until entering their proximity.

It isn't long before all unit types are required to be used in order to successfully complete each scenario, but the early difficulty is kind enough that there are no overwhelming odds in the AI's favour. Operation goals range from taking out all enemies to occupying a base, and it is the latter that seems the most prominent in the opening chapters.

Screenshot for Valkyria Chronicles Remastered on PlayStation 4

Final Thoughts

The first batch of chapters give a good reminder of why Valkyria Chronicles is held in such high regard. New elements are introduced steadily, tutorials are paced nicely and aren't overbearing, and, for a title with a heavy plot, it is surprising how quickly actual gameplay begins and comes around between scenes. A simple levelling and progression system helps maintain balance, but it will take playing through the meat of the story to determine if this is retained, and whether the tale itself is engaging enough to see it through.

Developer

SEGA

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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