For some fans of the first Valkyria Chronicles, it’s been a long time since they could scratch their itch. The beloved tactics game had a wonderful first outing before disappearing to the lands of PSP exclusives for the next two games. Finally, with Valkyria Chronicles 4, we can jump back into the great war on all major platforms.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a turn-based tactics game, albeit one in which you take direct control of soldiers in a third-person view. Movement allowance and action points are spent by you, as you run around and shoot, heal, and throw grenades.
People will of course notice its canvas graphics first, and Valkyria Chronicles 4 has doubled down on this frame-by-frame, comic book style of storytelling. It’s all a mix of XCOM, anime, and World War II, and this Goldilocks formula is what gives the series the unusual status of being revered as a classic even as most fans haven’t played its sequels.
Those PSP exclusives were intentionally made with the Japanese audience in mind though, catering to the swathes of PSP owners there. Those games focused more on schoolkids and special forces squads. With Valkyria Chronicles 4, it’s over to the frontline, where Sega hopes the imaginations of Westerners will be captured.
You can expect pretty much the same formula of storytelling, and as this is a prequel, you’ll still be dealing with the looming threat of invasion from the Empire. Although since you’re not a ragtag militia group from Gallia, and instead a proper Federation army, expect battles larger than you’ve seen before.
When it comes to Valkyria Chronicles battles, bigger is truly better. The scale itself is a lot of fun, but there’s also a lot more to think about. As usual, just as you’ve worked out a bit of a plan, scripted events pop up to throw everything up in the air again. We felt like we were changing the course of the war in these larger battles. As good as the first Valkyria Chronicles was, that feeling of large scale contribution to stopping the Empire was somewhat missing. It’s definitely in Valkyria Chronicles 4.