Valkyria Revolution is out today. As a spin-off to the Valkyria series seen on previous consoles, Valkyria Revolution mixes turn-based and active combat in a new world. Being half-way through the game, my feelings are extremely mixed, as each triumph is only a half-step met with an issue of equal measure. Following the Five Traitors, a group manipulating a war between the small country of Jutland and the Ruz Empire. Amleth, the leader of the Anti-Valkyria Squad and one of the Five Traitors, serves as the protagonist of this tale of manipulation and revenge. While the story starts off with an interesting premise, the generic writing makes every activity seem boring and overly simple. It tries to alleviate this by running multiple subplots throughout the story, but they are more of a throwaway distraction at best. Characters seem like archetypes, repeating their few motivations without growth or power. I hope there is actually growth present in the second-half, but the quality of writing makes me doubt it.
Each battle against the Ruz takes place in large skirmishes, with you controlling the party leader in real time. This combat is overly simple, with limited action to test the player’s reflexes. Valkyria tries to test the player’s strategy by allowing the party leader to give orders to individual members. This only slows combat as the encounters never show strategic depth beyond “use the elemental weakness.” A forgiving death system in addition to the shallow combat causes every victory to feel empty and every encounter feel monotonous.
Outside of battle, Amleth will walk around town gauging support for the war while upgrading the squad. Almost all the upgrades are standard and inconsequential, leading to any activity outside of battle feel like a distraction from the sub-par story.
Overall, Valkyria Revolution is standard and fails to engage the player in any meaningful way. A more comprehensive review is on the way, but unless they suddenly create an engaging story, Valkyria Revolution will remain mediocre.