Valkyria Chronicles 4 E3 Impression
My Valkyria Chronicles 4 demo thankfully started me at the beginning of the adventure, as I don’t have a lot of experience with the series (besides dying a lot in demos of the first game at previous shows). The first and fourth game are set in the same timeframe, during the same war, but on different fronts. Valkyria Chronicles 4 focuses on Operations Northern Cross; our heroes know they are losing the war, so the unit we play as is essentially taking on a hail mary to try and conquer the enemy capital.
During combat, you have a bird’s eye view of the map and where each unit is — both allies and visible enemies, as well as their health bars. After selecting a unit, you zoom down into an over-the-shoulder view of the unit and can move within their designated range (each unit can move according to their character class); some soldier types have extended movement ranges, while others can only move short distances in a turn. Once you’ve positioned a unit… preferably behind cover… you can choose to fire. I typically aimed at the enemy’s head. Headshots are fun!
Unlike the first Valkyria Chronicles, whose maps generally consisted of rolling green hills, Valkyria Chronicles 4 will have quite a few different landscapes. Because Operation Northern Cross is covering a significant distance, including snowy terrain, this will mean not only different types of maps visually but different types of challenges for the player to overcome as they troop their way to victory in the war. For the first map however, the terrain was largely flat, and I had plenty of cover to hide behind.
That is until I shot down all the soldiers and a stupid tank arrived to ruin all the fun. But it was okay — I had my own tank to counter! I quickly drove my own tank forward… accidentally running over one of my own troops in the process. Oops, didn’t know that was a thing. A tank’s weak spot is in the rear, so I quickly charged forward and looped around to the back and blew it up with a very satisfying explosion.
After the chapter ended, the leader of my soldiers, Claude, commented about the fact that we’d trampled all of the pretty flowers during our sortie. The other personnel weren’t quite sure how to react to this, and it was an interesting look into how the unit was going to interact through the rest of the game. Valkyria Chronicles 4 arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018.