It’s understandable if you’re unfamiliar with Valkyria Chronicles — the original title released a decade ago, and some entries never saw a Western release. But don’t let the “4” in its title scare you off from experiencing one of the most unique games coming to Xbox One this year.
Based on the meaty E3 demo we experienced, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a fresh return to the turn-based strategy, endearing characters, and stunning watercolor visuals that made the original a fan favorite. And as the storyline runs concurrently with events of the original Valkyria Chronicles, past experience with the series is purely optional.
Set in something of an alternate history Europe during a conflict evoking World War II, Valkyria Chronicles 4 follows Squad E, who are about as far from your typical grizzled military unit as one could imagine. You’ll get to know these characters intimately, as they’re not simply chess pieces moved around the board from a distance. Each move drops you into the boots of a scout, sniper, shock trooper (and several others) to position your soldier, line up shots and revive fallen allies.
This extends to vehicles as well. Squad E possesses their own tank, named The Hafen, which can dole out serious damage, as well as provide mobile cover for your foot soldiers.
Characters each possess unique affinities and quirks which play into finding the best chemistry on a given map. Repeated engagements lead some of these characters to form bonds with each other that can even unlock more story missions to play.
Expect a lengthy experience — it can take up to 100 hours to see everything — and from the E3 missions we experienced, you’ll want to soak up as much of this world as possible when Valkyria Chronicles 4 rolls out to Xbox One this Fall.