Six months after its Japanese debut, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is now on the verge of its worldwide launch. And we couldn't be more excited.
But first, let's get to the bottom of what Sega's tactical RPG actually is, beginning with...
It's the fourth numbered installment in Sega's Valkyria Chronicles franchise—a tactical RPG grounded in a gritty, military setting.
Already available in Japan, the game is now making its way into all major territories, where it'll be available across PS4, PC, Xbox One and Switch.
The year is 1935, and Valkyria Chronicles 4 is about to plunge you into a colorful alternate history in which the Atlantic Federation is at war with the Eastern Imperial Alliance.
In the year 1935 EC, the continent of Europa is split between the Federation and the Empire. As the Imperial army dominates the Eastern Theater, the Federate forces launch Operation Northern Cross, a last-ditch effort to tip the scales. The commander of Squad E will test his will against the bonds of his allies, the weight of their trust, and the sacrifices they all must make. This is a tale of a bittersweet adolescence: the failures and triumphs of young hearts struggling to find themselves amidst the chaos of the battlefield.
Much like the original, really, given Sega's goal to channel the spirit and legacy of Valkyria Chronicles.
There are some new changes being added into the mix, of course, what with new units (see: the Grenadier), last stand and battlefield-defining command orders now in your arsenal.
In order to give players a small appetizer ahead of the main course, a Valkyria Chronicles 4 demo was made available, and you'll be pleased to note that "any items obtained, class levels, earned experience, and currency" carries over into the full game.
To the west of the Northern Hemisphere's largest landmass lies Europa. For millennia, this fertile continent has endured countless battles for dominance. By the 1800s, Europa was governed by two superpowers: the Empire and the Federation. Both depended on a precious mineral called ragnite for survival. Its growing scarcity led to war in 1935 EC, when a broken peace treaty brought international tensions to a head. So began the Second Europan War, the largest conflict in world history.
Squad E's top guns are not to be trifled with, given that their roots can be traced back to the Edinburgh army.
They are, of course, the main protagonists of VC4, and include colorful characters such as Kai, Raz, Roland, Jimmy, Viola, Aulard, Nico, Godwin, and Neige.
Sega has clearly studied up on the history of WWII, with VC4 expected to include both Interludes and Squad Stories to help flesh out the in-game universe.
Interludes: Side stories supplemented between chapters. They add historical context and in-depth character studies.
Squad Stories: Anecdotal footnotes scrawled in the margins. These sub-sagas follow the daily lives of Squad E's finest.
The Grenadier is the new kid on the block as far as Valkyria Chronicles is concerned.
Much like the name suggests, the Grenadier will have access to weaponry designed specifically for long-range combat and ballistic strikes.
They'll also be able to strike an enemy undetected, providing you're able to relay the necessary coordinates. There's just one caveat: they won't be able to attack an enemy standing directly in front of them.
Work on VC4 initially began back in 2015, when Kohei Yamashita outlined his ambition to bring the franchise to a global audience, which goes some way to explaining the grounded military setting over the anime tropes that defined Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3.
Real-life World War II troops inspired the creation of Squad E, too, and based on early reviews, this new installment nails character development across the board.
Like we mentioned before, the goal with Valkyria Chronicles 4 was to deliver a much more palatable experience, and the fact that Sega is launching its tactical RPG across consoles and PC (Switch included!) proves the developer is confident in its vision of a worldwide hit.
Will harkening back to the original Valkyria Chronicles be enough to draw in the masses? Time will tell.
Kicking things off on day one, Sega has a whole lotta DLC planned for Valkyria Chronicles 4. And the current schedule looks a little something like this:
To date, Valkyria Chronicles 4 has notched an impressive 86 on Metacritic, with the official summary revealing,
A Continent Engulfed in the Bitter Flames of War. Commander Claude Wallace and his childhood friends set out to fight in a desperate war, but bone-chilling blizzards, waves of imperial soldiers, and the godlike powers of the Valkyria stand between them and victory.
The official trophy list for Valkyria Chronicles 4 comprises 36 accolades in total, including that all-important Platinum.
If you're wanting to go all in on the VC4 experience, may we point you in the direction of the Memoirs from Battle premium edition ($99), which grants access to the following:
Our own Cody Gravelle hailed Valkyria Chronicles 4 as perhaps the perfect entry point for fans and newcomers alike, ultimately awarding the sequel a 9/10 and the coveted Editor's Choice award.
Here's a little taster of his review:
"Valkyria Chronicles 4 is an excellent game, compelling in both its character roster and its gameplay. While it runs adjacent to the original Valkyria Chronicles, its contrasting of the Second Europan War with multiple coming of age stories makes it powerful in its own right."