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REVIEW: Valkyria Revolution — Counterrevolution’s More Like It


Published by: Sega (Japan, North America), Deep Silver (Europe)
Developed by: Media.Vision
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One
Genre(s): Action Role-playing
Mode(s): Single-player
Game Type: , , , ,
68/ 100

User Rating
1 total rating



Vibrant visual style. Battles are plentiful. Intuitive gameplay mechanics.


Slow start. Repetitive. RPG elements feel forced. Uninspired maps.

Posted August 5, 2017 by


Valkyria Revolution is the perfect example of fixing what isn’t broken. It’s the fourth installment in Sega’s Valkyria series, and the second to be developed by Media.Vision. Attempting to bring the franchise to new heights, it only manages to yank the series out of that sweet spot between turn-based and real-time action, effectively coming up short on both fronts. Valkyria Revolution might still be a decent game, but it’s nowhere near a revolution.


Granted, the ‘revolution’ in the game’s title is a reference to its industrial revolution-esque setting and primarily serves as an indication that it’s a spin-off. Like in the original Valkyria Chronicles, the game’s main story is a historical event written in books of record. Like most historical books, however, it’s largely fabricated. Instead, a woman named Richelle narrates the true story — passed down to her from generation to generation, to a curious young scholar.

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The story takes place at the height of the Azure Revolution. An industrial and societal renaissance brought about by the discovery and global distribution of Ragnite — an Azure mineral containing enormous amounts of energy. Such power naturally led to numerous wars across the globe. The game’s plot is focused on one such war, called the Liberation War. It’s a conflict orchestrated by the “Circle of Five”, a group of conspirators who pushed the entire country of Jutland to war with the Ruz for their own personal vendetta. If you haven’t already guessed, these five traitors are the game’s main protagonists, and Richelle attempts to enlighten the young scholar with the truth behind their convictions.

You play as Amleth Grønkjær, one of the five traitors and captain of the anti-Valkyria squad called Vanargand. In it, you’ll be leading the fight at the forefront, steering the war towards your own path of revenge whilst the rest of the five pull the strings from behind the scenes. The game starts slow, leaning heavily towards the boring side, especially with the story constantly being interrupted by intermissions from Richelle and the young scholar. Eventually, it builds up, with the action happening more frequently.


The game, like its predecessors, incorporates a permadeath feature that could cause you to permanently lose one of your team mates in battle throughout the entire story. You don’t recruit new soldiers at regular intervals anymore like you used to in the previous games, but the characters here are more involved and fleshed out as opposed to just randomly generated grunts with no narrative significance. I haven’t actually caused any of my teammates to die in my playthrough, but if it weren’t for the various character interactions and the unlockable extra scenes that build up each character, I doubt I would have even cared. Still, I personally didn’t find these extra interactions as impactful as those in the first game. If any of them did die, I’ll probably get over it right away.


Valkyria Revolution is primarily an action game, but some of the more prevalent role-playing elements from previous games were retained. The majority of the combat involves you running around the map and pressing X to whack anything that moves with a basic attack. Occasionally, you can change it up by popping Ragnite spell, good for taking out a clump of enemies with AoE damage or using secondary weapons like rifles and rocket launchers depending on the situation. Using spells or secondary weapons freezes the game to a still, reverting back to a familiar interface, letting you pick targets and positioning area spells.


Attacking becomes ready when your character’s action gauge gets filled, reminiscent of Final Fantasy XII’s turn-based system. Physical attacks, spells, and items all share the same action gauge, but blocking and dodging can be cast at any time. Returning in Revolution is the ability to take cover behind walls and makeshift covers, though there really isn’t much use for these except for dealing a preemptive strike against an unaware squad of enemies.

You can only control one character from your four-man team at a time, but you can set squad formations and tactics to influence the AI-controlled character’s behaviors. You can set priorities for each squad member, also similar to Final Fantasy XII’s gambit system, only instead of a series of complex if-then statements, you set a simple order of priority for each character’s actions. Many of the unlockable priorities seem redundant, and I couldn’t tell if they’re even working right when setting it to anything other than healing.

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Even with the tacked-on tactical RPG elements on the side, the combat still can’t escape from the fact that it’s heavily repetitive. Combat missions take place in the same handful of maps with the same handful of enemies. Even the Ragnite spells you earn and weapons you develop don’t offer much variety.

V I S U A L S  &  P E R F O R M A N C E

The game is visually vibrant, but the series’ iconic pencil-shaded, water-colored art style seems to have been attenuated rather densely. The character designs are also fairly decent but don’t exactly blend well with the game’s overall style. The weapons themselves, though well designed, don’t quite feel cohesive with the game’s overall look.

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The level of detail found in the game’s main districts is unfortunately absent in the already meager number of combat maps. It’s easy to get lost in some of the more monotonous maps. Enemy designs are also pretty basic, though some battles eventually lead to you having to face some pretty badass looking war machines. Problem is, fighting them usually meant fighting the game’s lock-on system as well. Many times your vision would get obscured. Other times you could get stuck in an enemy somehow or phase through, causing some attacks to miss.

Many intermissions are usually just a bunch of character models standing around a room doing generic gestures that are constantly reused throughout the game, with just the occasional pre-rendered cutscenes reserved for major events. Visually speaking, the graphics are up to current gen standards, but from a technical standpoint, it suffers from some major lack of detail and variety.

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If Valkyria Revolution really set out to be more action-oriented, they would’ve benefited greatly from abandoning the role-playing elements entirely. Instead, it becomes a mediocre action game that’s constantly being dragged down by the forced implementation of tactical features. Fans of the series will still find an acceptable experience in Revolution, but won’t stand to lose anything if they skip this one out. Series newcomers are better off experiencing the Valkyria Chronicles remaster instead, or look elsewhere for a more robust action RPG.

The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PlayStation Vita. The PlayStation 4 version isn’t cross-buy with the Vita version (or vice-versa) but it does support cross-save, which lets you continue your progress on either version.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher]

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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