Valkyrie Elysium Review
This is a review of “Valkyrie Elysium“, one of Square Enix’s release rushes that has been going on since September 2022. For the time being, it will be the latest game in the Valkyrie series, but unlike past games, it has been reborn as an action game. Since this work is also in the position of a reboot, I will simply review it as one work.
Missions and Stages
This game is a mission-stage progression type game, and each stage is basically a straight path and a linear progression.
Also, during the stage, you may not be able to turn back because you will be blocked at certain points.
There are also collectibles, so if you forget to take them, you have to redo all the missions from start to finish, which is a very troublesome specification.
There are 9 chapters in total, and the number of areas is quite small, with 5 areas, and except for 1 area, 2 chapters use 1 area, and the same area is used in subquests, so I think it can be said that there are clearly few volume variations.
When the mission is completed, the rating up to the highest rank S will be displayed.
Graphics and great character modeling
In terms of basic areas and visuals, if you ask me if there is a next-generation feeling of the PS5 generation, I don’t think it is at the standard level for a modern game.
Personally, I highly value the character modeling in the game, including the character design, and although it is basically in the photorealistic direction, it adopts a unique expression that there are contour lines like those seen in anime and manga.
All of them, including the main character Valkyrie, are modeled in a cool and cute way, and I think the costume design is very wonderful.
The pleasant “Soul Chain” and the reliable companion “Einferia”
It is an action that allows you to close the distance to the enemy at once with the so-called grappling hook, and there is also an action that can be activated following the “Soul Chain”.
“Einferia”, which will eventually become a four companion, is also very co-fighting, and although it uses a gauge called the Soul Gauge, it is also possible to summon multiple people at the same time, and if you release Valkyrie’s abilities, you can set certain conditions, such as automatic summoning when the Valkyrie is blown away.
In addition, each “Einferia” has its own attribute, and enemies also have a weakness attribute, so by summoning it, you can also add an attribute to your attack, and if you continue to attack with the weak attribute, the break gauge will accumulate, and finally the enemy will be in a break state where it will not move for a certain period of time.
Soleil Corporation, which was founded by former TeamNinja members of Tecmo, is in charge of development, so there is no problem in thinking that the action side is quite solid.
However, there is room for improvement.
In this game, the basic behavior of the action is probably no behavior that cancels the motion. Neither evasion nor guard can cancel and activate a behavior during the action motion.
In this game, you can also get multiple weapons and enjoy different actions depending on the weapon type.
There are also enemies that have weaknesses in certain weapon types, and it is possible to switch weapons depending on the situation, but you cannot switch weapons during the action, probably due to the aforementioned basic behavior without cancellation. You can’t switch at all except when you’re probably on the move.
For example, if you can switch weapons more smoothly, I feel that the range of combos will be wider and the action aspect will be deeper.
UI with limited actions
Weapon switching and consumables are assigned to the D-pad, with the top and right of the four keys being weapons and the left and bottom being consumables.
In addition, special skills (so-called magic) “Divine Arts” are assigned to R2 + □△○×. The special move is attribute magic, and there are 6 attributes including healing, so there are not enough buttons.
Another particular problem with the D-pad assignment is the problem of fixed frames, and the presence of consumables in particular is a considerable negative factor.
There are types of consumable items, such as restoring health and temporarily strengthening Valkyrie, but if you use them, your evaluation when completing missions will decrease. It may be said that it is a remedy for those who are not good at action, but in my case, I didn’t use one after realizing that my evaluation would drop. Considering that we were able to clear it to the end without using it, we are wasting two of the few four frames.
If this could be assigned to items other than consumables, it would be more comfortable to play, and it would be a disappointing specification.
Problem with camera behavior
The camera in this work has collision detection with objects, and this object seems to include building walls and enemies. Therefore, when you move to the wall, you often find yourself in a situation where your character is not displayed on the screen, and you often do not know what is happening. In addition, the camera may be forced to move without the player’s actions, which can often lead to extra strange situations and contribute to the stress on the player.
A story that feels like a victim of volume
It is a story about the main character “Valkyrie”, who was created as an apostle of Odin, scrambling to save the crumbling world, and Valkyrie gradually shows human-like emotions and reactions by acting with “Einferia”, a former human. Because the volume of the game itself is small, the depiction feels sudden and rough, which is a negative part of the evaluation.
Also, “Einferia” is set in detail, such as the story of when it was human, but it has become a so-called library-like implementation in the game, and it is supplemented in the form of a sound novel. (There is also progress in side quests, but in the end, what do you want to draw, the lack of volume also comes out in a bad direction.) ）
As for the directing aspects such as cutscenes, I think it’s a passing grade due to the good character modeling, but the only thing that bothers me is lip-syncing, and at least the Japanese’s voice and the movement of the character’s mouth do not match.
There are parts that can be evaluated, but it is a wasteful game
The action itself is disappointing, but the basics are solid, and I think it can be appreciated in general. However, there are some obvious problems such as the low volume, the storytelling that falls victim to it, and the lack of attention to detail, making it a difficult game to recommend to those who value such aspects.
There are gibberish implementations such as consumable items, a world view and story that can be expanded as much as possible, and a system aspect that has some problems, etc., and I feel that it is a waste because there are more large-scale games and elements that can be evaluated like Nier Automata.