Valkyria Revolution a shameless cash-grab
Generally, the idea of 'revolution' is thought to be a positive concept. From American revolutions to technological revolutions, we always seem to come out on the right side of history. However, sometimes a revolution ends up making things worse than the way they were before. Valkyria Revolution - the spin-off RPG of the popular strategy game Valkyria Chronicles - is a prime example of this.
Spinning off a very well-established game series into a different genre is always a risky move. On one hand, if the gamble is succesful, you'll simultaneously introduce a franchise to a new group of players and give existing gans something to reignite their passion. On the other hand, you risk coming out with something like Valkyria Revolution.
The setting is Europa, a continent based on the real-life Europe with some fantasy twists (and, bafflingly, a different Europa from the one previously seen in other Valkyria Chronicles games). The world is powered by a mystical mineral called ragnite, and the alchemic sciences associated with it drive technology and advancement, yielding a new era of prosperity for Europa. But the small kingdom of Jutland has been cut off from the rich ragnite of other nations, suffering under the thumb of the oppressive Ruz empire. Conflict erupts into all-out war, and casualties begin to sharply rise.
Once you finally get through a stretch of story sequences at the start, you'll be able to hop into the thick of combat. While the original Valkyria Chronicles was a turn-based strategy game, Revolution has you lead a squad of four characters into enemy strongholds in real time. You only command one character directly at a time--the other members of the squad are under AI control, though you can issue blanket squad commands like 'Offense' or 'Support' or give a single direct order if needed. The problem with the combat and indeed, most of Valkyria Revolution is the mind-numbing repetition.
There's so little in the way of variation in this game. It's all about jumping into maps with low-resolution textures, making short fare of a bunch of baddies and then fighting a boss. In between all of the moronic action is effortless info dumps and painfully boring exposition. If ever there were a game designed in boardroom meetings then this is it.
Valkyria Revolution comes off as a bit of a shameless cash-grab. If you enjoyed Valkyria Chronicles there is absolutely no guarantee that you will enjoy this. In fact, I struggle to see the fanbase for this title.
PS4 / Xbox One