Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a hybrid action and turn-based strategy role-playing game. You play as a tight-knit military squad during the events of an alternate World War II, fighting to save the land from a powerful empire.
Pro Tense and challenging tactical war battles
In this alternate version of World War II, you and your squad fight to defeat an empire with gameplay that really makes you feel like you're out on a battlefield. As the commander and tactician, you take turns controlling your different squadmates around the field, expending Action Points as they run to where you want them to go. Managing your AP while sending your squadmates to the most strategic location can be a challenge, but it pays off to outsmart your enemies.
There may be times when you feel overwhelmed, but you have options at your disposal. Using the terrain to your advantage to send grenadiers to lob explosives over buildings for cover fire, while expending the rest of your AP to get your other squadmates to safety is one tactic that you can pull off. Figuring out the best approach to tackle any given situation helps you tackle anything that the game throws at you.
Pro Side stories help you grow attached to your squadmates
Valkyria Chronicles 4 really gets you to care about your team. There are special side stories for each individual member, showing you more about their past and who they are as actual characters. It's a nice addition that lets you empathize with their personal struggles and appreciate how serious, funny, or down-to-earth any one of your squadmates are.
This is especially important since, if anyone dies during combat and you're unable to get a medic to them in time, they will permanently die. These side stories are a good motivator to make you want to keep everyone alive because you're attached to the characters, and not necessarily just because of how useful they might be in battle.
Pro Great starting point for Valkyria Chronicles newcomers
Despite this being the fourth entry in the mainline Valkryia Chronicles games, this is actually a good starting point for anyone new to the series. The tutorials are simple to understand, the gameplay is easy to grasp after a couple of battles, and the story doesn't expect you to have any prior knowledge of the other games. You can jump right in with this one and not feel like you're missing out on anything.
Pro Charming watercolor art style
Valkyria Chronicles 4's graphics are straight out of a storybook. The visuals look a lot like watercolor illustrations, giving them a unique charm that you don't see a lot of from other games. Green pastures in particular look beautiful in how vibrant and full of life they are. And the anime-style character models all look excellent, fitting right in with the environments as a cohesive look.
Con Anime tropes distract from the story
The story does a wonderful job of showing the gritty reality of how war changes people, but there's a serious issue with the way the narrative gets interrupted by anime tropes. Too often, grave moments during cutscenes get sidetracked by anime-like slapstick humor that ends up ruining the moment. These scenes would have been fine if they happened at more tactful times, but sadly, this just isn't the case. So if you don't have much tolerance for these types of tropes, you may not like the story all that much.
Con Battles can take a long time to finish
Valkyria Chronicles 4 isn't the type of game you can pick up and put back down. Battles are quite long and involved, usually taking about an hour to finish. On top of that, there are no checkpoints during battle, so if you lose, you have to start all over again. If you don't have that kind of time or patience, then this may not be the game for you.