Valkyria Chronicles Remastered has launched in Japan, meaning that the demo for the upcoming Valkyria: Azure Revolution is also in the wild for the first time. Footage has been uploaded by those who are playing it now, and… well. It looks pretty, at least.
I’ll just get that out of the way. The graphics engine is superb with its great color pallet and draw distances. As for the gameplay though, I have no idea what I’m looking at here.
We knew that SEGA and Media.Vision were changing up the formula from Valkyria Chronicles into a more action driven experience, but what are these characters doing? From what it looks like, the game is a third-person shooter in which our characters can take cover behind walls… or not. Then, they lazily exchange a few rounds with enemies who will take cover… or not. The ultimate goal of each encounter is to close the distance between the enemy units and engage in close range combat.
Sometimes they get a “Good Situation” and sometimes they get a “Bad Situation,” depending on whichever side gets the jump on the other.
It’s important to remember that this is just a demo, and SEGA is looking for feedback before Valkyria: Azure Revolution sees a final release. Luckily, I see potential here for a better game. This is still a fairly early build and probably also a simple tutorial level. Much of the frustration comes from watching the player struggle with what looks like a wonky camera and figuring out how it all works.
I’d say make the gunplay a bit more exciting and the enemy AI a little smarter. Running into rifle blasts doesn’t earn you any honor points in these combat situations. If Media.Vision can balance the flow of shooting and close quarters combat and make it not seem like a repetitive leap between exchanges, this could be a decent game. Not great, but decent.
Valkyria: Azure Revolution launches in Japan for the PlayStation 4 this winter. No word on an English release just yet.