Valkyrie Elysium review: a cult basic made common

Valkyrie Elysium

MSRP $59.99

“Valkyrie Elysium delivers a mean motion expertise that fails to revive a basic RPG collection.”

Execs

  • Stunning world
  • First rate fight

Cons

  • Extraordinarily primary story
  • Cardboard characters
  • Lack of depth
  • No exploration

Sq. Enix has been on a roll currently in relation to reviving dormant franchises and remaking its classics. That course of kicked off in earnest with Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake, however the firm has stored issues transferring since then. There’s been a brand new Entrance Mission right here, one other Star Ocean there, and now an addition to the Valkyrie collection with the current launch of Valkyrie Elysium.

The inherent bother with this new initiative is that these tasks must stay as much as all of the expectations and nostalgia its gamers nonetheless strongly really feel. Within the case of Valkyrie Elysium‘s unique predecessor, Valkyrie Profile, that’s a good bigger downside resulting from its cult basic standing. The distinction between these two isn’t simply the generational hole or gameplay adjustments, however the lack of effort and innovation that Valkyrie Elysium brings to the desk in a world the place we’ve seen Japanese role-playing video games and motion integration perfected repeatedly.

Simplistic story

The most important weak spot of Valkyrie Elysium comes from its very simple story, which boils right down to “Ragnarok is coming. Go struggle and save the world.” You play as Nora, a brand new Valkyrie who has to finish this activity as ordered by Odin. She follows this command till a predictable plot twist that you simply’ll see from a mile away turns her in opposition to the all-father.

Valkyrie recruiting a knight.

Everybody has a character constructed out of cardboard, together with the journey’s major hero, Nora Valkyrie. There have been no narrative hooks for me to get invested in, which made me really feel like a lot of the growth consideration went to the fight and visuals as a substitute. That wouldn’t be an issue if this was a completely fleshed-out motion romp, nevertheless it struggles to ship in that division too.

Common motion

When going into Valkyrie Elysium, all I may take into consideration was how far JRPGs have come as a style. After tackling video games like Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake, Scarlet Nexus, and Tales of Come up, I may solely think about how Elysium would observe of their footsteps and ship an motion expertise for informal and hardcore gamers whereas completely meshing with the role-playing style. That is the place Elysium actually struggles.

Valkyrie Elysium took all of the depth I hoped to search out in a contemporary action-RPG and threw it to the aspect in favor of one thing that feels even emptier than what many count on from one thing like a Dynasty Warriors recreation. From a gameplay standpoint, it’s a naked expertise. You’ll discover no dodge cancels, bounce cancels, large combos, or superior ways right here, making its fight a little bit of a button mash-fest.

valkyrie elysium gameplay fight

The simplistic method to fight feels prefer it’s solely constructed for one viewers. Certain, gamers who need to flip off their brains and hit buttons will likely be fulfilled, however that’s about it. Even so, these gamers will nonetheless run into some points. The explanation you may’t cancel an motion is as a result of you may’t act out of an assault string. As soon as instructions are enter, Nora will full that combo. That’s additionally why you may’t dodge out of hazard throughout an assault on enemies like you may in a Bayonetta or every other extra polished motion recreation. As an alternative, you’re restricted to protect canceling, which is a fantastic, albeit extra boring workaround that performs into the central subject of Valkyrie Elysium.

Most enemies are brainlessly straightforward to struggle.

After enjoying by means of the sooner items of the sport in its demo, I hoped that as I unlocked extra means timber, weapons, Einherjar (help assaults), and spells, these choices would open up extra. That simply wasn’t the case. As an alternative, the sport’s fight largely focuses on exploiting enemy aspect weaknesses.

Aside from making boss life bars soften quicker and freezing them to make a simple expertise extra easy, that method felt pointless. Most enemies are brainlessly straightforward to struggle. I may simply mash assaults with out a thought except I wished so as to add a little bit of flash to maintain myself entertained. I see a lot potential right here, however the price range nature of the title actually reveals, which shouldn’t be the case.

A gorgeous world wasted

If nothing else, Valkyrie Elysium does excel on a creative degree. In each fight and exploration (I exploit that phrase very loosely, as there’s not a lot to be carried out), I can’t deny the visible aptitude on show. All the pieces from lightning hitting demonic enemies to the solar peeking over a destroyed fort brings a painting-like magnificence to the world. It’s an artwork type constructed out of limitation, because it’s masking a price range look, nevertheless it does it nicely.

Nora standing in a grassland infront of a ruined castle.

I can’t assist however really feel that each one of that magnificence is squandered, as Valkyrie Elysium is all dressed up with nowhere to go. The primary map of the sport had me wandering aimlessly for a bit round similar buildings with no actual landmarks to latch onto. That was adopted by tons of linear ranges that I needed to revisit repeatedly throughout subquests. This isn’t a typical JRPG expertise the place it is advisable discover the world, however a extra linear one which performs into its general lack of choices and price range nature. It doesn’t assist that a whole lot of its ranges are simply made up of darkish hallways with nothing to take a look at inside them.

Valkyrie Elysium may be categorized as a missed alternative. There’s a normal feeling that it didn’t get the time or consideration the collection deserved, with the biggest disappointment coming from its motion. After the discharge of so many nice video games that do what it tries to take action a lot better, it’s laborious to advocate it amongst a crowded subject. Video games like Scarlet Nexus and Tales of Come up simply combine motion fight and the JRPG method a lot better, which makes Elysium really feel dated. Elden Ring decorates and tells a narrative by means of its world in methods I want this recreation even tried.

Not like these titles and former entries in its personal collection, Valkyrie Elysium tries to play it too protected. A scarcity of effort leaves the sport feeling like a type of utterly common titles that had been widespread within the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 period. And that’s what stings essentially the most. It isn’t a horrible RPG by any means, however an totally OK one if you happen to’re simply trying to mash some buttons and do completely nothing else.

Valkyrie Elysium was reviewed on PS5.

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