Parents' Guide to

Valkyria Revolution

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mature action tosses strategy for repetitive gameplay.

Game PlayStation 4 , Xbox One 2017
Valkyria Revolution Poster Image

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While the experience varies depending on your difficulty level, this mature action RPG really gets let down by its repetitive gameplay. It's drastically different from previous games in the series, tossing the turn-based approach in favor of action-based play. On easier difficulty levels, you don't need to be strategic at all: you can hack and slash, cast spells, or do whatever you please to quickly level up. On the harder difficulty levels, you'll need to be more strategic in who you deploy when and why, but there's no getting around the fact that gameplay feels like little more than hacking, slashing, and occasionally retreating. Part of the issue is that the controls don't lend themselves to tactical play. If you choose to sneak, you'll be stuck sneaking for a while before you can attack again. When you choose to attack, you can't defend yourself until that animation is done playing itself out. It prevents you from ever playing with precision.

There's also just a lot of grinding, or replaying older missions or taking on "simpler" ones just so you can invest points in skills that your soldiers have. The deeper you get into the game, the bigger the missions get, so you'll switch between control of multiple teams. But the strategic elements feel shallow here, since the game decides where each team is placed and when you switch to them. You're otherwise "stuck" playing through the path immediately ahead of you, which can get frustrating when you have to clear the area of enemies and you can't find the final one or see where to go. Overall, it's hard to shake the feeling that you're doing the same things over and over again with very little room to deploy much strategy.

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