A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Compassion, teamwork, and integrity are at the core of the game, as the main Valkyrie seeks to fulfill her purpose while her companions assist her, helping her question if her assigned goals are truly in her best interests.
Positive Role Models
The einherjar (warriors) you recruit all have their own backstories before you officially bring them onto your team, which range from heartfelt to tragic. Not only are these characters unafraid to freely express themselves, but they also help your Valkyrie character discover the true value of humans compared to the gods that oversee them.
Features a female protagonist. One Black Valkyrie stars as a constant antagonist in the course of the story. Also includes elements from Norse mythology.
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Ease of Play
Combat is smooth and seamless, especially when you learn how to best synergize attacks with your einherjar comrades. Most relevant items you can pick up are highlighted on the map, and objectives are clear and concise.
Violence & Scariness
As your main enemies are the undead or rogue spirits, there's no blood or gore featured. But players will use swords, spears, and an assortment of magical attacks against these enemies, and during some in-game animations, certain enemies can be decapitated.
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Mild expletives such as "damn" and "hell" are heard very rarely.
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Products & Purchases
This is a reboot in the Valkyrie Profile video game franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Valkyrie Elysium is a single-player action role-playing game (RPG) currently available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows-based PCs. It's a reboot of the Valkyrie Profile video game franchise. Players will assume the role of a Valkyrie, whose purpose is to go around Midgard (Earth) and purify as many lost souls as possible so that Ragnarok (the apocalypse) doesn't come to pass. Contending with rogue spirits and the undead, the Valkyrie will use swords, spears, and an assortment of magical attacks to achieve her righteous ends. There may not be any blood or gore, but the game features the occasional "bold" visual -- such as decapitating some enemies or stabbing them through their midsection with a sword. Combat is fluid and seamless, especially as players level their characters up and establish synergies with their comrades against their enemies. Along the journey, your Valkyrie and her einherjar (warriors) begin to bond and learn about how precious and meaningful humanity is, even when all hope seems lost, evoking compassion and integrity as the Valkyrie discovers where her true loyalties lie.
Is It Any Good?
This game might not be pushing any new boundaries, but what it offers is a satisfying, complete experience that doesn't overstay its welcome. Valkyrie Elysium starts by giving players a taste of the power they could have, then allows them to slowly build themselves up by upgrading skills and recruiting einherjar, warriors in Norse mythology whose spirits are strong enough to retain their combat abilities even after death. Players can choose a more offensive or defensive play style -- or can opt to mix both to make the most of their skills. The combat also refreshingly leans more toward nuance and on-the-fly thinking rather than mindless button-mashing. Most enemies are weak against a certain element, and there are many instances where players are faced with a variety of enemies with different weaknesses to exploit. When the sleek, fast-paced combat combines with the learning curve of figuring out how to best deal with a group of enemies, magic happens, as moment-to-moment combat is easily this game's bread and butter.
The main narrative may be relatively simple and easy to follow when defining the Valkyrie's motivations and how she changes throughout, but the game really shines with the supporting characters. The einherjar you'll recruit all have their own backstories, which are revealed gradually and build to satisfying conclusions. Better still, their involvement in the larger story doesn't end when you recruit them, as they're crucial in humanizing someone who doesn't know what it is to be a flawed, yet layered, human. Paired with everything else, the einherjar cement this experience as a standout by how well they provide depth and purpose to what would otherwise be a simply decent action RPG -- both in the ebb and flow of the high-octane, flashy gameplay and the game's overall narrative. Valkyrie Elysium may not be the shiniest or most innovative game to come out on current-gen consoles, but it offers refreshing little wrinkles that will appeal to anyone who wants to play a no-nonsense, pure action RPG that has all the frills and fun necessary to keep players enticed from beginning to end.
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