Valkryia: Azure Revolution Brings Real-time RPG Combat to Parallel Valkyria Universe Hopefully both universes can coexist in the market. 01.25.16 - 4:28 PM
News of a new Valkyria game excited many an RPG fan, but the initial teaser trailer for Valkyria: Azure Revolution left many unanswered questions. Would the story continue in the same universe? How would the combat play? Thanks to the game's official website, reporting by Famitsu, and an extended trailer, we can begin to answer some of those questions.
Azure Revolution's story takes place in a new setting and involves a conflict between the Rus Empire and the Kingdom of Jutland. Though Jutland is normally a peaceful constitutional monarchy with productive agriculture and a reputation for excellent craftsmen, it has fallen into the shadow of the Rus Empire, which has industrialized and expanded rapidly thanks to the discovery of the ragnite mineral. Jutland has no Ragnite sources of its own, so when it gets stuck in the middle of a blockade by four major countries against the Rus Empire (known as the BRuFH Alliance) it suffers economically and cannot sustain its industry. Seeking "independence and freedom from colonial rule," Jutland attacks a Rus military base and sparks a war.
The game follows male lead Amleth, the captain of Jutland's elite anti-Valkyria unit, and heroine Ophelia, princess of Jutland Kingdom. They will be opposed by Brynhildr, a female Valkyria fighting for the Rus Empire, and a brash, dual pistol wielding young general of the Empire who was selected for military service from a young age and implanted with ragnite to give him powerful magical arts.
Combat takes place in real-time, hews closer to a traditional RPG than a strategy game. The LeGION battle system will begin with long ranged combat against enemy symbols arrayed about the battlefield. Attacking the symbols using a gun or sub-weapon will improve your battle conditions when you close in for close combat. Players move and attack in real time and have a variety of options at their disposal. R1 fires a regular weapon and L1 a long-distance sub-weapon. Players can also hide behind cover with Circle or call in a sniper attack. In close combat you can use melee attacks and magic arts to take down enemy soldiers and achieve victory, using parties of up to five characters. Unlike in Valkyria Chronicles, magic plays a strong role in combat here.
Much of the game's strategy comes from the relationship between the long-range battle phase and the melee combat. For example, battle conditions will trigger different reactions that can alter flow of combat.
Surprised: Triggered when something unexpected occurs. Because there is a temporary opening when someone is surprised, it can be used as a chance to attack.
Impatient: Triggered when in an adverse situation. Since your action frequency and motivation decreases when impatient, you can reduce the potential of a counterattack from the enemy.
Angry: Triggered when hostility towards the target is increased. Although anger strengthens attack, defense is decreased, so caution is required.
Determined:Triggered when protection awareness is increased. Since defense increases when you're determined, defensive action is recommended.
In addition, when a character's HP reaches zero they will be marked with a death countdown, and should the countdown reach zero they will be gone forever.
Story and combat proceed through missions; at the beginning of each mission players are briefed on the objective and strategy, then deploy to carry out the mission, and finally view the result including mission rank, clear time, and enemies defeated. The battle demo that will ship with Valkyria Chronicles Remaster will include the first two missions, called "Morda Practice Fight" and "Morda Suppression Fight."
In addition, the game's director Takeshi Ozawa and producer Youichi Shimosato have shared some interesting thoughts about the change in direction for Valkyria and the creation of two distinct lineages for the series.
How work on a new Valkyria game began...
Ozawa: "We wanted to do something new using Valkyria, and one of the things we're putting in is a real-time system. Initially, we were considering real-time strategy, but we went with an RPG because we think that's what more users will want to play."
This gameís connection to Valkyria ChroniclesÖ
Ozawa: "This time, we switched to an RPG. The concept of the battle system and the sensation of the battlefield are the same, but because itís an RPG with simulation elements, you can experience the battlefield through a different perspective."
Regarding the flow of the game...
Ozawa: "You get the feeling that youíre taking territory from a major power and expanding your scope. You'll prepare at the base, go out to the field, achieve your objectives, and return to base. It's similar to an RPG where you go into dungeons."
Regarding the world...
Ozawa: It's completely different (from Valkyria Chronicles). This time, the key item known as Ragnite is not just used as an energy resource, but also has magical aspects. Valkyria are supernatural compared to humans, beings considered close to gods.
Shimosato: I want them to become known as the Senjou series and Kakumei series. (Note: This means the "Battlefield" series and "Revolution" series. In Japan, Valkyria Chronicles is called "Senjou no Valkyria," or "Valkyria of the Battlefield," while this new title is called "Aoki Kakumei no Valkyria," or "Valkyria of the Azure Revolution.")
Ozawa: There are symbol encounters, but symbols are shown as a unit, and you can interact with a symbol before the encounter. You can snipe an enemy symbol, use a smokescreen to disable it, or shoot at it with a rifle to lure the enemy. Sniping is powerful, but on the battlefield it functions like an usable item so there are limits how often it can be used.
Battles are conducted by setting commands to buttons. They're action-ish battles. It takes on the familiar form of recent RPGs. The maximum amount of party members is five. You control one of them, and the rest move based on a set thought process.
Shimosato: As there are beings that transform into tanks, there are also weapons that imitate living things.
A message for fans...
Shimosato: We canít announce it yet, but we're commissioning music from a famous name.
Ozawa: There are parts similar to Valkyria Chronicles, but because itís largely different on the surface in a good way, we want you to enjoy this game with flat eyes as a new series.
Finally, we have an extended trailer and a couple musical making-of video with Yasunori Matsuda and singer Sarah Alainn.