Square Enix holds many of the most famous and storied franchises in gaming history. We all know Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and even somewhat smaller series like the new Bravely games or the Nier titles. One series that never really got a true chance to shine, and hasn’t seen a proper release in over a decade, is the Valkyrie games. The Norse-inspired games began in 2000 with Valkyrie Profile for the original PlayStation, followed by a prequel on the PS2, and then finally one last game on the Nintendo DS in 2009 (not counting a mobile game). They were innovative games that mixed 3D exploration with fluid movements across a map with turn-based battles, but the recently announced Valkyrie Elysium looks to revitalize the series with a new direction.
Fans probably thought Square Enix had long forgotten about this smaller franchise, and yet at the Sony State of Play held in March 2022, Square Enix unveiled Valkyrie Elysium to the world. For most, this would be their first exposure to the long-dormant series, and those that do remember the classic JRPG will be equally curious as to what this new entry will be. These games have deep lore and rich story, but the gameplay is what will either draw most people in or push them away. For all that and more, here’s everything we know about Valkyrie Elysium.
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Valkyrie Elysium is slated to arrive in two waves, first on consoles and then on PC. PlayStation players can grab the game on September 29, 2022, while PC players will have to wait until November 11, 2022.
Valkyrie Elysium will go back to its PlayStation roots after its diversion to the 3DS and mobile systems, and be released on PS4, PS5, and PC. There’s no mention as to whether this console exclusivity is permanent or if Xbox and Nintendo players will eventually see this game on those platforms, so for now your only options are a PlayStation or PC.
The first Valkyrie Elysium trailer to dissect didn’t give much, but we also scrounged around to get a few more details about the game.
Starting with the trailer, we get a few pans over abandoned and decaying structures until coming to a woman standing in a field. We are posed the question, “In an unjust world, what will you choose?” This woman, a Valkyrie no doubt, then attempts to recruit a kneeling soldier of some sort who we don’t get a good look at.
The next section is all gameplay, which we will detail below, but does show a nice range of environments we will be able to explore. A voiceover kicks in and warns the Valkyrie that Ragnarok is ravaging the world and that he — whoever “he” is — wants her to be his tool to intervene and save the world from complete destruction. We get a shot of the Valkyrie bowing to a blond man sitting on a high throne — presumably the narrator we heard before — but again, we never see his face.
After the title drop, a scene plays where the Valkyrie calls out a foe wearing full armor and a mask and asks who they are before the trailer ends. The way this person smirks and how the two are framed lead us to believe they will be rivals of some sort.
On the game’s official site, the synopsis of the game only gives a tiny bit more context to the plot we can expect. It reads, “Long ago, Ragnarok — the End Times — loomed upon the realms. The All-Father, with the last of his strength, created an emissary of redemption; her sole task the salvation of a doomed world. And thence began the tale of a new Valkyrie…”
The best we can gather for now is that you will play as the titular Valkyrie on a quest to somehow prevent Ragnarok.
The next look at Valkyrie Elysium came with the release date trailer.
It opens with some dialogue on the premise of the game we already know about before diving into more gameplay. We get a lot more characterization of the companions Valkyrie will fight with, called inheriar, who apparently she is forcing to fight for her from beyond the grave. Another companion claims to have no interest in glory but still wants to “make things right.” Each one is a unique character with their own motivations and backstories we expect to learn more about as the game goes on.
Valkyrie will also be collecting things called the Four Gifts, one of which she apparently receives after beating a boss.
Gameplay takes up about half of the trailer, and is very different from the previous entries. Traversal is the most similar, looking fast and fluid with plenty of options to jump and grapple around environments, but the action is no longer segmented into a turn-based RPG format as before. It is all in real time and far more action based, and looks to flow seamlessly with exploration rather than cutting to a separate battle screen.
We get a good look at a bunch of physical combo abilities with her sword, though they do mention that she will have access to multiple weapons. Valkyrie can dash, perform a stinger, launch, and pull off plenty of flashy combos that look somewhat similar to a character action game like Nier: Automata, though we don’t know how deep or complex the system is just yet.
Magic is another big component of combat. We see various spells, like fireballs and calling down thunder, but also what looks like the ability to summon ghosts or spirits. At multiple points we see that knight from the trailer fighting alongside her, and while he looks perfectly human most of the time, in one scene she calls him to her and he becomes much more spectral and translucent before fading away into a cloud of purple sparks.
Each inheriar you can call has their own fighting style, such as a two-handed sword wielding knight, a bow user, and magic caster.
Some spells seem to have a bit of a startup when we see brief moments of Valkyrie stopping and green rings appear below her as though preparing for a bigger attack. We also see one moment of her picking up green and purple crystals of some kind from the environment, perhaps replenishment for some sort of MP, summon, or even HP meters. We don’t see any HUD elements, so can’t tell exactly how magic or summoning will work, if that is indeed what is happening.
For those who are playing on PS5, and presumably a PC that can handle it, Valkyrie Elysium is also said to run at 4K and 60 FPS. Performance on the last-gen system hasn’t been revealed, and likely won’t until the game comes out.
Valkyrie Elysium is a single-player game, no question. Even on the store page, it is listed as a one-player game, leaving no room for interpretation. For a JRPG like this, coming from a series that has always been single player, this makes perfect sense to us.
Valkyrie Elysium is up for pre-orders with two editions to pick from: Digital Standard and Digital Deluxe.
The Digital Standard edition simply comes with the game for $60 and will give you both PS4 and PS5 versions.
The Deluxe edition costs $75 and includes the Svartalkr equipment and a Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth.
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