The upcoming JRPG Valkyria Revolution has proven to be quite polarizing among Valkyria Chronicles fans, as it comes with a completely different gameplay and view of the world. Yet, in an interview on the Japanese PlayStation Blog, Director Takeshi Ozawa and Producer Youichi Shimosato promised that they intend to continue the original Valkyria Chronicles series, also explaining why they decided to take a different path with Valkyria Revolution.
First of all, we learn that the first contacts for Valkyria Revolution started in August 2014, with the first pitch made in September. The project started officially in February 2015.
Since the release of Valkyria Chronicles 3, various pitches were made in-house for new Valkyria projects, but also due to timing, things did not work out.
With the release of Valkyria Revolution, developers hope to continue the Valkyria Project as a combined IP together with Valkyria Chronicles, however, they don’t want gamers to think that they don’t plan to make Valkyria Chronicles games in the future.
They are aware that there have been rumors that the Valkyria Chronicles series has ended, and that the series will continue exclusively with Valkyria Revolution, but Shimosato-san promises that this is not the case.
Ozawa-san adds that the Valkyria Chronicles series is already established with a solid world view, and he always thinks on how to do the next chapter while also looking at the progress made on the hardware side.
However, as creators, they are also driven by the desire to create new things. If they stuck with the Valkyria Chronicles series and tried to forcibly promote something completely new within that world, they would have risked to damage what was already there, and compromise the concept of the series itself, which is why they went with Valkyria Revolution this time.
The element tying the two sub-series together is the concept of “War Drama,” which is something the development team thinks will remain consistent in the Valkyria series in the future.
While they both belong to the Valkyria Project, the two sub-series are separate, and Ozawa-san brings the example of the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series: they have common elements and keywords, but the world view, story and characters, are completely different.
While the Valkyria Chronicles series has pursued “coolness” in the military elements, Valkyria Revolution shifts the aim for coolness towards fantasy elements, however Ozawa-san is aware that some Valkyria Chronicles fans might not be attracted as much in terms of coolness by Valkyria Revolution, and the other way around. He feels that it’s good for the Valkyria Project to achieve more variety, and this is the role of the new style of Valkyria Revolution.
The move to pure RPG mechanics was decided during the planning phase, as developers wanted to implement elements that Valkyria Chronicles was missing.
While Valkyria Chronicles, as a strategy RPG, is a game like baseball, where no matter how well you play, the enemy turn will always come, they wanted Valkyria Revolution to be more like soccer, in which a player who plays well will keep pushing and dominating the battlefield. Yet, there was concern that the game would become too close to an action game, and on how to balance action and RPG elements, so they resorted to asking the fans how they felt about it.
Players who tested the first demo responded that it was too unbalanced towards action, and that the game felt too busy, without letting users think about their next move.
However, since developers were trying to design a completely new battlefield, they did not want to completely scrap the action element. Which is why, via trial and error, they created the battle palette, with the game progressing in real time, but stopping every time the player presses triangle to bring up the action menu.
Shimosato-san explains that he wanted to absolutely avoid the game being excessively dependant to a player’s skill in action games, and they aimed for a balanced system that they could properly define and RPG.
They wanted players to feel that they’re playing a war drama through gameplay adn through the story as well, which is why this game is part of the Valkyria Project. They also included an easy mode in order to let less action-oriented players focus on the story.
Ozawa-san also explains that the new setting was born from the intent of having a game grounded in a certain level of realism, which is why Europa was used, carrying many similarities with the real world and Valkyria Chronicles, yet, while researching ways to strengthening the fantasy element, they came up with a variation of the industrial revolution.
Interestingly, Shimosato-san mentions that the game includes a sub-story that developers call “fragments,” allowing the player to enjoy the story with greater depth if they so desire.
If you want to read more about the setting of Valkyria Revolution, you can check out our extensive article giving a broad overview. The game will be released in Japan on January 19th for PS4 and PS Vita, while a western release has recently been announced for PS4, PS Vita and Xbox One next Spring.
If you want to test the Valkyria Revolution for yourself, you can check out the demo for PS4 and PS Vita on the Japanese PlayStation Store. There is no news, for now, about a western release of the demo, or one for Xbox One. Keep in mind that you’ll need a Japanese PSN account to download them, and you can read how to make one on our handy guide.
On the other hand, if you prefer Valkyria Chronicles, now you know that it’s still coming, which is most definitely the best news I heard today.