There’s something to be said about a game that combines a comic-book aesthetic with a JRPG-styled story and throws in large doses of WWII allegories in at liberty; but boy does it pay off in the end. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the latest instalment in the Valkyria franchise produced by Sega. The game follows the rag-tag group of soldiers in Squad E, part of the Federation army involved in the Second European War. Led by Claude Wallace, Squad E is part of what seems to be a losing side against the Imperial Empire; whose last-ditch effort to win the war leads to ‘Operation Northern Cross’, an operation to strike at the heart of the empire.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 pulls no punches when it comes to its influences; naming the continent “Europa” stands out like a sore thumb, and names of the towns and locations as well as the enemies take it one step further. This is where it lost me a little though; the storytelling came across as a little childish (despite some moments of ‘chasing tail’ and adult references) but then shocked you right back into the horrors of war by consistently reminding you that people are dying. I felt this inconsistency really removed the themes of the story and the narrative being presented, taking it from an emotional ride to just another generic JRPG storyline. It probably doesn’t help that the cel-shaded, almost comic-book like aesthetic and onomatopoeic explosions and gunfire exclamations were there too, but I guess you have to take it as it comes.