Video Games and the Bible Plays: Valkyria Chronicles (PC Version)

*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file names.

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Summary

Valkyria Chronicles is a multi-faceted strategy JRPG without magic.

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot 1 from Steam Store Page

My Experience

·Originally released on the PS3 in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles’ unique combination of tactics and marksmanship feel utterly fantastic in this PC port.
From a top-down map view you will select soldiers, apply special abilities known as orders, and bring reserve units onto the field. Selecting a soldier zooms in to their perspective, allowing you to navigate and fight. Being placed in the role of both impersonal military commander and frontline infantryman/woman gives every move and shot real weight.

·Recruits can die permanently, remaining unavailable for the rest of the game. Battles are more like puzzles than firefights, forcing you to adapt to changing situations and use every class of soldier (Lancer, Shocktrooper, Scout, Engineer, and Sniper) wisely. A mistake in judgment or unit used can result in a difficult war of attrition, or having to restart a scenario entirely (I recommend saving often)…These small, important touches, while occasionally frustrating, make you aware of how much your actions and choices matter.

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot 3 from Steam Store Page

Flanking an enemy.

·The stylized, expressive watercolor art style of Valkyria Chronicles is as adept at capturing war and power as it is beauty and peace:

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshots 3 (2)

Screenshots of Valkyria Chronicles in action.

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshots 3

Screenshots of Valkyria Chronicles in action.

·The port from PS3 to PC was done exceptionally well, allowing it to run on older/less capable computers with reduced loading and saving times compared to the original, etc. Valkyria Chronicles also includes all previously released downloadable content in the PC version.

·Be prepared to watch a lot of cutscenes. The story is interesting, but with 5 or more (some optional) occupying each in-game “chapter” certain players may become restless.

·Valkyria Chronicles is the only JRPG without magic or major spiritual concerns I’ve been able to find thus far. For those who may not be able to play many of the recent/prominent titles in the genre, this is a literal godsend.

·I’ve played for over 20 hours and still feel like I’ve barely scratched the game’s surface–it’s immense. There’s technology and improvements to research (with branching paths allowing for more control over how you build your squad), troops to train and upgrade, replayable Skirmish missions, the aforementioned previously released downloadable content…There’s even a journalist you can fund, unlocking side missions focusing on the personalities of notable members in your squad.

·A fantastic story, meaningful gameplay choices/activities/customizations, and vivid art style make Valkyria Chronicles a great value–especially for the price.

Potential Concerns

·Mild profanity including d**n, the word for an illegitimate child, etc. can be heard at times throughout the game.

·LGBTQ+ characters are among the recruits players can enlist in their squad. From what I’ve seen, none play a significant role in the story.

·The vast majority of women in the game aren’t sexualized (even in a beach scene featuring one of the members of the squad in a bikini)–a huge contrast to typical anime-styled titles. However, Selvaria Bles (one of the most prominent and strongly-written women in the game) features a comically oversized bust due to being designed by an artist specializing in the erotic.

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot 1

It’s a tad unnecessary, but so ridiculous as to be mostly irrelevant.

·An ancient race of powerful humans known as the Valkyrur are worshiped by some for their “divine” power:

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshots 2 (3)

In her hands borne cobalt lance and shield, therewith to strike down all man’s arrows…

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshots 2 (4)

One account of the Valkyrur describes them in those terms.
This account is reminiscent of a passage about the power of God in Psalm 76:1-3.

Buy Now! (Steam)

*This title was received for review/coverage. See our statement of ethics here and game review criteria here.
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About Nelson

Writer, amateur #gamedev, and Founder o' Video Games and the Bible. My interviews bring the boys to the yard. Featured from Kotaku to Rock Paper Shotgun. Dropsy.
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4 Responses to Video Games and the Bible Plays: Valkyria Chronicles (PC Version)

  1. Samuru says:

    Great video and article, I didn’t know that was why Selvaria was…the way she was. I did wonder that because she sticks out like a sore thumb in the game (in regards to her physical frame).

    Anyways, wanted to also share a post I wrote on this same game. It’s one of my favorites, really enjoyed it.

    http://beneaththetangles.com/2015/03/17/gaming-with-god-discrimination-in-games/

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