It won’t be long before Valkyrie Elysium hits PC and PlayStation consoles, as PS players will be able to dive in and check out the fantasy project by the end of the month. But just before launch, we got a chance to see many of the games as part of Square Enix’s recent London event, and here’s a quick look at the narrative, lore, combat, and progression systems it has to offer.
For those wondering what the hell is Valkyrie Elysium, the game is basically an anime action RPG with some J-RPG elements built into it. I mean, this game almost reminds you of a Dark Souls crossover with Genshin Impact, all with light shadow art direction and some fighting styles and upgrades that feel a lot like Final Fantasy path. It’s a bunch of unusual combinations, but they work so the game feels very fun and unique.
As you might have seen from the “Valkyrie” part of the series title, Norse mythology is the framework for this game, because here we find a story in which Odin, the full priest, creates a perfect tool, Bring peace to Midgard. Stop Ragnarök: You, Valkyrie. With this goal of yours, you are sent to the human world to find and destroy the souls of undead or evil creatures that haunt the world, using your talents as a swordsman and magic user, while with the help of the ghost Einherjar you can fight in battle. Summoned Warriors in Final Fantasy (think Summoning in Final Fantasy).
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The combat is very fast, almost like a machete. You can use a variety of light and heavy melee combos with your sword, and then you can add some fun by casting divine elemental spells like lightning or fireballs, at the cost of some mana. And, as I mentioned before, it’s all about doing some extra damage with Einherjar allies, each soldier is also full of elemental typing. It all comes together very fluidly for a fast-paced, engaging, and deep-packed combat suite that doesn’t feel sluggish and punishing like many action RPGs.
This also extends to exploration, as you can expect to use Valkyrie’s jumping ability and wrestle to new heights with her Soul Chains, or even use Einherjar to bridge huge gaps or break through walls/destructibles – all while trying to find treasure chests And loot, which will better elevate the Valkyrie as an individual. You’ll want to do this because in that chest you’ll find new spells, weapons, and valuable items that you can use to level up. The kit is fairly simple and revolves around using a combination of gems and other found loot to upgrade weapons to make them more powerful and deadly in combat. As for the Valkyrie itself, this progression sequence is more of a simple upgrade tree where you can level up your divine spells, Einherjar, and other parts of the Valkyrie kit, earning skill points by defeating enemies.
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Take a look at the types of enemies you’ll face, from the simple humanoid Scourge, wielding swords, shields, and bows, to nightmare, often elemental-charged monsters, to mid-air gargoyle-like enemies, and even more Boss-level enemies that are more healthy and require more strategy for best results. To deal with the challenges of combat, many enemies do have targetable weaknesses that often stun them or deal a lot of damage when destroyed, and on top of that, you can use Valkyrie spells and elemental skills to break defenses and destroy them. Surprise some enemies as they use slow but heavy attacks.
I did mention before that the game has a cel-shaded art style. It’s not quite on the level of Borderlands, but it does give Valkyrie Elysium a very unique look that will often leave you in awe as you explore Midgard’s stunning landscape.
But overall, I have to say that the Valkyrie Elysium is one of the best products I’ve been to at a recent Square Enix event. It’s a game I really want to experience in its entirety when it launches on the PlayStation in a few weeks. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and looks amazing, and is unique enough that it should be able to stand on its own in the increasingly crowded action RPG scene.