Valkyria Chronicles 4 Demo Impressions – Nintendo Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the latest in the Valkyria Chronicles series. It will release on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch on the 25th of September.


The demo for it came out last week on the various digital stores. It contains the prologue and first two chapters of the game. Save data can be carried over from the demo, and there is an accessory given for completing the demo. There is also an exclusive extra challenge mission. The Valkyria series is set in a fantasy World War II era Europe.

I’ve never played a Valkyria Chronicles game before, the last one didn’t even leave Japan. I did once play a bit of Codename S.T.E.A.M and my boyfriend commented that it was very similar to this series. As both are third person tactical games where you control your units by actually moving them. I also didn’t end up playing that one much even though I feel it deserved a bit more than it got. That said I like tactical games even though I am very bad at them.


The demo starts off with a few cut scenes before the first battle which is a tutorial. Your main characters are members of Squad E and come from the town of Haffen in Gallia. The games are turn based like other tactics RPGs in that you control most of your characters and then let the enemy take their phase. Each time you select a character you use up a command point and running out of those finishes your phase.

You move a unit yourself, there aren’t any grids but they have a bar of energy that gets used up. Certain types of units can move much more such as scouts and engineers. When moved to the desired location you can go into aim mode, you only get to shoot once per turn. However you can pick the same character twice in a phase but they will have less energy. Aiming will shoot somewhere within the circle and you can use the “d-pad” to get more precise aim.

In the prologue mission you get Raz the shocktrooper, Kai the sniper and then some backup scouts. shocktroopers hit harder but aren’t as fast as scouts, and snipers can generally get one hit kills. Then after two phases your tank shows up to destroy the enemy’s one. Tanks can run over select objects, shoot armor piercing rounds, mortars or their machine gun. Because you can make the same unit have multiple turns in a phase I just used my tank in three goes to take out their tank.

After that mission the cut scenes show that the Federation is making a last ditch effort to win the war. The plan is Operation Northern Cross, which entails pushing through all the way to the enemy capital.

Chapter One

The next part of the story has Squad E progressing through enemy territory when they are attacked by a howitzer with a ten kilometer range. The mission is to push through an old fort to destroy it. In this mission you get your other units, including the Lancer class. Lancers are an anti-tank class and thus useful to have. When approaching enemies you can be shot at, so picking the right way to go and crouching behind sandbags is important as they protect against head shots.

When moving your units you might come across their potentials which are buffs and debuffs depending on certain factors. For example the other sniper, would lose accuracy when going to take a shot because she’s timid. Taking out enemy commanders will make them lose one CP which is what allows them to take more turns in a phase. This goes the other way around as well.

The mission is done in parts, first they take out the enemies to gain a foothold before the bridge. After the right camp is captured, you are at a standstill as you can’t get past the turrets guarding the bridge. Then a new unit, of the grenadier class (mortar) shows up. She’s awesome and takes out the turrets super easy. After that all you have to do is push through the enemy units to get to the howitzer. I expected the mission to have another phase but the enemy blows it up to prevent us from gaining it’s materials. The grenadier that showed up, Riley, is also a childhood friend of the main cast but has something against Claude the Lieutenant.

Chapter Two

After that mission you come to the Federation headquarters where you get new recruits and can train and upgrade things. The mission for this chapter is to liberate Reine, heavy tanks are confirmed but some are suspected to be fake. Your squad has to infiltrate the city and relay the real tanks location. In this mission there is a thick fog, so your units have to get pretty close to identify the tanks to see which ones are real.

You’re not to engage the heavy tanks, and it doesn’t matter if you do anyway as you aren’t equipped to damage them. Like how enemies can shoot you on your turn, so can your units. Viola a shocktrooper of mine, killed two scouts approaching her in one phase. In this game if a unit falls you have three turns or before the enemy touches them to save them. I had an awful lot of people go back to the medic during this mission. Nobody perma-died though, so I don’t think I did too bad.

After finding all the real tanks and moving to a new base area, you discover that you can’t contact the artillery team. Claude comes up with a plan instead of abandoning the mission. From then on the objective is to get the snipers to shoot the signal towers to read seven-one-five. This is spotted by Riley who then destroys the enemy tanks. During this some enemy units will try to attack your base so you have to keep two groups to achieve your objective and to protect the base. When the mission is over the enemies retreat, and Riley comes to accept Claude a little more. However when you get back to headquarters Reine is set ablaze, and the demo ends. All of that took me three hours to finish. There are two skirmish missions, and a demo exclusive bonus mission you can play as well.


I’m not super good at tactics games, and being unfamiliar with this game play system I dragged through the chapter missions with a D grading. I messed up a little because unlike other tactics games you move as you go you can’t undo it. It seems there’s one battle per chapter but later in the game there might be more. The battles are pretty long, at least if you’re not super good at it.

I don’t like how many cut scenes there are instead of just pushing them into one big one. I do like a lot of the characters, Raz and Kai in particular. Raz is the self-assured type and Kai is no nonsense at least so far. I also like that we get to learn more of the main character’s backgrounds as the game progresses.

The art style is kind of sketchy watercolour-esque and I really like it. I especially like the combat system, the snipers and grenadiers being my favourite classes so far. I’m looking forward to the full game’s release next month.



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