Valkyria Chronicles II shaping up to be a stellar sequel

When the follow-up to sleeper hit strategy/shooter Valkyria Chronicles was announced as a PSP exclusive, fans reacted with trepidation. Could a game so beloved in part for its unique visual style make the transition to a lesser-powered console with its charm intact? After spending some hands-on time with the game at E3, we can assure you that the prognosis for Valkyria Chronicles II is very positive indeed.

Valkyria Chronicles II follows up directly where its predecessor left off. In a fictional alternate history set around the time of World War II, a European nation called Gallia is under intense strife. Despite its victory against the Imperial forces, the country is now embroiled in a fierce civil war. Noblemen and peasants alike have risen to arms in an ethnic cleansing campaign against Gallians of Darcsen ancestry, and with the country’s army exhausted from its previous war, there are only a few fresh-faced recruits to deal with the insurrection.

Let’s get the major concerns about the move to the PSP out of the way. We won’t pretend that Valkyria Chronicles II looks as good as its PS3 predecessor – it simply can’t because of the vast difference in capabilities between the hardware. The hit the visuals take, however, is nowhere near as severe as you might think. Valkyria Chronicles II might not have the “storybook” visual style of the original, but it retains the bright, colorful backdrops and anime-styled character designs that make the game unique amongst so many other military-themed titles. It’s still pretty – just not quite as pretty.

Strategy buffs shouldn’t worry about the gameplay being downsized, either. The unique blend of third-person shooting and turn-based strategy makes the journey fully intact, and even adds a few new twists this time around. We had the chance to play through a brief, timed introductory mission that showed off the basic play mechanics as well as some of the new elements.

Valkyria Chronicles II consists of multiple combat missions which much be completed successfully. During each mission, you’ll have a certain number of troops you can deploy. You’ll be switching between “command mode” and “action mode” to plan and engage the enemy. The “command mode” lets you survey an overhead map of the field and select which soldiers to move. Each selection costs a Command Point, and when all points are used, the enemy takes their turn to attack. When a soldier is selected, the action switches to a third-person viewpoint, allowing the player the directly control a character, attack enemies, and use items as long as their character has sufficient Action Points. Every action from moving to shooting costs a character AP, so it’s important to make each and every step count.

Above: We interview Valkyria Chronicle II's producer at Sega's E3 booth

It wouldn’t be a proper sequel without some new features, however. Valkyria Chronicles II features a revamped troop class structure, with a new class – the heavily-armored, melee-focused Armored Soldier – being added to the mix of base types. Missions also feature multiple maps this time around: when one area is secured, another may open, revealing a new type of gameplay that requires you to carefully manage your deployment allotment across multiple areas.

In spite of the weaker hardware, Valkyria Chronicles II is looking to be a stellar sequel in every way. With new characters, new options in combat, and the ability to take your battles on the go, this will likely turn out to be one of the best strategy games in the PSP’s library.

Jun 25, 2010


E3 E3 2010


  • Evilsafetyboy - June 28, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    The demo at E3 was what I had hoped it would be gameplay-wise. Really looking forward to this game!
  • Corsair89 - June 26, 2010 6:55 p.m.

    Valkyria Chronicles is one of my favorite games ever. I'm very excited for this sequel.
  • zanthox - June 26, 2010 3:38 p.m.

    Arg! can't wait, it looks so good!
  • Clovin64 - June 26, 2010 11:47 a.m.

    I havnt finished the first game either. I'm ashamed to say that I got stuck on, like, level 3 or 4. I suck that hard at strategy games. FF Tactics on PSP kicked my ass as well. I got distracted by loads of other games, but I still intend to back to this game. From what I've read in these comments, I'm dreading the Desert Sniper level.
  • mjemirzian - June 26, 2010 3:37 a.m.

    The word "gameplay" is so vague, readers don't even know what you're referring to.
  • Setre - June 26, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    Another good interview Tyler, you seemed a bit more nervous during this one. As for Valkyria Chronicles II...OMFGBBQSAUCE CANT WAIT!!!!
  • GamesRadarTylerNagata - June 25, 2010 11:07 p.m.

    @Evil_AppleJuice it's all about hiding behind those rocks on the cliff :)
  • Evil_AppleJuice - June 25, 2010 11 p.m.

    Ya, i just havent beaten the desert level. its just a pain cause you have a max of 2 snipers, and you spend your first turn looking for the enemy snipers. Which, on their turn, have coincidentally found you and killed your snipers already.
  • GamesRadarTylerNagata - June 25, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    @Starplatinum I can't believe you haven't finished it yet, man!
  • Starplatinum - June 25, 2010 10:51 p.m.

    I have to finish the first one too. Pretty sure I am reeaally close to end but something distracted me away from the game and I haven't gotten back into it. I vaguely remember the desert sniper level being ridiculous. With this coming out for PSP I'll probably finally be able to be motivated to finish it. It really is a great game and hopefully series
  • Cyberninja - June 25, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    why have both of you not finsished the first game does it get really hard at the end or something?
  • gibbsy24 - June 25, 2010 10:04 p.m.

    Disappointed it's not on PS3, and I don't have a PSP. Still have to finish the first one though.
  • Evil_AppleJuice - June 25, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    Ah, Valkyria Chronicles. First i need to finish the first, but i cant get past the desert sniper level :( Next i need to repurchase a PSP :P looks good tho!! Anyone who hasnt played these games are missing out, and this game should be on a GR pedestal with Okami, Shadow of Colossus, and Psychonauts.

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