Square Enix was almost nominated by Sony when it confirmed its March 9 State of Play event. But, while the Japanese publisher was set to release more information about its upcoming Final Fantasy games, Square Enix instead did the exact opposite. Not that fans are complaining though, as Square has just relaunched one of its most iconic franchises with a new installment in Valkyrie Elysium.
The first Valkyrie Profile game was developed by Tri-Ace for the PlayStation in 1999. The original received a prequel later in 2006 for the PS2 with two more relatively unheard-of installments released for the Nintendo DS and mobile devices in 2008 and 2016. , respectively. Although the franchise didn’t spawn many award-winning titles, most JRPG fans have fond memories of the first game.
That said, Square Enix’s new Valkyrie Profile game isn’t just aimed at older fans, as the action-RPG is a standalone title. Still, Valkyrie Elysium is very much a Valkyrie title with elements from the original games such as recruiting the souls of fallen noble warriors, otherwise known as the Einherjar, among others. In a way, Valkyrie Elysium is a soft reboot as it will tell a similar story to the 1999 title, including seeing a single Valkyrie save the world from Ragnarok, The End Times. Square Enix has also confirmed that Motoi Sakuraba is returning to score Valkyrie Elysium.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Valkyrie Elysium is the shift from turn-based combat to something akin to Souls gaming with a flair reminiscent of NieR: Automata and Devil May Cry.
While no one could have predicted Square Enix’s announcement of Valkyrie Elysium, it’s easier to see how the game will skyrocket once it releases later this year. After 2016’s freemium mobile game soured the series’ reputation in addition to changing gameplay, Valkyrie Elysium has its work cut out for it when it comes to player investment in what many might perceive as the attempt to another game studio to take advantage of Norse mythology.
Speaking of Sony’s latest state of play, Valkyrie Elysium wasn’t the only surprising announcement at the event. Amid all the hype for more Final Fantasy and Hogwarts Legacy news, Capcom dropped a massive bombshell by announcing Exoprimal, a game that looks suspiciously like Dino Crisis. Finally, Returnal stole the show with its free DLC content arriving on March 22.