Valkyrie Elysium review (PS5)

It’s a strong quarter for some of Square Enix’ lesser known (and new) franchises. The Valkyrie Profile series returns with Valkyrie Elysium on the PlayStation 4 and 5, with a Steam version on the way as well. We checked it out on a PS5.

The series goes back all the way to the days of the first PlayStation, and although it’s not a household name like Final Fantasy we fondly remember how it liked to explore different combat and RPG mechanics against its Norse fantasy backdrop. The series had been dormant for over a decade at this point though, so we’re pretty sure that a lot of today’s gamers don’t have a vivid recollection of the series.

In Valkyrie Elysium, the All-Father Odin faces a world-ending event where monsters are threatening to overrun the people he wants to protect. To avert total annihilation, he creates you as a Valkyrie sent to Midgard to try and fight back against this tidal wave of demons together with fellow warriors you meet on your journey. And while older games in the series featured tactical combat, Valkyrie Elysium is more of an action-oriented RPG. There’s a pretty involved combat system that features attacks, dodges, counters and even a system where you use magic to take advantage of elemental weaknesses, though we’re sure that some Valkyrie veterans will miss the old combat style.


The Einherjars, powerful warriors that you can join forces with, return in Valkyrie Elysium, and can be summoned when you’ve charged up enough of the associated meter. You’ll unlock more Einherjars over time, and because they also boost your spells and attack while they’re fighting with you they can really turn a battle quickly. They only stick around for a minute, but you feel extremely powerful with them by your side.

By picking up gems, you can engage with the game’s elaborate upgrade system, with unlockable new abilities spread across three different upgrade trees. It’s a great system, and if on one playthrough you invest heavily in base abilities and attacks you can choose to boost your weapons the next time – the game’s modest (15 hour) length allows for some replay value and the skill system makes it worth it. Boss fights that take place at the end of each level are especially interesting from this perspective, giving you different ways to tackle them.


The environments that precede these fights aren’t nearly as diverse or imaginative though, and Valkyrie Elysium could have been a lot better with some more exciting level designs. Better/more traversal options could have helped here as well – you have a grappling hook but you’re hardly ever able to use it. The storytelling and character development also fall short here, especially for those interested in the RPG side of the series.

Valkyrie Elysium is a solid action game with good combat, but falls a bit short of the memorable RPGs that preceded it in the series. It’s an entertaining enough game for action fans thanks to some good fighting and upgrade mechanics, but we’re guessing that a RPG fans might be disappointed with it and the game could use more polish outside of the combat.

Score: 6.8/10

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