Valkyrie Elysium Review thumbnail

Valkyrie Elysium Review

A choice must be made

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on 👼

Valkyrie Elysium is also available for PS4

Valkyrie Elysium is rated Teen by the ESRB

A new Valkyrie game hasn't debuted in a long time and the series is back with Elysium although it may not be exactly what you'd expect.

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Valkyrie Elysium screenshot 1
Nora purifies a Soul Tree with the power of L2

Meet Nora

Valkyrie Elysium stars Nora who reports to Odin on her mission to ensure that Ragnarök (the impending apocalypse) remains unfulfilled. Along the way, she'll meet many allies and uncover loads of story tidbits that help flesh the world of Midgard out which itself has seen better days. Meanwhile, the dastardly competing valkyrie Hilde frequently clashes with her as she's a disciple of Fenrir. Gaining allies as you complete quests makes this story a fulfilling experience although it doesn't do anything particularly exciting with the basic plot so in essence; it all comes down to how much you enjoy the bits of presented lore and get caught up in the cast of characters' plights. v1d30chumz 44-210-77-106

Invite some Einherjar

As with previous games in the series, Valkyrie Elysium allows you to recruit and utilize warriors known as Einherjar in battle. Nora herself can hack and slash while performing specific combos such as one that ends in a powerful shield-deflecting kick. Using the 2 attack buttons as you carefully evade, guard, and unleash Divine Arts can be a lot of fun. However, when you incorporate summonable Einherjar, things become much more chaotic but in a good way and watching everyone give it their all can be a satisfying sight, especially when you exploit elemental weaknesses while choosing your allies and arts carefully as there's nothing quite like crushing a massive boss. 😄

Valkyrie Elysium screenshot 2
Hilde sure doesn't look happy to see Nora

Explore the ruins

Even though combat can be fun, there are also environments to explore. First, each stage is massive and consists of many interconnected areas that'll take you through ruined city streets, inside massive structures, underground, and even in the odd alternate reality. Some of the scenery can be rather pretty such as certain cityscapes and sun-drenched areas filled with nature. Plus, using the Soul Chain grappling move and your Einherjar to clear debris or create mid-air platforms is satisfying. With that being said, there isn't really much need for exploration besides finding the occasional chest and collectible blossom but they're never far from the beaten path. 🌼

Level up... or not

Nora's combat capabilities obviously strengthen over time yet there aren't any experience points to earn. Instead, you collect various gems then redeem them within a few themed Skill Trees for stat boosts and such. You'll also acquire more weapons that you can enhance with gems as well. Of course, it's rewarding to power-up these aspects but what's annoying about it all is that everything is far too linear. Specifically, particular nodes and weapon tiers are gated by certain gem types that start to show up after certain chapters and you'll likely max everything out before they do which makes all of these systems feel redundant at the end of the day. 🙁

Complete quests, get goodies

Finally, the main quests within Valkyrie Elysium are super-long and on top of those, you can complete subquests within the same areas for additional rewards. So, if you're ever finding a boss to be too difficult then you can grind by completing some optional content so you can get a bit stronger. For example, you may be rewarded ambrosia that extends your gauges, runes that you can assign to weapons for a bit more power, and additional Divine Arts. Plus, choosing which weapons, items, Einherjar, and arts are available at any given time allows for some freedom and filling out your collection is definitely rewarding even if the combat itself gets repetitive after a while. ⚔️

Valkyrie Elysium screenshot 3
Does this huge beast really need that spiky stick?

It's cool that Valkyrie Elysium exists given the series' sporadic history although I wish it offered a lot more to sink your teeth into. Sure, the combat is fun, especially when you exploit enemies' weaknesses but it definitely overstays its welcome after a handful of hours.

  • + Enjoyable combat that incorporates cool moves and elemental attacks
  • + Some environments are quite pretty
  • + Collecting everything is rewarding
  • - Character growth is far too linear and doesn't allow for much experimentation
  • - Limited need for exploration
  • - Combat gets tedious after a while
7.0 out of 10
Gameplay video for Valkyrie Elysium thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Valkyrie Elysium
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