Square Enix was all but named by Sony when it confirmed its March 9 State of Play event. However, while the Japanese publisher was expected to drop more news about its upcoming Final Fantasy games, Square Enix did the exact opposite instead.
Not that fans are complaining though, because Square just revived 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 back in 1999. The original received a prequel later on in 2006 for the PS2 with two more relatively unheard-of installments releasing for the Nintendo DS and mobile devices in 2008 and 2016, respectively. While the franchise didn't spawn numerous award-winning titles, most JRPG fans have fond memories of playing the first game.
Having said that, Square Enix's newest Valkyrie Profile game doesn't just cater to 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 lone Valkyrie save the world from Ragnarok, The End Times. Square Enix also confirmed that Motoi Sakuraba is returning to score Valkyrie Elysium.
What is perhaps the most interesting part about Valkyrie Elysium is the shift from turn-based combat to something that resembles the Souls game with a dash of style reminiscent of NieR: Automata and Devil May Cry.
While nobody could have predicted Square Enix's announcement of Valkyrie Elysium, it's easier to see how the game will have an uphill climb once it comes out later this year. After 2016's freemium mobile game soured the series' reputation on top of the gameplay switch, Valkyrie Elysium has its work cut out as far as getting gamers invested in what many might perceive as another gaming studio's attempt at cashing in on Norse mythology.
Speaking of Sony's most recent State of Play, Valkyrie Elysium wasn't the only surprising announcement at the event. Amidst all the hype for more Final Fantasy and Hogwarts Legacy news, Capcom dropped a huge bomb by announcing Exoprimal, a game that eerily looks a lot like Dino Crisis. Finally, Returnal stole the show with its free DLC content that's coming on March 22.