Valkyria Chronicles never achieved the success it deserved when it first hit PlayStation 3 back in 2008. The superb mix of challenging gameplay, character-driven story and sketchbook art style went largely unnoticed outside the hardcore crowd. However, with a remaster now available on PS4, the game gets another chance to work its magic amongst a wider audience. A PC port released in 2014 gave us higher frame-rates and resolutions than the PS3 original, and the latest PS4 remaster doesn’t disappoint either, with these improvements joined by some additional visual tweaks that see this version take point.
At its core, the remaster is a port of the PC version, with both releases sharing artwork and most of the visual effects from the PS3 original. Valkyria Chronicles’ cel-shaded art style remains as striking as ever, with textures and thick black outlines that create detail around objects still holding up reasonably well when presented in resolutions beyond 720p. The argument here is that the original art doesn’t need a radical upgrade due to its simplicity, though it definitely benefits from being displayed at higher pixel counts.
On PS4 we’re looking at a native 1080p framebuffer backed up by post-process anti-aliasing, handing in a sharper image than the PC version operating at the same resolution. Textures and geometry appear blurrier on PC, with details like bricks and cobblestones looking less defined across more distant scenery. One of the main culprits here is the use of less refined anti-aliasing on PC, which is a touch too aggressive – although the image isn’t particularly sharp on PS4 either. As such, neither version really offers up a crisp presentation that really looks like it’s running at 1080p, but what we have here is still a massive improvement over the 720p PS3 game.