Challenge is not an Understatement
Valkyria Chronicles has received many downloadable add ons since it’s 2008 release and Challenge of the Edy Detachment is the best of them all. It features six new missions; one for each unit class. Each mission is a well designed challenge given to Lt. Welkin from the members of the Edy Detachment.
Once you play the missions you will see just how much thought was put into building these levels. Having unit specific missions allows for the designers to feature the advantages and disadvantages of each unit class. The genius behind the mission design is that they are set up in such a way that using the other classes during the mission will make the mission more difficult. For example, the sniper challenge has you deploy two units to a base that is cut off from the majority of the map. The goal is to kill all enemies without any of them reaching their base and retreating. Having anything other than snipers is useless because they won’t have the range to shoot the enemies and cannot move into a location close enough to do any damage.
These are challenging levels. If you don’t get an A rank the squad member that issued the challenge will say you are inadequate and should keep trying till you are good enough. Valkyria Chronicles is a strategy game and this is the first time I really had to think about my strategy for each action of every turn. Unfortunately, without knowing all the enemy locations before hand you likely won’t be able to plan ahead.
The challenges have their rewards. There are new enemy aces and with them come new and powerful weapons for you to seize and use yourself. These rewards are fairly balanced. There is a new lance that is the most accurate and has the highest range of any lance in the game. It is the sniper riffle of lances but it only does about two-thirds of the damage that other lances in the game do. Some of the rewards you will want to use and others you won’t but they are all useful in the right situations.
This add on isn’t perfect. When the mission brief comes up the speaker and the dialog appears on screen like it always does and the character speaking moves their mouth but no sound comes out. The original game had fantastic writing with equally fantastic voice acting to back it up. The writing continues to be good so it’s unfortunate that there is no voice acting to back up the dialog in this content.
These are late game missions. You will need to be around level 12 or 13 to even have a chance of succeeding. They are still challenging at the maximum level with the best weapons. That makes it a great addition for players that have completed the game and are looking for challenge.
If you are looking to extend your Valkyria Chronicles experience and can only afford one add on then this is the one you will want to get. It is a great combination of challenge, replayability and reward.