I have been busy with work lately, and as so many times before I forgot to use my blog. Playing Valkyria Chronicles though, inspired to write something not work related.
For those who don’t know about the game, it’s a Japanese RPG of the tactical kind. A rather linear structure brings the player through an amazing story and lots of perfectly designed and varied turn-based battles. What I found beautiful about the game, was not only the tear inducing story, the likable characters and the original battle mechanics, but also the way the themes of the story are woven into the reward systems in the game. The most clear example being that mercy is rewarded. The player is encouraged to have sympathy for the enemy foot soldiers through the story sequences, and in the battles shooting at them sounds harsh and hurting. Initially the player might accept this, and as in any other game attempt to simply shoot them all. When the battle ends though, there is no reward for the merciless – instead higher rewards comes from finishing fast. Winning the battle with as little bloodshed as possible becomes a goal, and is rewarded. To me this is a beautiful twist to a game about a war.