Gun Valkyrie - Xbox

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Gun Valkyrie (Xbox)
Also for: Dreamcast
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Smilebit Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: Infogrames (GB)
Released: 17 May 2002 (GB)
Feb 2002 (JP)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Memory Unit


Gun Valkyrie is essentially a ‘Mech-themed’, third person shooter with elements of exploration and puzzle-solving and a most definite emphasis on simple, arcade play mechanics. As is often the case with titles under the Sega branding, this Smilebit release lacks any pretentiousness stylistically and remains faithful to its modest claim of simplicity.

Inventor of a globally destructive energy form, Dr. Hebble has gone missing and a plethora of nasty creatures has appeared on the planet Tir-Na-Nog (that rings a bell!). Government-created organisation Gun Valkyrie (that’s you, that is) is the team put in charge of both ridding the planet of the infestation and finding the Doc. With that in mind, the mech suit is duly equipped and battle commences almost immediately.

Good use seems to have been made of the XBox controller with the extremely versatile movements of the mechs becoming reasonably accessible through combinations of the dual analogue sticks and shoulder buttons. The bad guys can attack from all possible angles so the provision of independent move/look controls is especially well received, as is the eight-strong arsenal of customisable weapons and upgradeable armour.

Visuals impress generally, with huge environments constructed of highly detailed scenery, realistic lighting and some genuinely admirable environmental effects (such as heat haze from the jet-pack). Stylistically the character designs fall very much in the realm of Manga-style ‘Japanimation’, which complements well the overall graphic image.

Gun Valkyrie, although based on a simple premise, entertains from the outset with its combination of high-adrenaline action and full 3D combat dynamic.

A cursory glance at Gun Valkyrie is not enough, as you may get the impression that there isn't too much variety in the gameplay. You would be wrong to think so: persevere with GV, and you’ll find that there’s a depth and longevity that isn’t immediately apparent.