Top Critic Average
Developers: IDEA FACTORY, COMPILE HEART, FELISTELLA
In the end, that's the real draw of Azur Lane: Crosswave, rather than its gameplay, which is more of a formality. As such, your reaction to it will likely depend on your on how receptive you are to Azur Lane itself. Existing fans and open-minded lovers of cute anime girls gabbing will find much to dive deep into, but everyone else is probably better off taking some shore leave.
Azur Lane: Crosswave has a well-written story mode that runs as deep as the ocean, but the combat that strings these story scenes together is as shallow as a kiddie pool. It's wonderful to see fan favourites interact, and the voice acting adds a lot to the already charming story mode, but it's a shame that the gameplay fails to leave as much of an impression as the narrative and art did.
There is enough variance to make sure for a large majority of story battles you have a way of coming in with a fresh look, but the battles kind of always play out the same way, so it’s frustrating when the build you brought isn’t good enough and you struggle to get through what you were clearing before without any problems.
Azur Lane Crosswave is a tale of two games. On one hand, you have the story mode, which features a chunky, entertaining narrative that also doubles as a visual novel with nice art and excellent Japanese voice acting. On the other hand, you have the 3D combat, which starts out promising but eventually feels a bit sparse and shallow. That being said, I still enjoyed my time with Crosswave. It won’t be for everyone. But if you love the lore behind Azur Lane, it might be worth dipping into this pool for the story mode alone.
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Azur Lane: Crosswave - Preview Trailer | PS4