Azur Lane Crosswave sees the long running series finally make its way to console, with the promise of collecting your favourite girls in a story rich adventure RPG. Is it smooth sailing for the transition from mobile? Lets find out
With each nation currently taking part in their own training exercises, a run in with Psirens by the newcomers of the Sakura Empire during training alerts the nation’s best ships to possible danger. This leads to the enactment of the Joint Military Exercise, which sees numerous of the best ships from the 4 main empires coming together to investigate this new phenomena.
You’ll be getting plenty of story with this game as dialogue sequences take up a lot of playtime in between the missions. That’s not really a bad thing given the delivery as the story is generally good, especially for fans of the series, and is delivered with full voice acting. Only real downer would be the lack of animation with the character sprites, they aren’t really animated at all, as it can make for some uninteresting long winded talks between two characters on the odd occasion.
Running on Unreal engine, the game makes good use of some of what the engine offers. As expected the water effects are good and sport some nice reflections, though it is a stylised effect so isn’t always so clear. You’ll be happy enough so long as you ain’t expecting rolling waves like AC4: Black Flag or Sea of Thieves, though the game isn’t a slouch either.
Character models are well done for the girls, though most of the cannon fodder you’ll be blasting to oblivion won’t be up to the same standard. This does mean that performance is pretty good for the most part, though it’s a given when you factor in open sea stages and others with only minor backdrops.
For the most part with this game you will be battling squads of enemies within an ‘arena’, when you actually have a mission to do. The combat is relatively easy to pick up and the game has you starting out as a Destroyer to help ease you in, a fast firing but weak cannon can attack a multitude of foes and then there’s torpedoes for the big foes. You’ll usually do missions with a pair, so the other ship can be switched out at any time if you need a more specialised unit. As you progress through the game other girls can be unlocked that offer up different classes, such as Aircraft Carrier or Battleship, which allows you to mix up your duo at will. Until then you can upgrade or add additional combat capabilities to those currently unlocked on your roster.
The upgrades etc are done by collecting parts or getting them as rewards upon finishing a mission and these can be used to create weapons and upgrade others. In between missions you’ll find yourself on the map screen which can be freely explored until you come across the event, with crates littered around that will house some goodies. Not much else of note happens here, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for the mission marker. The mission marker denotes actual gameplay, everything else is dialogue, which gives this game more of an adventure game (visual novel with gameplay elements) feel than anything else.
Azur Lane Crosswave is the very definition of a fans game, featuring plenty of story & plenty of characters from the series that fans will appreciate. It’s a shame there isn’t more gameplay to be had as It does have some good aspects, with the package as a whole coming across as more of a visual novel than anything else. Fans of Azur Lane & adventure game aficionados will likely get their moneys worth from the game though, it will be with newcomers that the game may inevitably struggle to gain a footing.