REVIEW: Azur Lane: Crosswave

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

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Title Azur Lane: Crosswave
Developer Idea Factory, Compile Heart
Publisher Idea Factory International
Release Date February 13th, 2020
Genre Shooter
Platform Steam, PS4
Age Rating Teen
Official Website

Being a big fan of the Azur Lane mobile game, I got very excited when Idea Factory International announced that Azur Lane: Crosswave would be coming West. This is a console version of the hit mobile game that will allow fans to see the girls in 3D for the first time ever. It promised plenty of 3D combat and a chance to even marry (Oath) our favorite Kansen just like in the mobile game. I had high expectations going into this, let’s see if the game lived up to them.

Azur Lane: Crosswave | Bunny

The story of Azur Lane takes place in a world where powerful Kansen from each of the four nations protect the world. The world was in relative peace until one day a new group known as the Sirens appeared. Their technology was far more advanced than anything the Kansen had ever seen. Each nation went on alert until they could figure out if the Sirens were friend or foe. Their movements seemed to be at random with no real goal in mind. This mystery deepens when one day new Sakura Empire recruits Shimakaze and Sugura encounter a Siren and she drops mysterious cubes in the water. The Empire decides to bring all the nations together and have a joint military exercise. This will allow them to collect and study the cubes faster, but there could other motives afoot as well.

Azur Lane: Crosswave | Nagato

The story here isn’t groundbreaking and goes about how you would expect, but I found it very enjoyable. Being a fan of the mobile game, any chance to see the girls interacting and showing off their wonderful personalities is a win. The episodes that you can view when unlocking certain Kansen are very entertaining and remind me why I love this franchise and the characters so much. Just like in the mobile game, marriage ceremonies have wonderful dialogue. Hammann may be even more adorable this time around. It does take a bit of work to get the materials to view these, but I felt the payoff was totally worth it.

Azur Lane: Hammann | Oath

Graphically Azur Lane: Crosswave looks fantastic. All of the Kansen 3D models look great with plenty of details. There is a photo mode where you can pose the girls and change their facial expressions. The 3D models really shine here, and it’s a lot of fun to play around with as well. The water looks phenomenal during combat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any that looks better than this in recent memory. The summoned fleet ships look great as well, though there aren’t very many variations in them so you’ll see the same ones over and over. The game ran great on PC at even at 4K resolutions, but when a ton of explosions were happening at once there is very short slowdown. I’m running a 2060 KO and it’s very slight, so little optimization is needed here.

Azur Lane: Crosswave | Photo Mode

Sound wise Azur Lane: Crosswave is pretty much what you would expect. There is a mix of new tracks and tracks straight from the mobile game. Some of them are playful tracks for when the girls are doing their slice of life cute things and much more upbeat battle themes for combat. Voice acting is all in Japanese and the cast from the mobile game are here to reprise their roles. I felt right at home here, and as always this cast does an amazing job with these characters.

There are a couple of different gameplay modes found here. Story mode tells the game’s story through a series of battles and events, and there’s also extreme battle. This mode is just a series of 100 battles that increase in difficulty. These battles drop valuable materials you will need to upgrade each Kansen’s weapons and skills. These battles will also drop the heart tokens you will need to marry your favorites later on. You will need to gather at least 25 from the over 100 extreme battles in total. Story missions drop these materials as well, but instead of heart tokens players receive cognitive isomers. You can trade these for a cognitive chip for each Kansen at Akashi’s shop and this will allow them exceed level ups past 100.

Azur Lane: Crosswave | More Fighting

Combat here is fast and fun. Each mission is basically the same – sink a few ships and bosses to complete and it move onto the next. There are two types of Kansen, some are playable while the others are only support ships. Playable characters consist of three different types of ships – Destroyers, Cruisers and Carriers. Each have different types of weapons and special abilities. For example, Nagato fires a huge barrage of power bullets at your foes, while Ayanami’s Demon Dance greatly enhances her firepower for a short time. Guns, planes and torpedoes all have reload times, so you will need to keep this in mind when deciding to take your shot.

Azur Lane: Crosswave | Busty

Support ships have a variety of skills that will aid you in battle. These include giving you buffs to attack and defense, healing HP or reducing reload times. Depending on the types of ships in your fleet you could get a fleet effect as well. For example, if you have at least three Destroyers they will get a boost in their torpedo power by 15%. Doing the story missions you can basically use any type of fleet you want. The latter extreme battle missions will require greatly upgraded ships with as many buffs and you can get.

Azur Lane: Crosswave | Combat

Being a huge fan of the mobile game I really enjoyed my time with Azur Lane: Crosswave. It gave me a chance to spend time with my favorite characters and experience a new story with them. Combat is fun, but much like in the mobile game it’s very repetitive. I pretty much expected this going in, and I didn’t mind it. It was worth the grind to level up all the girls and see all of their marriage scenes. If you are a fan of the mobile game I feel like you will get your money’s worth at $49.99 price tag. I spent around 20 hours in game so far, and finished the main story and most of the extreme battles. While I do think fans of Azur Lane will get more out of this, Azur Lane: Crosswave is a great introduction to this amazing world of Kansen that I think anyone with a mild curiosity should try out. You may just find the characters and world irresistible and want to see more of it. I know this has certainly became one of my favorite franchises over the past two years, and I am thankful for it.

Review Score

Game was provided by the publisher for review.

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.