Azur Lane: Crosswave Review

Release Date
February 20, 2020
Developed By
Compile Heart, Idea Factory, Felistella
Published By
Idea Factory International, Limited Run Games
Third-Person Shooter
Playstation 4, PC

Frequently, a gamer will run across a game that has a story that makes you go, “WUT?!” Azur Lane: Crosswave is definitely one of those.

Azur Lane: Crosswave is actually a third person shooter/RPG that actually began as a mobile game. After finding a ton of success in Japan and China, the game was not only adapted into a console game but also into manga books and anime. After a few hours playing this game, western gamers who aren’t into the mobile game or the story may want a time machine to get back the moments of their life they lost.

In all fairness, Azur Lane: Crosswave isn’t a bad game. The story of the game is, without a doubt, the main focus of the experience as most of the time will be is going through 2D subtitled cutscenes. Built around reimagining the Pacific War, Azur Lane: Crosswave creatively tosses in aliens to shake up a historical conflict between the Japanese, British, U.S., and German fleets. Strangely enough, instead of actual warships, there are war-“waifus” for lack of a better term. Azur Lane: Crosswave calls them Kansen. Instead of character classes, each ‘Kansen’ are considered ship classes such as Destroyers, Battleships, Carriers, and Cruisers.

To flesh out the story, however, you get tons of cutscenes. The pictures of scantily clad anime girls (Kansen) slide in and out of the frame. Even shift facial expressions occur here and there. Of course, if you are frantically pressing the skip button, you might not even notice that much of a change from scene to scene. Occasionally, the pictures will bounce up and down or left to right to indicate a character being startled or angry or whatever. Still, the voices are all performed in Japanese, and some of the noises the characters make will make you wonder the subtitles’ ‘true’ intent.

Azur Lane: Crosswave

Once you finally trip across a battle, you get a decent action sequence. Almost like playing a Space Harrier styled shooter, you dodge bullets and aim at enemies while holding R1. Skills can be activated to do extra attacks or boosts as well. While the action is fun, the battles are typically short and sweet.

As you progress in the game, you acquire more Kansen girls with tons of equipment. You’ll plug different Kansen into your fleet formation to change stats and hope to get a separate ‘action’ experience, but most of the Kansen feel and play the same. Gamers that crave games that force you to grind and collect characters and level them all up will get a kick out of this game, though. There are a lot of Kansen to manage, and each has different things you can equip and strengthen. There is even a ‘marriage’ dynamic between the Kansen that gives boosts as well.

Yeah. You heard me right…ship-girl marriage. Just go with it.

Steeped in Japanese cultural norms for anime stereotypes, Azur Lane: Crosswave is a third-person action shooter/RPG that is very light on the action and heavy on the campy cutscenes. JRPG fans might be able to handle this given the tons of characters and gear to use. Otherwise, there isn’t much here to enjoy.

Azur Lane: Crosswave Review
Azur Lane: Crosswave Review
Azur Lane: Crosswave is a mobile to console game that should have stayed mobile.
- Lots of characters and gear to level up
- Bullet hell style action is frantic
- Game REALLY focuses on its story
- Way too many cutscenes
- Battles are way too short
- Must play through story to open up modes you only battle in