05/08/2020

๐ŸŽฎ Crosscode | Review | PS4 | "I’m The Seven-Foot-Tall Mecha-Unicorn Called Funty Quank" ๐ŸŽฎ @ININ_Games #IndieGames #GameDev

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Crosscode is a deep and lovingly-designed ARPG that, whilst having a throwback appeal in its visuals has an ultra-modern heart which results in a successful and satisfying adventure for all.

Game Title: Crosscode
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Rating: Ice Cool




You are Lea, an avatar in hugely successful MMORPG ‘Crossworlds’ with no memory of your life outside of the game. Guided by Sergey Asimov (subtle), you must travel the digital realm and solve your own personal mysteries whilst befriending other players and throwing lots and lots of spheres at switches and enemies. Good.

Presented in a top-down perspective with visuals reminiscent of classics such as Secret of Mana, Crosscode is a many-faceted game. Towns are filled with not only various factions, markets and quest-giving NPCs but also other ‘players’ that dash around you on their own personal journeys throughout the game world. 

Outside of the various hub towns, there are numerous paths through the wilds that again hold secret caves, collectable items and various monsters. Beyond these lie the inevitable dungeons which contain not only more enemies to dispatch but also fiendish puzzles which will need to be tackled to move on in your lengthy quest.
The developers of Crosscode (Radical Fish Games) state that a run-through of the game will take between 30-80 hours and whilst this may seem like quite a large span, I assure you that it is valid. This game is not shy. 

The controls are initially quite simple, you have melee and ranged attacks and platforming is handled by an auto-jump that kicks in whenever you reach a traversable ledge. 

Not having full, manual control of something as simple as a jump took a few moments to get used to but it actually speeds up the platforming and exploratory elements nicely and allows you to focus more of problem-solving than jumping around looking for climbable areas and secrets. 

Beginning in Rookie Harbour, I was playing the game for around six hours or so, completing faction quests and getting used to the various menus and upgrades when I reached what I was told was my ‘first proper dungeon’. It was then that the amount of content in the game actually dawned on me. 

Needless to say, the dungeon was a memorable experience with some really tasty puzzles on display that reminded me of Alundra, another touchstone for this game.

The characters and narrative stand out, as does the level-based quest system. You can take on any quest but you’ll usually get a tip when it may be outside of your current skill level, although you are always free to tackle it. I lost a duel against a fellow pheromancer that I was prepared for (I was so keen to win I may have neglected defence, somewhat) but successfully took on a dungeon that I technically wasn’t ready for, it just added to the challenge and fun. 
This looseness in the approach makes it feel like you are carving your own path across the Crossworlds plains, which is always a welcome sensibility.

I also thought the ‘game within a game’ aspect would irritate me but the banter not only between the characters and players in the game world as well as the conversations you have with ‘real’ people outside of the virtual world give it a sense of depth and realism.

Your character starts off as mute due to a glitch but slowly regains the abilities to say certain words which are well-written into the story and make Lea seem more endearing and relatable, her character coming across in wonderfully drawn gestures and portraits that pop up during conversations.

There really is a lot here to offer and the balancing act between different genres really works out. The combat is tense, balletic, tight and satisfying, the dialogue is well-written and the puzzles a welcome break from the frantic action that gives your brain a workout as well as your thumbs.

Crosscode has been in development since 2012 and it is definitely worth the wait. It’s a game that you can play through for the story and clear in about 30-40 hours or really lose yourself in exploring the myriad side quests for almost a hundred hours; the choice is up to you.

As a final note, I will say that the initial couple of hours can seem quite daunting but once you adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the game (which reveal themselves to be strengths in time) you’ll get hips deep, as I did.

Right, I’ll see you in Crossworlds, I’m the seven-foot-tall mecha-unicorn called Funty Quank.

physical releases can be pre-ordered from - 
❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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