CrossCode is a game that’s easy to love. You can spend months traversing its world, digging into its every detail. When it came onto the scene a few years ago, I was enamoured with the visual style and the action-packed gameplay. The story was always a bit saccharin for my tastes, but it never deterred me from fully enjoying it. CrossCode has finally hit consoles, and while the aiming controls can be a bit less precise than a mouse, it’s still just as great.
In this singleplayer action RPG, you play as Lea, an amnesiac in an MMO world where avatars are real things inhabited by a player. Lea’s past and how she came to be in this state is the main plot driving the game forward. The world of CrossCode’s MMO is kind of weird when you stop and think about it; that all these player characters running around are like synthetic humans with somebody on the other end of a keyboard or something, but you’ll quickly get swept up in the action and its difficulty.
While other players log out to rest, Lea doesn’t need to, solving a kind of meta problem in the game’s world that Lea will just keep going as long as you’re playing. The meat of the game is doled out over many, many hours where you’ll learn new moves, talents, and master specific elements and best of all: puzzles
Lea’s class is a Spheromancer, which is parlance for “she throws balls of death and if someone gets to close, she can punch them in the face”. Early on you have a dodge, power shot, and some other basic moves in your arsenal.
Skill Tree? Skill Forest!
But worry not, the game expands. These skill trees run deep in CrossCode and luckily the game comes with a glossary and other ways to help you navigate its deep waters. Some things feel superfluous while others feel mandatory but nothing ever feels out of place.
Overall, this is a game packed with content and ambition. Every area usually has a puzzle that needs solving, either through platforming or timing of specific attacks against switches, shields, boxes, you name it. The game doles out quests as would any MMO that involve looting a number of things, killing a number of enemies and other staples of the genre. It’s disappointing that the game, while tongue in cheek about how MMO’s are grindy, often relies on that same structure to keep you busy.
There are dead zones where you’ll be hunting for a specific set of enemies to kill or fetching baubles while NPCs mock on how tiresome it all can be, and you’re going to agree with them, which takes the wind out of the joke. CrossCode’s meta commentary about itself would be funny if it didn’t have you lean into the bad parts so heavily.
But the action stays strong. As you gather the elements, you get new ways to get past areas you couldn’t before. While the game does a poor job of telegraphing these barriers, it’s fun to make note of areas and come back later to power through.
All in all, CrossCode is a love letter to fans of the pixel days without skimping on the gameplay. It plays like a modern third person action game, requiring precision and timing. The plot is breezy enough and there’s a certain zen-like quality to all the quests that can be relaxing. If you’re in need of a solid action RPG with content for days, then this is one you don’t want to miss.
*** A PS4 code was provided by the publisher ***
*Editor’s Note: Physical copies of CrossCode are coming! They can be preordered from Inin Games.This is not an affiliate link, and doesn’t make COGconnected any money.*
- Fast paced action
- Tons of puzzle solving
- Challenging platforming
- Beautiful pixel art
- Predictable storyline
- Controller is less accurate than a mouse
- Grindy quests can bog you down