Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

As you know, RPG fans are divided into two categories – some prefer single-player adventures, others love online adventures. Well, the publishers sit on the pipes and expect money from them. How to reconcile them? The answer is simple – both of them should play CrossCode.

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CrossCode is actually a game within a game, a kind of virtual role-playing MMO simulator, but made in the format of a single-player two-dimensional RPG, stylized as a 16-bit classic. Sounds difficult? Now I will explain.

The fact is that the main character is the blue-haired girl Leah, who, according to the plot, plays in the distant future in CrossWorlds, an online MMO with full immersion. More precisely, Lea herself is a virtual avatar of a living girl. At the same time, the action takes place on a huge island in the real world – hundreds of people pay money and are loaded here in the form of their artificial incarnations to become real heroes, saviors of the world, dragon slayers, and so on and so forth.

In general, if in some cyberpunk movie or in a game you saw how people, lying on the floor with their eyes wide open, leave real life for a virtual one, then imagine that our Lea is among them. She herself is sitting somewhere on the 20th floor of a neon-wrapped skyscraper, and her virtual body at that moment is chopping monsters into chips and gaining new levels.

CrossCode game review

Over the course of the game, Lea gradually learns to re-pronounce individual words.

From gamers for gamers

No matter how futuristic it may sound, in the virtual CrossWorlds we see many signs of typical modern MMORPGs – and the authors constantly beat them ironically. Or rather, they do not beat, but make us look at all this as if from the inside. Having barely appeared in the first available city, we meet a red-haired girl with a French accent, who asks Lea at what stage of the “tutorial” she is.

After finishing it, Lea becomes the object of hatred of another character, a certain guy (also with a non-banal hairstyle, of course), who accuses her of cheating – they say, well, she could not immediately reach the fourth level, because I’m only on the third. Then he will also challenge the heroine to a PvP duel – this will be a story quest designed as a fight with a “boss”.

Beginners are given tours of the city, they show the place where you can reset all skills, and where you can get the main story quest. On the streets there are constantly characters who are engaged in typical gaming activities – some are discussing the content of the next patch among themselves, others are busily running from merchant to merchant, others are gathering in a party, others are asking us to help them, since their level of “skills” does not yet correspond to ours. .

Outside the city, where Lea goes with that very red-haired “Frenchwoman”, there is also a complete feeling of being in some kind of MMO: boys and girls in more or less cool armor are constantly scurrying back and forth, and various animals, as expected, are waiting, when you yourself attack him, the animals do not attack first. Some local bears even sit on the ground and listen to music on headphones while waiting …

CrossCode game review

The weather, like the worlds, changes here.

Cross Adventure

However, CrossCode is not just a purely geeky joke from gamers and for gamers. This is really a full-fledged RPG, where only the prologue takes about two hours. And then you will find many adventures and different worlds, from typical fantasy to cyberpunk, where Lea is no longer jumping over bumps to get to the next chest, but on the roofs of houses and cars.

It has everything you need, and even more: tons of quests, more or less monosyllabic (in addition to the typical “collect / kill / bring” there are much more interesting options), a bunch of various companions, enemies, locations and dungeons, work for different guilds and factions, the obligatory “grind” in such cases, trying on new bronze pantaloons and exciting pumping (more than 100 combat techniques and passive skills are available to Leah).

And there are also very unusual puzzles built on the use of four elemental elements, as well as on the ability of the heroine to throw spheres bouncing off walls and objects – they need to turn on / off something in various variations, calculating the exact flight path.

CrossCode game review

Boss fights are always very intense.

Remember everything

But how then does CrossCode differ from a typical MMORPG and why should you play it if you can do the same online, where instead of computer blanks there will be real people? The fact is that CrossCode is not about online and not even about jokes about it, but first of all about the story of the blue-haired mute girl Lea, who once already played CrossWorlds, but completely lost her memory and even the ability to speak. And now she has returned to this virtual world to restore her lost memories. There is a lot of drama, intrigue and sad notes in this story that take to the soul.

That is, this is a story game – with a lot of well-developed characters and dialogues. And everything else, including the “grind” (which is not so heavy here), is perceived precisely as a means of narration. Here you “farm” and complete quests not to upgrade for the sake of a new raid, but to put together another plot puzzle. Although at the same time, no one forbids postponing it for later and just exploring a huge virtual world.

CrossCode game review

The battles here are charged with drive and special effects.

***

It turns out such an MMO simulator for those who do not like MMOs, but have always wanted to try it – only so that there is a fascinating plot, interesting puzzles and no one distracts in the chat with their announcements “I will sell a sword” or “Who is with me in a party for emerald raccoons ? Although I’m lying: in fact, CrossCode is for all connoisseurs of the genre, regardless of whether you prefer to play in splendid isolation or in the company of living people. It’s a big, varied and very ambitious RPG. It was developed for three years, money was collected by the whole world (including 90 thousand euros taken through Indiegogo) – and now it has come out and now it is pulling into its digital networks with such force that I am already wondering how to get through it before the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 so they don’t overlap on my personal schedule.

Pros: fascinating plot; well-written characters and dialogues; variety of enemies, worlds, locations and quests; well-designed role-playing and combat systems; interesting puzzles; nice “pixel” picture; awesome soundtrack.

Cons: control during jumps is not always convenient; “grinding” may seem tedious to some – although it does not go to any comparison with what we see in Asian MMOs.

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