Aliens: Fireteam Elite has been dominating my co-op gaming time as of late. Last week, Supertoast joined us in the Xenomorph culling fun. Let me tell you, that third person absolutely helps missions go smoother.
Up until last week Brother and I were running missions with the two of us plus an AI companion. The AI isn’t bad, their actually a great shot and seem to be able to heal themselves indefinately but they have a tendency to run into the middle of enemies. Unsuprisingly, that’s not a good thing to do in most situations. We could have done the matchmaking with randoms but the AI seemed like it might be more reliable.
An actual human third person on the team helps immensely. We told SuperToast that as long as he didn’t run into hordes of enemies he was already doing a better job than the bot. SuperToast chose to play the Technician class which round out Brother’s Demolisher and my Doc classes nicely. The Technician gets can deploy charge coils which slow down enemies as well as a free turret. The turret seems to have unlimited ammo and is on a 15 second cooldown if it’s destroyed. That’s awesome, considering how much we were relying on consumable turrets to help us get past big waves. Less money spent on consumables means more money spent on unlocking weapons and perks.
In order to get Toast caught up we had to run all of the Priority One and Giants in the Earth campaign missions again. I noticed two things as we retread old ground. The first is the overall structure of the missions. Each mission follows a similar pattern: run to the objective, defend against a wave, find an item or two, run to the next objective and repeat. I would think this would get boring but it’s not, atleast not yet. You kind of know what to expect as you hit each mission beat and are a little better prepared for the fight as you get more familiar with the mission. I’m assuming this will be invaluable when we try the missions on higher difficulties. The missions also push you towards the next objective by constantly spawning enemies if you stick around too long. This forces a nice pace where you need to decide if you want to stick around to heal and risk losing more health and ammo to new enemies or push on and heal/ setup later near the new objective.
The second is that challenge cards keep old missions fresh. At first I was skeptical of the Challenge Card system. These are cards you get for completing missions or Tactical Opportunities (Dailies) that grant a multiplier to credits and xp at the end of a mission in exchange for a debuff of some sort. These can be anything from disabling consumable items, only letting you reload when your clip is empty, or my personal favorite, you have a chance of knocking over teammates if you run in to them. The challenge cards make each mission play just a bit differently that it’s not boring running it multiple times. Plus those sweet, sweet, rewards really help.
As a group we were able to finish the last mission in Giants in the Earth on standard. This mission was giving Brother and I trouble on our own. The last room spawns a bunch of Heavey Synths and if you don’t take them down quickly enough they overwhelm you. With three people focus firing on them, and an extra free turret to deal with the little guys, we took them down quick enough that this mission was a breeze on standard.
We’re now halfway through the campaign missions. I have confidence that with three people we’ll be able to complete the rest of the game on standard without having re-run missions to level up.