A working colleague who became a good friend of mine is also a gamer, so you can imagine that our water cooler conversations revolve around our mutual favourite topic more often than not.
He’s a dedicated console user though, firmly rooted in ‘Camp Xbox’, whereas I’m a PC-gamer through and through, and what little console gaming I do happens on the Playstation.
So despite kwowing each other for about 17 years and even having occasionally played the exact same games at the same point in time we had never actually played anything together (except for Guitar Hero in the same room at his place once or twice).
Until last Wednesday evening, that is.
I initially wasn’t sure whether I’d buy Star Wars Squadrons at all, but once I saw that it supports crossplay I realized that The Day might have finally come.
Setting everything up wasn’t quite as easy as I would have liked though. We didn’t want to use the ingame voice-chat, so I had to figure out how to join an Xbox party first. I installed the Xbox App, thinking that I’d need that, but then discovered that Windows 10 comes with a thing called Xbox Game Bar pre-installed. Using that is more fiddly than it needs to be I feel, but once I got used to it hooking up with my buddy on his Xbox became quick and painless.
And lo and behold, we were voice-chatting for the first time. A wonder of technology, only two decades late.
As for the game itself, I honestly can’t remember how we managed to add each other to our ‘EA friends’ lists, but once that was sorted too we were able to form a squadron and queue up for a co-op match. The excitement!
Alas, the game isn’t great. It’s fun for a couple rounds, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see me (or us) play it for weeks or even months. There’s just too few game modes, and the one where it’s at – because it has the big star destroyers and stuff – gets quite tedious rather quickly. Also, since we didn’t want to get our asses handed to us by more experienced players we only fought against bots – and got our asses handed to us regardless. By bots. On easy difficulty. Either we are just bad, or the game’s balancing is really weird.
Still, dusting off my old joystick paid off nicely, as I assume with mouse/keyboard or controller things would have looked even more grim.
Anyway, this particular game being not as good as hoped doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of finally being able to play together. I can’t stress enough how big of a deal this is for us.
I really hope crossplay will become more and more prevalent as time goes on. Most games are released for all big platforms anyway – and have been for years now – so tear down these walls, I say!
Speaking of which, a new game that also sports crossplay basically came out of nowhere a few weeks ago and has become all the rage in this corner of the blogoshpere – Genshin Impact seems to be a real gem, and Lakisa and I are definitely going to try it out. All that’s missing is an Xbox-port, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be in the works either, but one can hope.