When I downloaded TowerFall Ascension for my PS4, it wasn’t because I was excited to play. I hadn’t even heard of it. It was because, like so many other games in my library these days, it was totally “free” thanks to PlayStation Plus.
I booted it up after it finished installing and tried the single-player Quest mode for a couple minutes, but it quickly became apparent I wasn’t going to get the most out of this game by myself.
About a month later, a friend was over and I thought to give it another whirl in the Versus mode, yet even then the game couldn’t quite grab me. The controls were good, the kills and even the deaths were very satisfying, but it still grew stale after a few rounds.
On a whim (with a bit of gaming intuition) we decided that what the game could really use was another player, and that meant getting another controller. At $60, that’s no small purchase, but we had become strangely committed to giving this game a fair shake. We made the trip in short order and upon our return to my apartment pulled my wife Amy in for a round.
TowerFall Ascensioninstantly transformed into one of my favorite local multiplayer games, period.
Taking away the ability to focus on a single enemy archer allows the dynamic nature of each game to take shape. Keep your attention on one archer too long and you’re sure to find an unexpected arrow in the back, boot on the forehead, or lava at your feet.
Some of the power-ups in the game, such as the pseudo-invisibility, are rendered practically useless in two-player mode, as you can always keep an eye on your opponent’s location. With a third player in the mix, however, there is always one archer who is relatively left alone at any one time, and you can actually find a hiding spot to make the most of such an ability.
Since that fateful acquisition, TowerFall has become one of the most-played games in the household. While the two-player Quest mode did provide some temporary fun, that enjoyment was secondary to getting all of the stages and characters unlocked so we could get enhance our 3+ player experience.
Without the $60 investment, this otherwise free game surely would have been relegated to my PlayStation Plus dustbin. Instead, we’re making any excuse we can to get together for some of the best local multiplayer gaming I’ve ever experienced.