As the Techradar article points out, and it’s something I agree on, co-op games have slowly faded to the back of gaming much like simulation games. What was once a thriving industry with a purpose has given away to each of us owning a 360, Wii, PS3, or a PC and playing with and against our friends scattered all over the U.S. With the exception of music-based games such as Rockband and Guitar Hero, co-op play in one room is unheard of.
Most co-op games have become fps’s or MMORPGs. And many of the last gen so called co-op games have made it so easy to play without a partner that when it comes time for someone to jump in, you would rather have the computer continue to fill that role. I am looking at you X-men Legends, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. So much easier to have the dumb computer tag along than a human counterpart, they don’t die as much or complain when I kill them.
This doesn’t mean all co-op games are dead. Some of the classics are being re-released on the Wii’s VC, Sony’s PSN, and the Xbox marketplace. There are still a few games from the last generation worth playing for co-op. Let me suggest a few:
- Time Splitters FP (PS2, GC, Xbox). Although it is an fps, playing through on co-op makes the game 10 times more fun. The studio recently went out of business so I doubt we’ll ever see a 3rd game.
- Twisted Metal Black (PS2). It is a short game, I would say the single player is maybe 6 hours? Still, with a partner, things are so much easier. Double the firepower equals double the punch, a sorely needed element in the boss fights. You can thank me later.
- Gauntlet: Dark Legacy (PS2,Xbox, GC). It may be lacking on ideas, but it’s a kick back to the old school with fourlayer support and voices yelling “Player 3 is getting low on health!”