Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Even today, even as mod-culture has shifted into the mainstream (at least as far as Steam concerned – I mean yer DayZs and Rusts), Sven Co-Op feels like a visitor from an alternate reality. The most mod-like mod ever, and I mean that entirely in a good way.
The mod that tries to make everything and anything happen. Throw in everyone, throw in everything, throw out rules and logic, make the first-person shooter into one huge, absurdist party.
I love how at odds the quiet, almost boring name is with the ever-changeable contents of the mod. Oh, it’s just a co-op mod for Half-Life. No, it’s this insane remix of everything Half-Life; jumping into a random map can involve anything from a careful collaboration in one of HL’s tougher levels to what feels like a million pogoing Vortigaunts guarding an infinity of doors to nowhere. It can sober if you want it; I always wanted it to be the opposite.
Still, it’s a game from my past, from a time of guffawing buffoonery at the end of my student days, and for that reason I haven’t been back to check out its recent standalone version. I hope it’s still as silly as I remembered. I hope people are playing it and laughing.