View Full Version : Co-op bloody co-op

17-06-2011, 12:09 PM
I hate to sound like a miserable bastard, but what's the deal with putting a co-op mode into every single-player game now? I thought the co-op mode in portal 2 was OK, but it left me feeling like they'd ripped half the single-player game out to accomodate this. Now it seems like every game must have a co-op mode in order to be worthwhile.

Here's my main gripe with co-op: being that I am now in my 30s, it is very difficult to find the time to play games as much as I would like. A new game will easily last me a good 2-3 months, unless I play it to death at every possible opportunity. The same goes for my other gaming friends, and the odds that any of us will be available at the same time is quite slim these days. With multiplayer, it's ok to just play with random people, but co-op is just so much more intimate, and you can't exactly have a 2-hour co-op game with someone and bid them on their way (unless it's sex, and even thenů)

So I'm increasingly finding that even single-player games are not worth the investment these days, when they seem to be more aimed at playing co-operatively than solo.

17-06-2011, 12:13 PM
Maybe you just need to find better friends then EH?

No matter if they have intensive jobs, kids, relationships. Sometimes you just need to take a couple of hours off.

And go skiing or something.

Vexing Vision
17-06-2011, 12:19 PM
I used to have the same problems finding people to play co-op with.

Then I married a gamer.

17-06-2011, 12:34 PM
I know what you are saying. Even though I'm still unmarried and childless myself, I see the same trend in many of my friends who do get families etc. It is what is it, I suppose. Even in myself I notice a growing dislike for grinding and pointless time-lengthening additions to games that cut into the precious leisure time I only seem to have left.

I wouldn't blame it on the co-op modes though. When I do get around to set something up with a friend, co-op is absolutely glorious (well, unless my friend is being a dick, but then that would be unrelated to the game) if done well. I daresay that any well-implemented co-op mechanic makes a game almost twice as enjoyable for me - and makes otherwise horrid games into hilarious booze-filled experiences. Kane & Lynch 2 was a fine example of that. ;)

As for Portal 2...I'd say it's a bit harsh to say that the SP campaign was shortened to pour resources and time into the co-op campaign. Actually, it seems completely untrue. Apart from it being a tad easy at times, I don't see how anyone can find a real fault with the SP campaign of the game. In fact it was one of those games that, upon finishing it, makes me realize how much utter shit the industry produces on a yearly basis and how rare it is to play a game like P2.

There are still a lot of good games out there with a purely singleplayer focus, so maybe check those out? I mean, if the co-op thing is really putting you off.

17-06-2011, 12:43 PM
I married someone that doesn't play games, and my daughter is still working her way out of the minus worlds. I look forward to co-op gameplay in seven years.

17-06-2011, 12:48 PM
I've nothing against the single player campaign in portal 2, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I thoroughly enjoyed the co-op portion of the game too. But what I meant to say is that had I not played the co-op part of the game, I would have felt like I was missing half the game. But perhaps Portal 2 is a bad example (I guess it's just fresh in my mind having recently completed the co-op part). Conversely, I can play things like Starcraft, and never even touch the multiplayer side without that feeling.

I particularly remember reading an interview with "Lord British" of Origin (the other one) fame years ago, who dreamed of making co-op games as opposed to single-player ones, and I always thought that was a great idea.

Many single-player games have a co-op mode that is basically the single-player mode but you can play at the same time as someone else, which I have no absolutely no problem with. But it's just that there always seems to be an emphasis on co-op in every single-player game in development now, particularly in marketing materials, as if single-player gaming is somehow inferior in every way to co-operative, and that's what gets my back up.

17-06-2011, 12:59 PM
Yea, me too. But I can understand why it's going that way. The gaming industry wants to be accepted in the same way as the move and television industries. in order to do so, it can't be seen as something that weirdos do by themselves. Sure there's tons of PvP content out there, but the popular image of that is some pimply losers working out their frustrations on each other and acting as such impossible jerks that it's unlikely they would live a day if they spoke to people that way outside of the game.

So co-op is part of promoting and building a social and acceptable game industry. It's a legitimization effort.

17-06-2011, 02:34 PM
@ Ninjafoodstuff

Fair enough, I think I misunderstood you (or read your post a little quickly) earlier. You've got a point about the 'person required' co-op like in Portal 2.

17-06-2011, 02:38 PM
I used to have the same problems finding people to play co-op with.

Then I married a gamer.

This^2 just don't shout n00b if they get you killed.

17-06-2011, 02:53 PM
While my gaming time is also limited due to wife & kids, I kind of enjoy Coop as it is much easier to find one person to play with than finding multiple people (MP-shooter XY is not much fun on a random server if you suck as much as I do). It took me quite a few evenings of 1-2 hour sessions to complete the Portal 2 Coop with a friend, and we both were happy with it - especially since there is no downside to just quiting after some time and coming back at a later time or date.

17-06-2011, 03:22 PM
I think its something companies do when they obviously cant include a deathmatch mode. A way of trying to extend the life of a console game so it wont get traded in, but the habit of putting co-op in everything has just found its way to pc. I have no real problem with co-op unless it interferes with the sp side like in resi 5, but sometimes I wish I could pay less for the single player part of a game instead of full price for features I will never use.

17-06-2011, 03:27 PM
Yeah, one of the things I immediately look at with new games is if there's MP or Co-Op. Singleplayer is my preference. I then try to find out if the MP was just tacked on (which is fine with me), or if it's the focus of the game (Crysis2, Bulletstorm) and has a gimped or stunted singleplayer.

I'm not really anti-MP. I liked (and still do) L4Dead, TF2, etc. Hell, one of the best times I ever had was playing Baldur's Gate 2 co-op on a LAN.

17-06-2011, 04:50 PM
It's kinda crazy. What are those point and click graphic adventures that have co-op mode? There's a couple, I know. That's pointless, and just blatantly ticking a box for the publisher (or their marketing department) for no damn reason.

17-06-2011, 05:45 PM
It's kinda crazy. What are those point and click graphic adventures that have co-op mode? There's a couple, I know. That's pointless, and just blatantly ticking a box for the publisher (or their marketing department) for no damn reason.

I actually don't know what games you mean, but honestly that's a genre where co-op works brilliantly.

I played Tales of Monkey Island in co-op. I moved Guybrush around with WSAD, the girlfriend clicked on stuff and did the interaction with the mouse. We'd both chip in with suggestions for solving the puzzles. It's great as it's actual co-op: when it comes to puzzle solving, having two brains complementing each other and covering each others' weak spots is brilliant. Most co-op is just: you're both on the same screen and there are twice as many enemies. Portal 2 is the only other game to get this right in my opinion.

17-06-2011, 05:50 PM
Oh, all point and click graphic adventures are co-op
It is called 'another person standing behind you saying 'did you try to use the wrench with the bolt at the other door?'
'yes, I already did'
'you sure? try again'

Malawi Frontier Guard
17-06-2011, 07:32 PM
Gotem, it's safe to say this niche has been taken over by Let's Play's*. Oh, you brave new world.

I think 2-4 player Co-op is actually quite limiting, you know. That low a number is fun, but it means you need to grab friends which is usually a nightmare to schedule. What about 16 players working together connected via matchmaking or dedicated servers? Even more? There's so much you can still do with the concept, just think of the games you could make in this not-quite-massive mid-range of player counts.

*This is probably the worst word in the English language, sorry.

17-06-2011, 11:55 PM
No apostrophe needed for a plural. Would "Let's Play[s]" be proper? With the quotes, I mean. Grammarians? Hello?

16 player co-op... well, you could argue that WoW raids do that sort of thing. But it's darned hard to coordinate that many people all on the same task unless the objective is very obvious. Process loss occurs and there are more opportunities for griefing and social loafing. Team or group size is something that's discussed a lot in business literature. I think the same logic has applications for co-op team size limits in games. Here's one article that sums up some of the issues and concepts:


18-06-2011, 12:15 AM
Let's Plays would be correct, awkward as it may look.

18-06-2011, 12:24 AM
Me and my best friend don't play games together as much since he got a girlfriend :(

I know he's the one losing out but I want to shield him from the truth.

18-06-2011, 04:20 AM
No apostrophe needed for a plural. Would "Let's Play[s]" be proper? With the quotes, I mean. Grammarians? Hello?

I think the essential problem is that you can't really use "Let's Play" as a noun to start with.

Malawi Frontier Guard
18-06-2011, 09:11 AM
Oh yeah. Why did I think that word needed an apostrophe in the first place? Damn those things.

18-06-2011, 08:12 PM
I think a lot of co-op just goes on the fact that playing with a friend can be more "fun." Generally, must games don't really benefit anything in terms of actual gameplay. I thought Guardian of Light was a great example of this, where, having heard the game was even better with partner, I was expecting some incredibly hard puzzles and hundreds of bad guys on the screen at once. In reality, you discover pretty much all of the techniques you need to use for the game within the first two or three levels and nothing new comes along. What you end up being left with is playing the single player with a friend, with the occasional moment of having to walk along your teammates wire or jump on the shield.

For the most part, unless you are really going for the co-op thing, as Left 4 Dead or Portal 2 did, I would much prefer the atmosphere and pacing you get from a single player game.

I wouldn't mind seeing some more competitive game types where you have to play co-operatively with another person though, like the Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory multiplayer mode.