Ooh, I’m in PSA mode: bank-robbing FPS PayDay:The Heist is free on Steam this weekend, and 50% off if you choose to buy it. Dan Gril loved it, and I concur that it’s an excellent mash-up of gaming and film influences: everything from the opening sequence of The Dark Knight to Heat is mined and tossed into a Left 4 Deadish co-op run and gun. It’s kind of the perfect weekend game, if your idea of the perfect weekend is shooting policemen and being able to get to sleep at night afterwards. And if you’re not planning to play this, why not tell us what you are up to that’s so important that you can afford to ignore a free game? It better be damn good.
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Posts Tagged ‘Co-op’
This may be one to bookmark for later, particularly if you’re at work. It’s a game that requires two people to play on one keyboard, so unless you’ve had some severe budget cuts recently, no one’s going to believe that you and Frank Pelvis from Dynamic Solutions are working on different projects on the same PC. They’ll probably notice the cardboard cut-out styled space aliens zooming across the screen as well. Co-Op, free on PC and Mac, pops you and a friend into ships that are connected by a beam. Since you don’t have guns, you’ll have to coordinate movements so that the beam slices through the monsters coming after you. Take a look.
Shoot Many Robots has a directness I can appreciate. When I eventually make a game, I’ll call it “Craig Make Gun Bangs”: it will have no story apart from a bit that says “he puts a bullet in his gun” in Comic Sans, and then a few seconds later “bang” spelled out in bullet holes. I reckon Ubisoft will pick it up like they have this four-player Borderlands-esque platform game. Sure, mine won’t have pretty graphics, charm, wit, or be anything more than an idea scribbled in crayon on a cereal packet, but then they already have that in Demiurge’s game.
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Space Marine’s recently added co-op horde mode already has additional content on the way. Latin-Dalek-impersonating Exterminatus mode originally added two scenarios for free, but THQ are preparing to release another chunk of content called Chaos Unleashed. Keeping Chaos on a leash is like keeping a cat on a leash so this is a sensible move but what does it add to the game? For the price of “800 Microsoft Points or equivalent”, them being the world’s major currency apparently, Chaos Unleashed let’s you fight swarms of Orks and Imperial Guard as a ruddy great Chaos Marine.
Say, do you remember No More Room In Hell? It was one of the first zombie source mods announced after Half Life 2’s release, way back in 2004. Cancelled twice, it still shambles on.
Tomorrow Edit: actually, 31st October – finally sees the release of the re-imagined original concept. In development for three years, this new version is going to be an 8 player co-op survival shooter. 8 player co-op! That’s twice as many as Left 4 Dead. That means it’s going to be twice as good. That’s how it works, you know.
A meaty release trailer lurks, ravenous, in the shadows below.
RPS Feature Geth Who's Coming For Dinner
I was recently able to sit down for a game of Mass Effect 3’s four-player co-op mode, Galaxy At War. So, what is it, exactly? What does it add to the game? And is it going to distract you from the single player? I think I’ve answered that all below, along with four brand new screenshots you can click on to enlarge.
THQ have just announced (instead of sending me the email they promised) that Space Marine has received an update adding a co-op mode. Called Exterminatus, because there wasn’t a sillier word, if you load Steam you should find it updates automagically with the new option. (And you can laugh at 360 players, who don’t get this yet.)
Mako Races! Krogan mud wrestling! Co-op mining! Garrus threesome co-op! None of which is going to be in Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer. Give it up BioWare, Shepard on Shepard action is what we want to see, none of this “Success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign” tomfoolery. But yes, that’s the headline. I’ve just got DeviantArt open in another window.
Codemasters have already talked about their multiplayer focus for F1 2011. Cynics might think that’s because people were upset about the AI last time out so they’re hoping we’ll replace it all with real people. Imagine that. Your friends may be part of a nefarious plan to improve a game. This new video is all about the co-op championship mode, which will allow you and a friend to enjoy a bitter rivalry disguised as teamwork. Video below, as well as an earlier dev diary which does have some talk about AI.
The headline says it all, really. The single-player game of Battlefield 3, which hasn’t had much attention so far, will be playable with a chum. The demonstration was shown on PS3, meaning it looked nowhere near as good as the trailer that followed, with the two developers pretending to not know what they were doing (and to be playing). They totally rescued a hostage! They drove a tank together! They revived each other! But there you go – co-op. In Battlefield 3. Got it? Good. And new screenshots! Added below.
This article was published last year in PC Gamer UK. It’s my ode to co-op gaming, and it features quotes from Epic’s Clifford Bleszinski and the excellent Harvey ‘Witchboy’ Smith. (Shame about that Blacksite game, eh?) I’ve revised it slightly for 2008.
It’s our favourite abbreviation: co-op. We’re not simply talking about your basic multiplayer here, and nor are singing odes to teamplay in Counter-Strike or World Of Warcraft. We’re talking co-operation. A couple of gamers versus the game. That is where some the very best gaming moments lie.
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Being a bandwagon-examining, trend-dissecting, zeitgeist-exorcising journalist of the gaming bent, it was only a matter of time before I dragged together some kind of verbal flotsam to examine the phenomenon of co-op gaming a little more closely. And so I did, in the form of this highly commended PC Gamer feature article.
It contains literary treasure such as this:
The lesson for Smith’s Midway team was that two heads aren’t necessarily better than one when you’re trying to balance a complex action game for play. “It’s about tuning,” says Harvey. “It affects everything from how hard it is to play, to how many enemies you can get on screen. It even affects the fiction. It’s a fun part of the game though, so I hope it works in the right way.”
Alas, as it turned out, it was too tricky for even Mr Smith. Co-operative play was dropped from BlackSite just weeks before our review.
Of course, there may have been a few other factors at play there too… but I think the point stands.
Additionally, I’d like to say that, although no other RPSer seems to think it much cop, Rainbow Six Vegas was a mighty entertaining co-op game. While all eyes might have been on the Gears Of War and Halo 3 co-op experiences this year, there were plenty of others, such as Vegas, that got it bang on. More of that sort of thing, please Developers.
When I was last in the Gamer office, they caught me in a – Dwarf Fortress Mode on – fey mood. Guiding me towards a keyboard, it ended in another rant where I continue the last seven-days theme of asking the entire internet outside, as I think they spilt my pint. It’s about how the current wave of co-op games isn’t exactly the unvarnished joy which its been painted at. I end up saying things like…
There’s nothing wrong with co-op, per se. The problem is when it spreads cancerously in a great singleplayer game, twisting it, perverting it, sickening it, preparing it for death. That’s one thing I won’t co-operate with.
But on the way there, there’s something that may pass for an argument. You tell me.
I’ve not been paying a great deal of attention to IO Interactive‘s two-man shooter, Kane & Lynch, but there’s every reason to think this might actually be pretty interesting. Hitman: Blood Money ate a load of my spare time this year, so I’m eager to see what IO can manage to come up with next. I’m also keen to see how this new fad for co-op gaming plays out. Five years ago there was barely a dozen co-op shooters in existence, now they’re clambering out of every marketing spreadsheet. This has to be a good thing, and the ideas that developers come up with for making players work together are going to change the way we play – subtly perhaps, but we’re already seeing the ideas build up. (Pulling buddies to their feet in Gears Of War, for example.)
Thanks, Game Trailers.
And what do you think, readers?
EDIT: 20th November release date – it’s going to be a busy November.
The hats weren’t actually the first RPS-mail. I returned from my trip to Relic and Gas Powered Games to find a parcel addressed to Rock Paper Shotgun from Koch Media. Inside it was a copy of Obscure II, which I thought appropriate as I’d never heard of it. The developers had fallen for that basic mistake of giving the game a name which can easily be turned into a joke for a bitchy review, but – no – really, I hadn’t heard of it. That fearlessness deserves some kind of respect. Also, I chatted to Walker, who had played and actually 79%-liked the original, saying it “rewards innovation over frenzy, and it seems only fair to do the same in return” (Or at least that’s what professional parasites Metacritic claim, anyway, as John couldn’t really remember anything other than he’d played it). Like its prequel, Obscure II is a Survival Horror game but rather than feeding the Romero/Tartan-Extreme-Import duopoly, takes the American teen horror film as its basis. Oh – and it’s got co-op too. I decided I’d better play it.
That “playing it” happened when I was somewhat inelegantly wasted on Saturday night at about 4am. The morning after, between bacon sandwiches, I talked Jim into joining me in some Survival Horror Co-op with reviewing consequences and actually took notes and stuff.
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