Co-op with friends makes every game better?


I think there needs to be some love shown for competitive games as well. When you are playing some games with friends that are honest and don’t cheat competitive PvP is a ton of fun - especially when you can make up your own additional rules like “Cops V Robbers” play as children. Problem is this can only be had on private servers with friends or people you have come to know online and can trust within the game space.

One place to start I think is asking how does the game scale when another player comes with you? Is the game experience easier, or different. Obviously WOW raids were built for coop, and the benefits of such are greater than solo play. I know right now they are working on 7 Days to Die scaling differently as far as number of zombies based on the collection of players in proximity and their levels.

I think some games like Minecraft do have a “natural scaling” aspect to them and so are more subtle within the design - where as a team you can build something better than alone, because time to task is a component. “I will build the road while you work on the bus stop”.


I don’t know about you guys, but finding a friend to play coop with is becoming harder and harder as time goes. It seems that completing an entire game in coop, especially one that’s even somewhat difficult, is almost inconceivable to me.

Although… I’ve finished Helldivers, Magicka 2 and almost finished Gauntlet with my gf. Great times. What made it work is we live together. With my friends, I can maaaaaybe have two coop sessions with a game in a year. It’s not enough to put a serious dent in any game.

For example, I bought Clandestine with a friend, a game which has a brilliant concept, one plays the spy, the other the hacker, but we’ve hardly had time to play it twice. You know how it is… conflicting schedules and the like.


I have a few thoughts on this.

The first is games like (or maybe this is the only game like this) Divinity Original Sin. On the one hand, it’s an amazing two player game and I and a buddy had a blast playing through it once and a half (when the enhanced edition came out). On the other, I can’t really get into it playing on my own, there is just too much management and not being able to split up things like who does what kind of crafting and such is a huge pain the ass. I’m a little worried actually, about the sequel because it sounds like they are diving even harder into the co-op stuff, which will probably be awesome when I and my buddy play, but maybe even less appealing as a single player game. That kind of bugs me.

There are other games, like Total War Warhammer, I enjoyed and got into on a level I never would have had I not played so much co-op. Those games I still enjoy in single player, though, but at least in the case of Warhammer I may not have played much single player had I not gotten so into co-op (and learning how to play with someone that already had a good grasp on the game and could offer suggestions). Those games I can enjoy just as much alone or with a friend.

However, I don’t believe I have ever run into a game (this may be due to me largely avoiding multiplayer games) that was only fun as a co-op game. Everything I had more fun with as a co-op game from Dominions to Divinity Original Sin was certainly somewhat to very enjoyable as a single player game, just more so as a multiplayer game. I’m sure they are out there, but generally if a game isn’t much fun on its own, it’s not really going to be much fun for me even with a friend and even if we’re playing it just to “make fun of it”. My gaming time is just more valuable than that - life is to short too play a game you aren’t absolutely thrilled with.


To be clear, by this you exclusively mean co-op with friends against a computer AI? Or co-op with friends against other humans?


I hate it when a game lists team PVP as co-op.


I would put Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and maybe Overcooked in that category. Both great games, but I would never play either outside of co-op


I have no friends to play co-op with.


I play with my 6 yr old and 4 yr old daughters. We had a blast with Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. With 2 little kids, I have a very hard time finding any single player gaming time.


It’s OK Yak, I actually prefer to play with randoms. I’m weird in that way.


I have no girlfriends to make kids with.


I got a 5 year old daughter I’d like to play with too Clay, I find the Steam controller a bit hard to use for her, what do you use?


Yeah, that’s the game that came to my mind too; Overcooked just isn’t worth it solo, but co-op? Game of the year material. I mean, it literally was my game of the year last year.

I’m yet to play Lovers despite owning it, but it looks great. It’s not one I’d dream of playing solo. Same goes for Affordable Space Adventures, Helldivers, Magicka, L4D, Vermintide, Evolve (as a hunter), Guns of Icarus Online, Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light etc.

Absolutely. I’ve got nothing but respect for developers that put the onus on pure team play. I think solo play is the ‘easy way’ by comparison because there’s no dependency on third-parties or the possibility of clashing personalities or gulfs between player competence. Creating a game that expects players to work together to succeed, communicating, planning, discussing abilities and synergies and ways of dealing with certain problems, and making that experience flow intuitively for everyone so that there’s this steady flow of surprises, conundrums, drama and excitement must be a herculean task.


We played through Steam with Xbox 360 controllers hooked up. The controls were simple enough for them to manage. Now, however, we have a Switch. The 1/2 Joy Con with the shoulder guard attached is perfect for them.


This is perfectly playable solo.


Oh it is, but as I said, it’s not one I’d dream of playing solo. I tried after really enjoying the co-op but I felt it was missing a dimension without the other player. By folding some of Totec’s abilities into Lara it went from Lost Vikings to Lost Viking, which just wasn’t as exciting to me.


I think it’s fundamentally different than the others. The essence of, say, Overcooked, is the interaction between the players and the potential for miscommunication. Whereas the LC games work just fine as single player action puzzlers. They’re probably better co-op, but you’re missing out by not playing them at all.


Overcooked is incredibly fun. It’s not often you get to shout at your friends and family to stop giving you tomatoes when you’ve said lettuce three times!

It’s too bad it’s not online though.


I love a nice co-op game, but I find most of them to be kind of tedious after a while. Diablo III (although I recently understood I might be mistaken about this) was really fun the first time around, then quickly became boring.
Alienation was fun as well for a bit but, again, quickly became boring (and WOW so hard), and I would never play that as a single player.
Borderlands is great with friends, and solo as well. And then you have Until Dawn which was great with friends as well, even though it’s really a singe player game. Played it with a couple of friends, and we had to vote for what choice to make (plus I wouldn’t have had the nerve to play it alone the first time around). Marvel Ultimate Alliance when it came out was nice to play with friends.

In my opinion, a lot of the games with co-op modes are pretty basic and rarely involve real story, so they quickly become boring to me. I’d like to see a lot more couch co-op games dedicated to that, and thankfully, two really interesting games giving us that are coming soon: Hidden Agenda and A Way Out.
A way out will (if I understand it correctly) actually HAVE to be played by two players, which is interesting.
But then of course, they should offer either an AI or an online mode for those who don’t have friends or partners or kids or…cats.


I’m with you on the boring part. You may be right!


It’s too bad most coop games don’t have specific roles so you have to coordinate your team play. There are too many where you just do your own thing and overwhelm the enemy.