Welcome back! Sorry for the delay on the conclusion of the Better Together posts, I was in New York City, NY this past week and hadn’t had much time to blog, but I will have an interesting blog post about that trip (relating to games of course) coming up soon! So stay tuned for that. Now, back to playing games together co-op style! Whether side-by-side on the couch or across the internet, many games can be played co-operatively with your friends and family. Today we are going to look at some of my favorites.
Diablo 3: This is one of the longest-running series by Blizzard Entertainment that had its first release in the series in 1996. Although I did not play until the third game in the series released in 2012. The gameplay style has stayed the same through the years; known as a dungeon-crawler styled game (where you look down onto the map from above and can see all of your character), you can play with up to 3 of your friends (to make a party of four) and play through the story together to prevent the prime evil, Diablo himself, from taking over the world of Sanctuary. The game doesn’t just end when the campaign (story) ends though, you can play the game over as many times as you like while keeping your gear, levels, and abilities (this is now being called New Game + and many games are adopting this feature). So with the drop-in/drop-out option of gameplay with your friends you can keep earning paragon levels, find better loot, play through random dungeons, track down bounties, and more. I have put so many hours into this game and enjoyed the story, gameplay, and co-op so much that I own it on 3 different systems just so I could play with different friends.
Borderlands series: This series is probably my all-time favorite co-op games. Borderlands is a first-person shooter role-playing game (FPS RPG for short). In the series you play as various Vault Hunters who are mercenary-like characters in search of treasure on the planet of Pandora. The game and its end game mode (True Vault Hunter mode) can be played entirely co-op with up to 3 other vault hunters. Each character has different abilities and can be combined with your friends for great combos to take out the many different enemies you will fight along the way. The second game in the series is my favorite overall as the story, humor, gameplay, and everything about the game makes it an amazing gaming experience that is best shared with others. I await the day they will announce Borderlands 3. Until then I’ll just start another new character!
Portal 2: Valve has made some phenomenal games over the years and Portal 2 is no exception. This is a puzzle-solving game where your player uses a “portal gun” that can make two doors in which the player can pass through in order to make it through hazardous levels and escape Aperture Labs. The single player story is truly amazing and worth playing on its own, but add a second player with a total of 4 portals and things get really crazy with many more options to solve puzzles. You have to really work together to get through the numerous levels all while an AI named Glados taunts you and your partner. This game tests friendships, but in the best kind of way and remember the cake is a lie!
Call of Duty (Zombies): I know that I mentioned Call of Duty on the competitive post, but this franchise has done a good job of giving players all sorts of different gameplay modes throughout the series. The zombies part of the game was first introduced in Call of Duty World at War as a bonus level for beating the game, it has since become a staple of the series. This mode has up to four players (including you) trying to survive waves of zombie hordes. It has evolved over the numerous Call of Duty titles that have released and now most zombie maps have objectives and even end-games versus the old style where you would just survive as many rounds as you possibly could before you would inevitably die. Even the characters you play as in the zombies mode have backstories to them now and the stories can progress between Call of Duty games. I have spent many hours running “zombie trains” and pack-a-punching guns to get to high rounds with friends. Some of my favorite maps from Black Ops zombies are Kino Der Toten, Five, Call of the Dead, Moon, and Grief.
Left 4 Dead: Although this is another zombie game, it has different gameplay from the Call of Duty zombies mode. Left 4 Dead is a FPS where you and up to three friends or AI run through missions to try and escape from the zombie hordes. There are four main campaigns in each game (others were added after launch) where each time you were tasked with reaching a safe place to get extracted from the “dead zone”. Even though the levels did not change themselves, the appearance of “special” zombie types are random which makes the gameplay a little different each time you play. This is a great pick-up and play game where you could get through a campaign in about 30-60 minutes.
Gears of War series: When Gears of War came out in 2006, I had no idea that it would become one of my favorite third-person shooter games. Gears of War follows the story of the Coalition of Ordered Government (COGs) soldiers as they fight against an enemy race called the Locust. After the Locust emerged from underground on Emergence Day, much of Sera’s population of humans was wiped out. Now, you band together with those who survived the initial attack to survive and push the horde back underground. Every story in each of the games can be played co-op. Besides playing through the story, players can join up to 3 others to play a horde mode where you hold off 50 waves of enemy locust. The story is ultimately what kept me coming back to Gears of War though, with the original trilogy ending in 2011. Then in 2016, a new trilogy started with Gears of War 4. I look forward to the next addition to the series that looks to be releasing in 2019.
Mentioned in other posts:
- Forza Horizon Series – Gotta Go Fast
- Overcooked 2 – Bigger is Not Always Better
- Halo Series – Better Together! v2
- Perfect Dark (FPS)
- Lord of the Rings: War in the North (RPG)
- Castle Crashers (platformer, beat-em up)
- Destiny 1 & 2 (FPS MMO RPG)
- Most platformers (we’ll need a whole blog post for these!)
I know I didn’t talk much about MMO games and there is a lot more I could add to this list, but I don’t want these posts getting too long. So I’ll leave it to you, what are your favorite co-op games? What big ones should I have added?
“Teamwork makes the dream work!” Ciara DeVine & Adam Jackson, 2013