By banunn1 0 Comments
Here we are in full on 2010 mode. Yep 2010 the far flung future as it were. The landscape of our interaction with video games have changed completely since we first began. I can personally vouch for this. When I first began playing games It was just me... me and the a mushroom hungry Plummer with a wicked mustache. Creepy as it is in retrospect, I still enjoyed my time in that mushroom kingdom. During that time in the late 80's - early 90's there wasn't much talk of multiplayer, or co-op for that matter.... nope just me, a controller, and a mushroom starved Plummer... yep the good ol days.
Multiplayer gaming has really come into the spotlight, in my belief largely due to the desire for the developer of any given game to address the staunch and enormous difficulty of the games of old, and replacing that extended time with the game with something more productive and social. As an after effect of competitive multiplayer becoming so popular, those of us who are simply not in to our digital heads being blown off by twelve year olds playing after their bedtime the concept of Co-Op gaming has become popular, and rightfully so, recently. However, this is where I get off of the bus. When I it down to play, I want any game that I plop down my $60 for to play every bit as well in single-player than it does in multiplayer. I want a game that is as accessible and entertaining to play while by myself as when I have another gamer gaming the same game with me. (Yep three times, count em.) Yes I know, I am talking about two completely separate experiences and how could I justify comparing the two when they are so different. Well, here is my case.
As this blog that you are lending your eyes to is named Working Gamer. I do have a full time job, that means that very often I do not have the ability to catch any of my friends on Xbox live or any of your other favorite social gaming mediums. So this conondrum brings me to a crossroads in play, I think games like Army of Two: The 40th Day or Borderlands are really cool titles, that lend themselves to a full play through. However in several games that are designed to be played with more than one person throughout the main campaign or story mode the game does not play as well in single player as opposed to co-op. Henceforth I present you with some of my suggestions for solving these issues.
- More intelligent partners:
- Whats Wrong; In my play-through of Army of Two: TFD I would consistently run into a situation wherein my AI partner would mindlessly get out of cover and run himself into the nearest Gatling gun or harpooning grenade. My partners less than smooth move usually resulted into me needing to quickly make my way over to him and stab him with a health pack (not a mistype). Often enough my stab of love would place my character into a cavalcade of gunfire, explosive blasts and a number of other things that hamper my intent to stay alive. Yes, I go through all of this to keep my partner alive... just to see him die again at what I assume was his easiest opportunity to do so.
- Make it better: If you are going to strap a co-op partner to my heels, please have the courtesy to address any path-finding issues. Yes, I know it is difficult, if not near impossible to predict every path that I will go down at any point in time. So here is an easy fix, if you are going to strap a partner to me, make him indestructible. I realize that this suggestion may also seem unbalanced, but hear me out. Make him indestructible and do not allow him to do the brunt of the work. I can think of several great examples of this, such as Gears of War or the Rainbow Six: Vegas Series.
- Scale your game:
- In my opinion, Borderlands, Oblivion* and Fallout 3* are games that do such great jobs of this. If I am playing single-player in a dominantly multiplayer game, as one person I should not be expected to take on as many enemies in comparison to when I have three other guys with me. Example: In Borderlands, when I play single-player, and I run into a ferocious groups of Skaggs, there are three little Skaggs and one Alpha Skagg. However when in a group of two or more, there are six to eight little Skaggs and three Alpha Skaggs. This provides for a really seamless difficulty curve that was very fair, making each experience different and fun.
- Give me my modes:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gives the Co-Op hungry player a bone to chew on by offering the Special Ops mode. This mode allows for up to two players pit themselves against daunting odds in a really entertaining and intriguing game mode. By offering different modes the developer is not forced to add crazy balancing to their single player campaigns, but they are able to tweak the balance to properly suit each form of gameplay.
Just a few of my thoughts on where we are and where I think we should go with Co-op play. All in all, I believe that the enjoyment of a singleplayer campaign should not compromised by the addition of Co-op. Instead give each player the ability to choose how he or she is going to experience your game, and let the fun be had where it will.
Until next time.