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Co-op Shooters and Horde Modes

Whether it's First Person, Third Person, or even Top-down or Isometric, these are some of the most fun shooters to play with other players against AI. These can be Co-Op campaigns, Co-op modes, or purely Co-op games, but this list is generally a focus on games that may have a single player mode as well as a co-op Mode, i.e. Uncharted 2, Mass Effect 3, Modern Warfare 3, etc. Be sure to provide some suggestions, If the list gets too big, I might separate it into a 2D and 3D editions.

List items

  • Mass Effect 3 came out in 2011 and to this day, I still jump into some Co-op action. Admittedly, much of that is due to the grind ti takes to unlock some items, but the gameplay is so fun that I'm more than willing to put up with it, and it's one rare case where I prefer this sort of multiplayer unlock system as it gives you motivation to play more. The mix of guns and Mass Effect abilities makes for a fun and challenging co-op experience. You must properly handle the balance of weapons an abilities on your built character. Unfortunately, you can get stuck with a skill build that doesn't work in your favor, so you may have to reset your powers or promote your class after level 20 so you can reselect your abilites.

    The grind comes from the unlocks system, which requires you to buy blind boxes which it's loot is determined by the almighty RNG. This is often irritating, when buying boxes and unsuccessfully trying to get a rare weapon, upgrade, or equipment. Even worse, helpful items such as medi-gel to revive yourself and cobra missles to instantly kill groups of enemies can only have it's capacity increased by these rare drops, which are often key to the more rewarding Gold and Platinum difficulty. Generally though, it's a better idea to "grind it out" in Bronze and Silver to get the credits needed to buy better weapons and equipment. Eventually, you will unlock powerful characters which will make Gold and Platinum more easily. Now you can play more aggressively in mission waves so you can help your team win credits, as bonuses are awarded for speed.

    Another irritation about the grind and credits system is that the store is a bit sluggish at times. Also, boxes can be purchased with real money with denomination/equivalents from $.49 to about $5 (or $6), just for one box. Either spend alot of time, or spend alot of money and hope you are lucky. I'm not sure if EA/Bioware is making enough money from these "micro-transactions", but if they sold bundles of boxes with these same amounts instead of a single box, I might actually consider spending money to get a few jumps ahead.

    Teamwork is key as well. Not only for revivals, but synergy through weaponry and powers, as some classes work well with others thanks to combinations of buffs, debuffs, staggers, and explosive kills. Unlike Tranformers: War for Cybertron's co-op, the experience and credits are shared. So even if you have "that one bad-ass" moping up the room, that's great for the team as the XP will apply to all players and helps tremendously when you're trying to max out a level 15+ character for Gold.

    Did I mention all the co-op multiplayer DLC is free, including extra maps, weapons, items, and characters? It unfortunately adds more grind, as you try to unlock these things, but they are often the ways to make Gold or Platinum easy enough to get the credits to buy more upgrades. There still seems to be a reasonable amount of players still playing on PS3 and PC, which is a testament to a good game, despite issues with load times and wave glitches.

  • I probably should play more of Warframe - many friends play this regularly and their is tons of content. Developed by the co-creators of the Unreal series, Warframe is a co-op TPS that is easily explained as "alien ninja and samurai with powers in space". Players use a combination of two guns, a melee weapons and various powers to deal with waves of foes. Free players will only have access to one main and secondary weapon, one melee weapon and one warframe (character). This is probably what put me off from regular play, as it is essentially a Free-to-Play MMO with a TPS interface. That said, the gameplay is very good and if this was your dedicated shooter, than the money spent here would likely be worth it, as this game is some peoples World of Warcraft.

  • Uncharted 2 perhaps spurred my love for co-op shooters. I have spent tons of time in both the competitive multiplayer and co-operative multiplayer. It felt good sniping the heads of the armored minigunners or using those said miniguns to wipe out waves. Interestingly enough, UC2 only allow a maximum of 3 players on a co-op team, which meant you really had to look out for you team members as they may get grabbed and choked or sniped.

    I haven't verified if there are still players playing this as of Summer 2014.

  • Similar to U3, but in a different settings. The guns sound like they have more punch, graphics are maybe a bit better. Gameplay is mostly the same, though I played in the early months and I remember having lots of bugs. I think these may have been major bugs like getting stuck in place, loosing players, or loosing connections, causing your time spent to be wasted.

    It's possible that it is improved by now or by at least after the time frame I played it. I went back on once not to long ago (April or May 2014). There were no players at the time, but I'm not sure if that is normal now. Admittedly, many games have been released since that point, not to mention new CoD's and Battlefield which now most of the multiplayer mainstream is playing.

  • The Co-op was the only redeeming thing to me in this game, so it was relatively fun to kill things in the Call of Duty gunplay that made it famous.

  • The Co-op here is a decent game with the Transformers twist. Level's start pretty small and can be expanded by opening doors using points gained through combat. However, the point system is very anti-cooperative. Points are only earned for kills. You don't get any points for assists, even if you did the majority of the damage to an enemy. Whats worst, points are only given to the killer, so if you didn't kill enough (i.e. somebody took all you kills) you may not have enough points to get ammo, weapons, doors, or even health, which is silly since there is no other way to heal (maybe if a team member has a healing weapon).

    Due these limitations, I found it easy for teams to get devastated by enemies after a few waves. I've only played a few games and I haven't got great at it, so it may get better with more time, but it has a small player base and I find it inferior to Mass Effect multiplayer.

  • I've never had a Xbox system, so I can't give a fair assesment of GoW. I've never been a fan of the Controller and maybe I had a little problem of the "weightyness" of the gameplay, though I'd probably adjust if I play the game/series fully. I loved the Uncharted 2/3 multiplayers, which is likely inspired by this series, so GoW Co-op may be just as good or better.

  • A game literally built for Co-op, it is best described as Diablo in FPS form, on a post-apocalyptic world similar to Fallout 3. Choose from four classes that each have a different active skill to be used in comabt. Each character has different skill trees to best suit it's class. Some characters specialize in certain weapons allowing for bonuses, but all classes can use any weapon type. A fun multiplayer experience that you could sink hours into. Probably the biggest complaints (for non-fans) are the sense of psychotic humor (as well displayed by the box art) and the bullet spongey-ness of the combat - shotguns and sniper rifles often will not kill in one or two hits unless the enemy is of a much lower level and a critical is performed.

  • I'm not a Halo fan, but I did play some of the multiplayer with a friend and I loved the fact that there was a deeply customizable multiplayer "horde" experience. This was something you used to be able to do in many PC games, but is now rare on PC, and borederline non-existant on console. I don't know why Halo is the only series that can get that right.

  • Firefight Mode

  • Near Halloween 2016, Blizzard added a temporarily accessible Halloween themed horde mode for Overwatch called Junkenstien's Revenge.

  • A mostly forgotten online only horde mode shooter made by En Masse, the same developers of TERA.

  • Coined the Horde Mode genre.