Crew View: Stepping into the future together
Once the realm of Co-Op play was dragging a mate around to yours and playing spilt screen. Many gamers want to return to these days. I want to see the future of coming home and joining mates that have been playing for hours and just slotting into the game like I was there from the start. Or jumping on at work or while away from my console and helping out mates through mobile devices.
While some developers have embraced Co-Op. The front runners in this at the moment are Gearbox with the Borderlands series. Theses games are all about the Co-Op experience with the games featuring 4 player drop-in/drop-out Co-Op. The Co-Op players just join the hosts single player campaign which just ramps up the difficulty to provide a challenge to the larger number of players.
Other developers have Co-Op added in a separate mode. Call of Duty games have the popular Zombie mode which started back in Call of Duty: World at War. This has carried through on every game that has followed, with zombies being replaced by Aliens in the latest in the series Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Battlefield even tried a turn at it with Battlefield 3. There, the mode unlocked extra weapons to use in the multiplayer game. The mode has not returned for Battlefield 4
Other games to try it in separate mode have been Far Cry 3, Sniper Elite V2 & Sniper Elite V3. Far Cry was just the standard 6 mission campaign where you could choose either to try it stealth or just all out run and gun. Weapons that you had unlocked in the MP games or in the solo Campaign could be used in the Co-Op and vice versa.
Sniper Elite has taken a nice twist to the Sniper game play of video games. While in Co-Op one player plays as the sniper while the other is the spotter with both players needing to work together to finish the missions. You can also complete the Story Campaign in Co-Op although this is a lot more challenging then playing in single player.
Other semi Co-Op games have brought an interesting twist to the genre with the introduction of tablets and smart phones into the gaming field.
Need for Speed Rivals companion app allows you to either help or harm other players. The Overwatch game allows you to either repair damage or refill nitrous etc to help either racers or police or hinder them with EMPs roadblocks or helicopters. While not Co-Op Watch_Dogs also allowed tablet or smart phone users to play against others in game while not actually owning the game themselves. The mobile app player would control a police helicopter and try to stop the player in game by hacking traffic lights and deploying patrol cars while the console player raced through checkpoints to the finish line.
What has been revealed at E3 in 2013 & this year show that Co-Op is getting more predominate with almost every game featuring some sort of Co-Op campaign or Co-Op features in their single player campaign. The main player showcasing Co-Op is Ubisoft.
Far Cry 4
This is the first of Ubisoft’s titles coming out 18th Nov 14. Featuring a massive open world map of a similar size to the Far Cry 3 game. It looks impressive. Bringing back the outpost or fortress capturing that was in Far Cry 3. This is where the game shows the most promise. Allowing the player to tackle the fortress in any way they like, be it stealth, guns blazing or a mixture of both. Hell you can even get the local animals to help you take the enemy down. That’s right Elephants rampaging through fortresses taking everything out.
If the player feels that the fortress is too tough for a single assault they can invite a friend to join their game to help out. This disables single player only missions like certain plot missions. The two players are then free to assault the fortress how they see fit.
As a bonus to Playstation Users the second person can join the game as long as their friend owns the game and invites them in. That’s right they don’t need to own the game. In a recent interview podcast with Game Informer, Creative Director Alex Hutchinson explained how this works.
“The future has arrived, but involves a really big download. If you buy the game you’ll get a bunch of tickets we are calling the Keys to Kyrat that you can send to your friends. Those players can download the game and once they have it, they can play open world with you as long as you’re playing.”
Assassin’s Creed Unity
The next big release also in November 14 for Ubisoft is the next instalment of the Assassin’s Creed series. In this it looks like you can play the whole game in Co-Op if you choose with up to 4 players. Missions also can the tackled on your own if you have “levelled” up your character enough. Set during the French Revolution this game looks like a much needed revamp to a series that suffered poorly due to AC3.
The Division looks very exciting. Featuring drop in Drop out Co-Op what was revealed at E3 2013 was Co-Op via tablet device as well. E3 showed a player using an iPad join the game as a drone. They were then able to provide recon as well as cover fire with the drone’s weapons.
To me this is a great leap forward in Co-Op. Not only can you join your friends almost at anytime but you can now join them if you don’t have access to your gaming console of choice. But with all great things there are downsides. For The Division it is a delayed released date. Slated for at 2014 release it has been pushed back to a 2015 release. I’m in two minds about this. One I want it now but two, I want them to get it right so hopefully the delays are worth it.
Here is a trailer showing off the companion app game play
This is the big one that everyone is talking about. Releasing 9th of September not only does Destiny look amazing with its mixture of RPG and first person shooter it looks like it is the perfect mix. Featuring an Open World map you can play is singlely or meet up with people in game to take out large enemies. Your friends can also team up to create a 3 person fire team. If the small taste of the alpha & Beta is to go by, it will be a long wait until September
Co-Op it’s a double edged sword, many people want to see it go back to split screen days of the past. This is good if you have nearby friends or siblings. People don’t like getting forced to play it due to poor AI controlled partners, But with the features coming out in with the next generation of games I’m all for the new advances we are being promised. With drop in and out game play, mobile and tablet based play. All of these things have me excited for what we are being promised. I just hope the Developers can deliver what they promise.
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