Community Post: Co-op Makes it More Interesting

Image by Flickr user "Ian D"
Image by Flickr user “Ian D”

Adding Co-op mode to a game may not always make a game better, but in my experience it always adds interest. I haven’t played a lot of co-op over the years, usually opting for single player or competitive multiplayer, but the times when Co-op has crossed my path, it’s always been a very interesting, if not fun experience.

The first game that I spent any significant time playing cooperatively was Halo 3. I was skeptical at first, figuring that playing the game with more people would dilute the experience rather than enhance it, but the result was the complete opposite. working with other players brought new strategy and tactics into the mix. It made the standard action of dealing with enemies (head on with brute force) into something more (coordinating for the quickest strike or most stealthy approach). Indeed, Halo 3 cooperative play accounts for some of my most fond gaming memories, the attempts at the “Annual” achievement in particular (it was difficult and arduous, but dang was it fun!).

The experience with Halo 3 convinced me of the value and effect of cooperative mode. Were it not for coop I would have passed on games like Killzone 3 and  Ghost Recon 2 . Both games were a little lacking when it came to their single player campaigns, but the addition of coop made them both quite enjoyable.

Coop may not have the power to make a bad game good or an average game exceptional, but it can make the experience each offers enjoyable. Coordinating and sharing  an experience with another person can make any gaming experience more enjoyable. You don’t have to rely on the game to have fun, you get to make your own fun, your own jokes, you can make new games out of the old.

Indeed, coop modes don’t necessarily make a game any better but they definitely definitely make a game more fun.

What do you think? What effect have coop modes had on your gaming experience?

10 Comments Add yours

  1. I agree with you, that co-op can indeed beneficially alter a games experience, but I also feel that it also depends on the title. You make the point of referencing Halo 3, and for me, I would never attempt to play another Halo game on co-op, for after attempting this in both Halo and Halo 2, I found that this took away from the challenge and made it far too easy. However, in games the likes of Brute Force, Left 4 Dead, Fuse and other games that incorporate a team of protagonists into a story rather than a singular character (in the case of Halo, the Chief), the game is purposefully adjusted to accommodating an influx of characters and thus the challenge provided remains, rather than being drained by a thorough group of gamers going up against a group of, sometimes albeit, incompetent AI.

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      You’re right when you say that games built for Co-op are definitely better suited to it. They are definitely more fun in coop mode than games not built around it. I don’t play them much because I don’t often have the chance to play coop and games built for it aren’t very fun solo. As for Halo, I see where you’re coming from. Until Reach, Halo didn’t scale the difficulty for additional players, so it could be a little annoying having kills taken and what not, and some of the challenge was definitely lost. I never played 1 or 2 coop, but 3 was fun, it had competitive and cooperative point modes where you could compete against or coordinate with friends for points, which for me made the point related achievements in the game fun instead of a drag.

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  2. Sam Leung says:

    I totally agree with about coop making games more fun. Sure a bad game is still a bad game, but playing it with someone means you can laugh about terrible it is and actually still enjoy something you probably would have stopped playing if you were by yourself. I wouldn’t necessarily add coop mode to all games, because there are definitely games where I’d rather they spend the money on developing their singleplayer campaign, but I definitely appreciate a game with a good coop mode and generally, even if it kind of sucks, it does add interest like you said!

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Agreed, not every game needs a coop mode and strong single-player experience games should definitely have their development resources focused on making that experience the best that it can be.

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  3. simpleek says:

    I agree with this. There’s something about playing co-op with friends that makes the game much more fun and a different game experience entirely. Like you said, you build strategies and you work together to take out an enemy or boss. It makes completing certain points in the game quicker to do than if you did it on your own. I really appreciate those games that add co-op, especially if you can experience a game together with a friend.

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Playing with a friend is always better where it makes sense or the story doesn’t matter. I find coop is at it’s most fun when you don’t have to care about what’s going on on the screen and can just focus on your strategies, jokes and whatnot. What about you?

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      1. simpleek says:

        Definitely. There have been times when I play a game on co-op and we would do the stupidest things. Sometimes we play the game poorly, but it doesn’t really matter because we’re just having a blast laughing at our own silliness. I think if I played with someone who is too serious about playing the game as it should be played, then the experience wouldn’t be as fun or enjoyable.

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  4. duckofindeed says:

    I prefer to play alone, but co-op can certainly make a game a different experience, allowing you to interact and work together with other people while you play. I’d like to play co-op in a “Halo” game sometime. Whenever I play, I’m always stuck fighting alone because all the computer-controlled people on my side always die off early on (only sometimes due to my own clumsiness… It’s not my fault Scorpions have such firepower!). It would be nice to have a real person to fight alongside for once.

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Do you have Xbox Live Gold? It’d be awesome to do some Halo coop online sometime.

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      1. duckofindeed says:

        I do not have XBox Live Gold. But, it certainly would be fun to play online sometime. I never know anyone to play with, and I never wanted to play with absolute strangers. Stranger danger!

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