We've all talked about it for years, wishing we could team up with other human players againist wave after wave of AI enemies. Well over the past few yearsour wishes have been answered. Im sure its been around longer than that but its finally mainstream because these co-op modes are in popular high rated games.Below is a list of the most recent popular games which incorporated such modes, some of which ive played, some i havent.
1) COD:WAW with its NAZI ZOMBIE mode, which granted at first was just a slapped on bonus feature that quickly (due to popular demand) got expanded upon over 3 map packs;andwith eachnew NZ mapadding something new and fun and "addictive". Its such a blast to play that people want a full fleged game dedicated to NZ, and it has even put up some decent competition againist L4D; a full fleged game already.
pros: has matchmaking sys as well as friend invites, game never ends till you lose, plenty of weapons and tools to kill your zombies, gets harder the longer you play, can be played solo.
cons: only 4 maps so far, 3 of which must be bought for 800 points each($10 US), for those who just want the NZ maps and not the muli player maps, tough luck, theres no option yet to seperate NZ from the map packs and price them at 200 points each.
2)While I myself have yet to play Gears of war 2 or the Horde Mode, its the same idea. You and a groups of 3 others fight waves of increasingly tougher foes. Since i havent played it i wont give a pro/con but its relevance in this blog is still valid.People like it, it has matchmaking, leaderboards etc.
3)halo3:ODST and its firefight mode, brand spanking new game that joins the club. Firefight is addictive and everything you want from a halo game: constant action and omg holy **** moments. with all the chaos around you its easy to love this mode. However there are some cons which i believe cripple this mode and hopefully its patched soon(listed below).The mode puts you and 3 otherplayers(noticing the trend here?) againist a ton of enemies divided up into waves, rounds, and sets. 5 waves per round, 3 rounds per set, 3+ sets. With each round a skull is turned on further increasing the difficulty(and yes these skulls stack).
pros: in your face action that never stops(remembers 3 brutes with hammers chasing me), alot of maps to choose from, can inivte your friends, can be played solo.
cons: No matchmaking!! which means if your firends are not online your SOL....
3)COD: MW2 (coming soon) and its co-op mode dubbed special ops. This game will break the trend by only letting you player with up to 2 players max(and its designed to let you win, as opposed to just fight till you die), but the scenarios are designed for this so im sure its not a big deal. Expect plenty of Oh Crap! moments in crazy situations that didnt make the final cut for the campaign. # of maps is unkown but 3+confirmed. There wont be any custom kits here, your stuck with the gear they give you. Earn stars by completing each map on a certain difficulty, veteran get you 3 stars, hardened 2, normal 1. You start with 3-4 maps and you'll need to earn 14 stars to unlock additional scenarios to play (and thats just the first set of maps, probably more sets to unlock). Hopefully it will have a matchmaking sys because this look very promising.
Key componentsfor a successfulonline co-op mode:
1)addictive, challenging, replayable gameplay
2)Matchmaking sys so your never alone, friend invites and the ability to play solo
3)3-4 maps minimum, the more the better
4)leaderboards to show off your score/stats
5)(optional) replay sys to watch your game from different angles, etc
6)I dont want just 3 ways to kill my enemies, give me 20 ways to slaughter them, I want mas weapons baby!
I can see this becoming a staple in FPS games as well as other genres, and about time too.