Cooperative games seem to be getting more and more popular, there's still room for the frag-fests and deathmatches... but playing with your friends against what the CPU has to throw at you is a fine pastime. Games Xtreme has taken some time out to play with some great folks over the last few years and we've selected some of the good co-op games that you can either play online or right next to a buddy on the couch.
These are in no particular order:
Lara's adventure is built for two players, its fun and it's frenetic and there's a great teamwork element to the game. Both characters have their strengths and weaknesses and the 3D isometric view makes it easy to play with a buddy on the couch. It supports online play now thanks to a recent update and is one of those sure-fire hits that keep you coming back for more and more fun.Borderlands
We can't really do something like this without mentioning the frag-loot-experience fest that is Borderlands. The game can be played with 2 people co-op on the same console and has online play as well for up to 4 players. There are 4 unique character classes and the random generation of loot is basically what keeps the game fresh time and time again. There are opportunities to duel your friends, as well as enter into deathmatch style arenas and play against them or other people.
Borderlands is however more fun when you grab a group of 3 other Vault Hunters and go wading into the massive open world of Pandora. There's a tonne of fun to be had and a varied group can mean some big hauls, some even bigger prizes and lots of mayhem for hours on end. We highly recommend this game. The more players you have in the group, the more the game scales the rewards and increases the challenge and experience value of the bad guys.
There's also a lot of teamwork to Borderlands with the 4 specific classes, each with their own role. The sniper is wonderful for pinning enemies down; the Siren is a hit and run smg toting class...the Tank perfect for hand to hand and soaking up damage whilst the Soldier provides fire support and healing to the team, via his gun turret that can be customised with various abilities through a pretty epic skill tree.Splinter Cell: Conviction
Whilst not as truly epic in co-op scope as the original Chaos Theory multiplayer co-op, Conviction is built around cooperative play for two spies and there are several fun game modes to take a stab at. Our all time favourite of the Denied Ops modes has to be the Terrorist Hunt style mode where you are inserted into one of the co-op story maps and must kill a set number of Tangos before you move on. You can use a variety of tactics and if you make a mistake, the game brings in reinforcements as the enemy sounds the alarm. Its fun playing a Bourne style game of cat and mouse with these guys, using a buddy as bait or tag-teaming a group of baddies with the mark&execute feature.
Conviction also supports a Last Stand style defence mode, a no-mistakes Terrorist Hunt mode and even a 1 vs 1 Spy Hunt style mode where you basically try to kill your opponent whilst avoiding the enemy guards that are hostile to both factions.
There's a full story co-operative campaign and the game can be played split-screen on the couch with a friend, or you can go online and play that way. With a mix of decent gadgets, great AI opponents and some nice level design there are numerous ways to handle a particular map. The weapons are varied but you'll mostly want the silenced/suppressed types if you're going for a quiet kill spree.
Again, another recommendation for cooperative fun!Red Dead Redemption
This one is purely online only and there are quite a few cooperative modes for you and up to 7 other players. You can form a posse of up to 8 people and have 16 folks on a server. There are various flavours of servers and there are lots of activities to enjoy where you can work with your friends to clean out the various gang hideouts, play cooperative based missions and wreak havoc on towns against the law if you so desire. The world map of RDR is huge and there's always something going on if you hit a free roam public server with your posse. You can find other posses to harass, team up with people cooperatively and with the advent of Undead Nightmare there's even more to do.
There are horse races, poker games, liars dice and more. There's Undead Overrun which is a pure cooperative mode where you must fight waves of the damned to survive their onslaught, the bigger the team, the more chance of survival since ammo is scarce and the undead are ornery buggers. Red Dead Redemptions multiplayer is built on a strong foundation of Rockstar listening to their players, making sure that everyone can have a good time. There are Hardcore servers for those people who play with Expert Aim only, Friendly Free Roam servers for people looking to team up and not get shot by their friends/allies/other players.
Even a lot of the adversarial multiplayer game modes are tailored towards cooperation when you enter them. There are lots of team based shootouts, capture the flag style modes and even more. There's a wealth of cooperative opportunity in RDR that's hard to ignore. It's online only, no couch play. You can put up a LAN based server though, which is a nice option.
I'm still playing it even now.
Whilst it lacks anything to do except explore and shoot everyone else in the Free Roam, GTA IV laid the foundation for what's to come in RDR. You can make your own fun and getting into a car for a 4 player crazy gun-fest against the cops doesn't get old. With Gay Tony and Lost and Damned there's even more to do and more weapons/vehicles to play with. There is a smattering of cooperative missions for GTA IV core but they are over pretty quickly and lack any real lasting staying power. They are fun whilst they last though...
This one again is online only, there are a variety of cooperative team vs team modes though and the game is still fun even after all this time.Saints Row 2
It is completely over the top, psychotic violence and can be played online only in 2 player coop. There is nothing you can't really do in SR 2 and the game world is open to be totally exploited. Rip off all your clothes and go for a naked katana wielding bike massacre through a shopping mall, sure, you can do that if you want. There are lots of cooperative missions in SR 2 and they all are tailored towards having a friend help you out when the going gets tough. Between the story coop and the diversions, there's a lot to do and whilst it lacks the visual punch of GTA IV, SR 2 has a complete madcap appeal that's hard to ignore.
The multiplayer isn't so hot but there's still a lot of cooperative fun to be had in the various team based modes there as well. It is online only and there's no split-screen. LAN play is possible via System Link.Rainbow Six Vegas 2
This is an oldie now, but it's still a goodie. There's a tonne of cooperative content in the game from the 2 player coop story to the Terrorist Hunt mode where you team up with other players to take down randomly placed Tangos. There is a great emphasis on teamwork and having a good group watching your back is a recipe for success. This game has online as well as split screen, you can put up a LAN as well...
It may be showing its age now, but the game still holds quite a lot of cooperative appeal and is a perfect tactical experience for someone looking to play with friends.
There are quite a few more cooperative games, but these are the ones for this particular article that sprang to mind. Feel free to suggest some more in the comments, since there's a chance that I missed a heck of a lot and we only have so much space for the article allotted anyways.
Enjoy your gaming and if you haven't already, check out some of the reviews of the games mentioned.
Until next time!