One of the most integral innovations this console generation has to be co-op gaming. It’s right up there with networking and dual stick controls. Co-op gaming makes many games that would otherwise be considered average or good, and makes them better. I mean just imagine if Gears of War, Halo 3, Call of Duty World At War, Halo Wars, and the newly released Resident Evil 5 didn’t have co-op. Would they still be as genre defining experiences? These games might still be great, but co-op pushes them to the elite status of their respective genres. With the recent release of Guerrilla Game’s Killzone 2, one of the main gripes from the media and gamers alike is the lack of co-op play in the game. Granted, no media outlet marked down Killzone 2 because of the lack of co-op campaign, but they certainly are insinuating that it would have received higher scores. My question is how do we know what games require co-op?? And should co-op gaming be the new standard?
Take for instance, an FPS game like Bioshock; should it have had co-op play? I mean it’s a shooter just like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Killzone 2. Yet, I don’t remember anyone clamoring for that to have co-op. Was it because Bioshock was more story driven then the other FPS’s mentioned above? Or should it of had co-op?
Then in the third person genre, we have games like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Dead Space that also lacked co-op play. Uncharted appeared to be ripe for co-op game play because you have an AI partner for some of the game (similar to Killzone 2). How cool would it have been to have someone controlling Elena; especially, in the water skiing section. Dead Space also would have been cool to have someone there helping shoot the creatures. Yet, no one called these games out either. Again I pose the query, should these games have co-op or not? And is co-op truly the next standard?
To be honest, how do we as gamers and media alike, decipher what games need co-op? There really is no set formula. But I definitely want to know what everyone thinks.