Are Couch Co-Op Games a Thing of the Past?
Playing games online with your friends is the standard these days. Internet connectivity drastically changed how players interact with other players, and this change opened the door to many possibilities. Many different online forms of cooperative gaming are now available, from massive shared worlds to simple two-player experiences.
Gamers can play with others all over the world, which opens people up to so many more experiences that they may have not otherwise had without online gaming.
That being said, I have to say that I am nostalgic for the days when split screen co-op was more commonly implemented in games. My partner and I are both very interested in gaming, and as much as we love watching one another play games, we prefer playing games together.
As online gaming becomes the norm, I find it more and more difficult to find compelling local co-cop games.
Some shooters, platformers, and fighting games do still often have co-op, but I wonder why big budget narrative-focused games don't usually implement a local co-op experience, especially in games like The Last of Us, where there is already a secondary character that follows the playable character around throughout the game.
There is something sorely lacking when two gamers can't play a game together in the same room.
The fact that you need an online connection and two separate gaming systems in order to have a cooperative experience, is baffling to me. Playing games online with your friends, while brilliant in some respects, lacks the personable aspect of being able to play in one another's company.
For me, gaming has always been a social experience. I love playing games with people I'm close to, so much more than I like playing them on my own. It seems almost petty of developers to not include local co-op when there are NPCs just waiting for a user.
Games like Dead Space, Alien Isolation, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto all could have benefited from a cooperative option.
I realize that many of these games stick with exclusively single-player modes for the purpose of “immersion”, but I tend to think that that's just code for “boring”.
While many game developers choose not to implement co-op, I appreciate and applaud those who do.
What do you think, will and should local co-op games make a comeback? Let us know in the comments below!