Lately, it feels like couch co-op is slowly dying, being replaced with exclusively online multiplayer modes instead. In a strange twist of circumstances, however, Star Fox Zero‘s developers are abandoning online play in favor of two-player couch co-op.
Star Fox Zero Co-Director Yugo Hayashi elaborated on this in an interview with IGN, explaining, “As one kind of variation, we were thinking about a co-op control scheme. Basically one person would control flying the Arwing and the other person would be aiming and shooting.”
Top Left: The pilot’s perspective. Bottom Right: The gunner’s perspective.
While this does sound fun as a novelty, it doesn’t sound like a very challenging cooperative experience. After all, if the game is designed to be played by a single person doing the flying and the shooting, splitting those tasks between two players should be a breeze.
As it turns out, that’s kind of the point. “This is something maybe parents and children could be doing together,” Hayashi explains, suggesting that a young child might enjoy the simpler task of targeting and shooting while the parent acts as the pilot.
From the sound of things, Star Fox Zero‘s co-op might just be a slightly more entertaining version of Super Mario Galaxy‘s “co-star mode.”
Or as I like to call it, “nephew mode.”
In “co-star mode,” a second cursor appears on the screen, seen here labeled “P2.” Player 2 controls that cursor with a wiimote, using it to fire star bits and freeze enemies. As far as co-op goes, “co-star mode” is only a slightly better alternative to being handed an unplugged controller. It’s a functional babysitter, but it isn’t that great of a cooperative multiplayer experience.
Setting my cynicism aside, I can see how this kind of co-op might be a real blast under the right circumstances. Sure, cooperating with a peer might not provide much of a challenge, but helping a younger relative to beat Star Fox for the very first time? Now that sounds rad.
I look forward to learning more about Star Fox Zero‘s co-op when it releases sometime towards the end of 2015. Until then, look to GameSkinny for more information.