Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I told you four was a more 'next gen' number

So it seems that both Haze and Halo 3 will have four player online co-op. Lovely, I'm very glad that this is catching on.

Playing through the co-op campaign of G.R.A.W was the best thing about that game, and I enjoyed Gears of War more than most people I work with because I played the entire story in co-op (which meant that I could laugh with my friend during any of the annoying loading cut-scenes).

I would love it if companies made the extra push to get their co-op perfect, though. The ideal situation is being able to play through the regular single player campaign in co-op, but only if you still get the full experience. Rainbow Six: Vegas messed up in this regard since co-op stripped out all of the cut-scenes, so if it was your first play through it would make no sense at all (admittedly, its story wouldn't fit co-op all of the way through, since you start off alone, but I've already written about that cock-up I think that is in a squad-based game). Failing that a dedicated co-op story (even if it reuses assets from the single player).

I would dearly love it if all co-op was drop-in / drop-out as well. Again, Gears of War nailed this perfectly, since the second player and AI-controlled Dominic are interchangeable, allowing you to enter a friend's game no matter what's going on. I had heard Crackdown also had this pre-launch, but the actual system it has turns out to be fairly annoying. If you select that yes, you will let the second player join your city, it boots you out to the menu, and then forces you both to re-spawn. It must be for some technical reason, since I can't understand why any designer would chose this over just allowing the second player to spawn themselves in.

Anyway, Free Radical is one of the few companies that I trust to deliver. Though they still haven't gotten back to me about my three year old job application. Bastards.

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