The Top 5 co-op Games
There’s nothing quite like spending an entire day playing whatever game you and your mates are all addicted to at the time but then comes the dreaded day when you’re all fed up of said game and spend an entire day trawling through whatever online store you choose. We’ve all been there, it’s easily a punishment befitting a ring of hell. Well, with this handy list you and your friends will never have the struggle of finding a game to play again!
Now you all know of the classics; Borderlands, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, Rocket League, Minecraft and Fortnite. So, these will be skipped in favour of some lesser known titles that may take you by surprise.
Smite is a free to play MOBA with characters taken from different mythologies (take Poseidon above for example). It is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox. Unlike League of Legends or Dota, every ability (minus a couple) is a skill shot, meaning that it must be aimed. It does this without making the game feel incredibly overwhelming. it’s all surprisingly intuitive thanks to the third person placement of the camera in favour of the traditional top down style most games in the genre are known for.
Its mechanics are its greatest achievement. They feel so simple and obvious at first glance but as you begin to understand some of the deeper workings of the game your abilities burst with new ways to be used making you feel like you’re discovering secrets nobody should know, making you look at characters in ways never thought of before.
Another great aspect Smite holds are its multiple game modes, each catering to different styles of play. There is Arena; a five on five deathmatch style mode. Conquest; the classic MOBA game mode in which five people take on five others to destroy the enemy base using teamwork and objectives. Joust; a three versus three mini conquest on a much smaller map. Assault; Smite’s take on the All Random All Mid game mode. As well as many others. Each mode has their own map revolving around a specific mythology making them all unique in their own way.
It’s a great game to play with friends because of its flexibility, do you want to just mess around with your friends and see what happens? Play Arena or Assault and see how many kills you can get. Want something a lot more tactical where each friend can figure out what their favourite god and role is? Play Conquest and grow your skills as a player whilst getting the same feeling of enjoyment you do out of League or Dota. Don’t have five friends but don’t fancy playing with others? Play Joust and enjoy a smaller take on the traditional game mode.
Imagine a MOBA like League of Legends okay? Now take away the levelling and farming and only include the team fight aspect. That’s Battlerite, a free to play action battle game available on PC.
Unlike games such as League or Dota, Battlerite brings the focus down to three versus three in a much more confined map that gets smaller as time passes (similar to a battle royale ‘zone’). Where more traditional MOBA style games start off slow and build up their pace, Battlerite keeps it fast and tense throughout. Making sure that if you can keep up with the enemy and have the communication with your friends you’ll dominate the playing field. Whether they’re moments of tension where you and your team on the cusp of a hard-fought victory or the feeling of pure catharsis when destroying another team that cannot keep up with you. The fun doesn’t stop.
The game is top down in the vein of other traditional MOBA’s and the games work in rounds, with the winning team being announced after three rounds have been won. Its roster isn’t that big, but each character is more than meets the eye, and can deal surprising amounts of damage if played effectively. The game requires a level of trust from your partners so playing with friends is easily the best way to go with this one.
The developers also recently announced ‘Battlerite Royale’ which is their take on blending MOBA gameplay mechanics with a traditional battle royale game mode. It releases on the 26th of September so if you find you enjoy the gameplay of the original, give it a try and tell me what you think!
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Moving away from competitive games for a moment, lets talk about RPG’s shall we? Other than playing table top D&D, Divinity: Original Sin 2 with a group of friends is the best role-playing experience out there currently.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a predominantly isometric turn-based RPG available for PC, Xbox and PS4 that allows you and three other friends to create a wholly unique character and embark on an epic adventure spanning multiple continents of the games gorgeous world.
From the get go, its class system excels as one of its greatest strengths as you are never bound to a specific role or set of spells, if you want to be an assassin with a huge summon-able creature of destruction, go wild!
Each player can build a personality for their character and vicariously live through them as the game goes on. For example, when playing through the original game with my friends my lizard archer, Rahimus and my friends Elven summoner, Elbereth hated each other and would constantly bicker at any opportunity however, as times passed that hatred slowly died down and we accepted each other’s values within the team after saving each other from death numerous times.
The game also makes use of an element system, with each element having unique interactions with each other. Fire and water mixing to create steam for example. Making mages damaging not only in their ability to hit hard but also to limit the enemy’s space in combat or sometimes just set everything on fire depending on the reckless abandon of your friend. This makes the turn-based combat system incredibly enjoyable and tense in difficult encounters, leading to some of the best battle stories that only fit to further build your characters as they journey to become ‘Divine’.
My favourite moment I’ve ever had in a game came through this battle system. My friend’s Dwarven tank, Gamreac and I were the only ones standing, fighting a terrifying monster that destroyed the rest of the party with its use of necrofire (normal fire on the ground plus the spell ‘Curse’) which turned the entire arena into a horrific hellscape. Gamreac knew the risks, he knew his death was inevitable if he was to do this but, the hardest of choices require the strongest of wills. He charged head first through the burning hellscape and threw his shield at the towering behemoth, dealing a massive blow in the process, helping lead to its demise in later turns.
The game isn’t short either, its main story is filled with twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Couple that with unique side quests that have their own brand of dark comedy and you’ve got a journey befitting around 100 hours or more depending on if you want to explore the community made mods as well.
The developers recently released a definitive edition of the game which rewrites a lot of the end game that was complained about as well as adding in new features and fixing some of the bugs hindering the original. Now is the best time to pick up the game so get your friends together and tell me some of your best battle stories in the comments below.
Is it fair to assume most of you have played a battle royale now? The genre exploded with popularity after the release of Player Unknowns Battlegrounds and then proceeded to take over the world one dance at a time with Fortnite. Unfortunately, Darwin Project has been relatively overlooked thus far.
You may remember their announcement in Xbox’s E3 showcase back in 2017 (This is it if you don't know https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of776gGzWEc) but this showcased the innovative take on the battle royale genre, an omnipresent figure called the ‘Director’ that can interact with the world and the players within it.
Darwin Project is available in early access for both PC and Xbox. The battle royale mode is changed in terms of player count as well, the maximum number of players in a match is ten, leading to a quicker pace throughout each match. So far duos are available however there are meant to be more modes implemented soon. There is also a crafting system that works from chopping down trees with your trusty axe and harvesting leather from chairs (???). These resources allow players to build arrows for their bow, armour for yourself, upgrades to damage or traps to gain the advantage over your enemy.
As well as the crafting system there are also abilities you can use such a turret you can place, invisibility, a shield that makes you immune to damage and many more. Timing these abilities with your friend can lead to devastating combos or quick, effective escape methods.
You and your friend can hunt the other players like wolves, leaving traps to slow them before going in for the kill or you can go on a rampage, build arrows, a piece of armour and immediately try to take out the teams surrounding you. Each game is its own new challenge as your life can be determined by the Director. If they are kind-hearted, you may get some resources or they may let you know you’re being tracked. If they are not on your side, prepare for a much more difficult (and enjoyable) game, as they can show you and your partner up on the map, close off a zone you are currently in and even nuke a space so that if you are in there when the timer runs out, your life is over.
That’s what makes Darwin Project so much fun with friends, the unpredictable nature of every match.
A Way Out
This game has already been spoken about at length in a previous article (Here is the article for those that are interested https://www.fraggeeks.com/news/the-best-games-of-2018-so-far) however, it deserves some reiteration. A Way Out is a story driven, third person action and adventure game available on PC, PS4 and Xbox in which you and your friend will take on the roles of Vincent and Leo.
Your story is deeply personal, one where you and your friend will start to become these two troubled souls as you play them. You will form a bond from chatting away to each other, to making difficult decisions, to screaming profanities and struggling at an arm wrestle in which both of you are determined to not be the one that loses.
This is an amazing game that is so much better when playing with a friend, it’s an experience that only gaming can produce. Leaving memories and inside jokes that you and your friend will have for a long time coming.