The reports of the death of local cooperative gaming have been greatly exaggerated. Developers at E3 showed off titles like A Way Out, Moonhunters, and Cuphead – all designed with offline co-op as their premise. There are numerous others coming as well.
Local co-op is making a comeback and I’m here to prepare you for the wonderful adventures you’re about to have with the person sitting next to you.
There are no greater moments in gaming than those you share with people you care about. My gaming history goes back pretty far, and I’ve always looked to the games that let me play with my friends and loved ones to fill my library.
Local co-op — also called couch co-op: playing a game sitting with someone in the same room — has been around since the early days of arcade. The O.G.s (original gamers) of yesteryear earned their co-op stripes in 1979, spinning out of control in Asteroids. I got my first taste of couch co-op in Konami’s side-scrolling shooter Contra, one of the original UUDDLRLRBA games.
Local co-op includes games from every genre and platform. In Divinity: Original Sin we see the formula used in a tactical RPG which works great on PC and consoles. The split-screen mode for Borderlands and its sequels works great — even on smaller TVs — thanks to the stylized graphics and excellent user interface. Moonhunters is a multiplayer personality test that you can play with your friends on PC; it’s coming to Xbox One this July.
Games bring us closer
The heart and soul of local co-op lies in the bonding experience. We don’t often get up and high-five each other in the middle of a really good movie. My girlfriend and I never pause a TV show to discuss how we’re going to deal with the fighting between Luscious and Cookie.
These things happen all the time when we play together in our living rooms. When we can cheer, and hug, and give each other some love – we aren’t just gaming together; we’re creating our…