Scary Co-op. Are They Listening?

I have always loved co-op and have always advocated for more co-op in all games. I have also just acquired a new pallet for horror titles thanks to Dead Space (minus Left 4 Dead…that is more of an arcade zombie fest anyway). So let’s just take a moment to think about what the two together would be like.

Dead Space is unique to me for one simple reason. Not because it rewrote what a horror game should be like or that it introduced some of the most badass weapons seen in gaming. Dead Space is unique to me because it can captivate a room full of people for hours and only be a single player game.

When I am playing Dead Space with my friends, it is usually a really scary yet enjoyable experience. Mainly because you get to find out what a person is really like by the way they scream when they are scared. But while that is humorous in its own right, getting scared out of your mind because of a video game with your friends is awesome. There is truly nothing else like it. But here is the sad thing: none of my top scariest games have co-op (soon to be FEAR 2, Dead Space, Doom 3, and Aliens vs. Predator 2).

Are gaming companies really listening to us though? It seems to me that most companies are starting to pick up more and more on what the community has to say. While this is amazing, it also seems that the industry is about three steps behind what people are really asking for. They produce titles we ask for, but leave things like co-op out. They build hype, and don't deliver. They want us to be thankful for the games they produce, but they charge WAY too much for new titles and then blame the community for the game not doing well (cough:Crysis:cough).

The fact of the matter is that they are listening though. At no other time in gaming history has the community had so much power and influence over the titles that are being made. Maybe it's the magic of Obama and the era that is being ushered in where a voice and a vote actually mean something. Or maybe the gaming industry just started realizing that the people buying their games want to feel like their 50 - 60 dollars was worth a damn.

On the note of the industry listening, 2008 was the year of co-op. We had Left 4 Dead, Little Big Planet, and Call of Duty: World at War all focus on providing an awesome co-op experience. But what about a horror co-op experience? I know there were some mods for Doom 3, but just imagine being scared out of your mind while trying to help a friend stay alive and not dying yourself due to [insert crazy alien zombie thing here] popping out at you.

So the question is this: will Resident Evil 5 be the cure for the horror co-op game I crave? Who knows, but I am just glad that horror and co-op have found their way to the mainstream gaming developers. And that these two genres are finally being done right and being given the credit that they deserve.

I want to know what you think though. So leave a comment!

- Tyler (Chiko)

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