Who’d have thought games could be romantic? It must be said that co op gaming is highly beneficial for reaffirming partnerships. When we take charge of our controllers it’s the two of us against the world. Far more romantic than a meal out or a trip to the cinema; we slay the hordes of monstrosities for each other and on occasion save each other from the brink of death. The genuine sense of relief and satisfaction shared following a close escape or a hard won battle is something you can rarely experience in an ordinary relationship. Then there are the other benefits; the beauty of co op games is that with two consoles you can engage in quality bonding time remotely without actually having to be in the same room as each other. So she can’t criticise me for munching on a ‘fattening’ KFC while slicing an Aliens head off or notice if I haven’t washed for a few days! As I fire away I am effortlessly sexy as the handsome Chris Redfield or some other equally pristine digital hero. Also we have the option to switch the headset to mute, which is something which could come in useful in real life... Split screen has its advantages but we prefer to have as much T.V. space as possible I keep arguing that she should allow me to get a super massive T.V. in order to render this problem negligible but she is resistant.
The day we met we discovered a shared passion for Video Games. She liked Final Fantasy, I liked FIFA... not very compatible. Perhaps someone will one day create a soccer game with Cloud Strife and David Beckham kicking glowing orbs across a huge world-map, dodging past roaming chocobos (the Kingdom Hearts of sports games). Until that day however it is Resident Evil which unites us. Our mutual love for dismembering Zombies is the very cement of our relationship. So when Resident Evil 5 arrived in fully co-op fineness we were very excited. This was a way for us to play simultaneously rather than disappear for hours into our own separate gaming spheres. Frankly my lovely girlfriend would have considered any other choice of gaming partner an unforgivable infidelity.
As we all know by now, Resi 5 had its ups and downs but it was a solid game with a good co-op experience. The only thing the game lacked was the scares. This was fixed with the ‘Lost in Nightmares’ DLC. With echoes of the original Resident Evil; the old mansion setting, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine working together, lost in Nightmares felt like a great revision. Fear and dread became our constant companion as we rounded every corner. There were a few moments where pure instinctive panic made us (well one of us...) fumble wildly with the controller. If the whole game had been like this then it would have been perfection for not just Resi fans but for all gamers. Fear plays a massive effect in the couple gamers dynamic. One of you is bound to get terrified. The other is the shoulder to lean on, the one to spur you on to survive till the end. These roles will undoubtedly alternate between players as you progress through the game.
In recent years co-op gaming has become increasingly popular. It is rapidly becoming a prerequisite for many games. Games such as Hunted: Demon Forge are entirely co-op dependant and other games such as Portal 2 have added co-op. With the ever increasing amount of co-op games on the market finding the correct co-op partner is essential. Do I take this woman to be my Zombie slaying player two? Until death do we restart?