Best Console Co-Op Title of 2011
As always, the competition for the top co-op console game of 2011 was fierce. Portal 2, though released earlier in the year, was a landmark title, taking the inventive, addictive gameplay of the original, and adding in a dedicated two-player co-op campaign that absolutely bent your mind.
Dead Island offered a cooperative open world experience rarely seen on consoles. The bone breaking, limb-severing melee combat allowed four players to brutalize the undead masses as they battled across the zombie infested island paradise of Banoi. Co-op was almost a necessity, as the game's difficulty increased dramatically once players reached the heavily populated slums of Moresby. Legendary loot and well-developed skill trees added depth to the already solid, though slightly less refined, survival horror title.
In the end, adorable robot partners and horrific zombie mobs couldn’t hold up to the polish and visceral glee of Gears of War 3.
The storyline ranged from jaw dropping boss battles to emotionally charged drama, humanizing the characters and wrapping up the epic trilogy perfectly. Four player co-op throughout the campaign, including fan-favorite split-screen with online, would perhaps have been enough. But the revisions in Horde Mode 2.0, the sequel to the mode that made co-op survival waves ubiquitous, took Gears of War 3 over the top as the finest co-op experience on any console this year.