A Quiver of Crows

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players

A Quiver of Crows Co-Op Review - Page 2

Local co-op in A Quiver of Crows, which I insist on calling "crow-op", works just like an old school shooter by dumping two players into the fray at the same time. Progress is saved separately from the solo experience, which could be good or bad depending on how often you play with a friend. Any sharing is strictly on the players to work out between themselves, as is most of the actual cooperation in the game. If the two crows split up and move around the screen, expect to get eaten by baddies. If you focus and actually work together, the high difficulty is curbed slightly and you might just stick around long enough to see another level. It's worth noting that the game requires two controllers for local crow-op.

I'm a PC gamer, which means I split my time between mouse and keyboard controls and using the variety of gamepads sitting in a box beneath my desk. A Quiver of Crows recommends using a gamepad, which I was fine with since the only genre I refuse to use gamepads with are first person shooters. However, I didn't have much luck rolling analog sticks around to move and shoot. The already painfully difficult game was nearly unplayable. The minute I switched to keyboard and mouse, all better! I freely admit this is a matter of preference and not some fault in the game. Consider this a public service announcement to think about your PC peripherals when booting up the game.

Digging into the heart of A Quiver of Crows, there are a couple of issues I feel could use some tweaking. Levels are long, open, and exploratory in nature. You'll do a lot of flying around, checking your map, and backtracking, all while beating down enemies with a constant stream of crow laser fire. Stages last for minutes at a time, longer if you play it safe and smart (and you really should). The issue that arises is when you die. Death resets the entire stage, there are no checkpoints. Since you'll be visiting the grim reaper all the bloody time, frustration quickly sets in. Replaying parts of the stage over and over becomes a chore, so much so that half the time you'd rather just turn the game off than keep plugging away. You could easily write the lack of save points off as a throwback to the days of old, but honestly, a mid-point save would be really, really nice.

A Quiver of Crows wants you to try, fail, try ten more times, then get better. I believe the turn of phrase is "git gud". The high difficulty will likely scare some players away, as this isn't the sort of game that wants you to succeed. What it lacks in broad appeal it makes up for in originality. I mean, you play a crow that shoots skeleton birds. You plow through corpses stacked on the ground. You get caught on scenery and watch as some clam hawk thing bites you in the face. That's not something you'll get to experience in any other game, let alone a twin stick shooter.


Co-Op Score

The Co-Op Experience: Two local players work together to stay alive.

Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.

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