The Stronghold series has been around now on PCs for over 15 years, with the RTS garnering millions of sales over its lifetime. Honestly, it's surprising there aren't more games out there that are similar. While the series started out set in medieval England, the Crusader branch took things to the deserts of the Middle East. Now that series is getting a new game on a brand new 3D engine and being self published by Firefly Studios. In an AirStream trailer across from the LA convention center we went eyes on with the new game.
Stronghold Crusader 2 is still early in development but it's already shaping up to have many of the core gameplay elements that made the original so popular. While the game will have a campaign, which will serve as both a tutorial and a series of challenges, the meat and potatoes of Stronghold is the game's skirmish mode. It's here that Firefly has put a lot of attention and added the ability to co-op with a friend.
[Update]: Skyward Collapse is now available on Steam for less than $5.
When we spoke with Arcen Games' Founder/CEO/Lead Programmer/Lead Designer Chris Park last month, he talked about two of their upcoming co-op titles: Skyward Collapse and Exodus of the Machine. Hard as it may be to believe, Skyward Collapse sees its release on Steam this very day, and it brings with it an eight-player cooperative mode. That's a lot of friends to help you create a civilization!
It seems like only yesterday that we brought word of Guns of Icarus Online's latest Kickstarter campaign, this time to expand the game beyond its current Skirmish/PVP mode into the realm of PvE and co-op. As of yesterday, Muse Games has hit their Kickstarter goal, which is good news for all of us. Meeting that goal means that the New York based developer can begin in earnest to develop and release the "Adventure Mode."
You can almost hear them... the rallying cries of Earth's last and only hope against the bug- I mean space alien threat. "..df... edf... EDF... EDF!" Yes the very co-op friendly, and different, Earth Defense Force 2025 is still headed to our shores some time this year and I know for a fact that some members on staff can't wait for it to be here already. While we don't have an exact release date just yet, an alert Co-Optimus reader (Martin) pointed us to a video where we can see the option to play the game in splitscreen mode.
Ah, Valentine's Day. A day of romance, love, chocolate, and other marketable things... Like zombies! UK developer Rebellion, well-known for their Sniper Elite franchise, has announced today the latest installment in the series, Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army. Look, we're just seeking love, and they're just seeking brains. No matter how you slice, we're all after a vital organ.
One of my favorite co-op games in the past few years was Criterion's Burnout Paradise. I'm really not into the whole racing sim genre, but that game was crazy and fun. Particularly when you played co-op. Unfortunately, Criterion's next couple of big release games, this time in the Need for Speed series, didn't offer up any of that same co-op fun. Criterion seems to be remedying that, to a degree, with the WiiU release of Need for Speed Most Wanted, which will include a two-player local co-op mode.
It came as little surprise when two new Lego games were announced this month for a 2013 release. Perhaps a little more surprising is that one of those games, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, is delving into some new IP for developer TT Games; one that has seen a lot of popularity due to recent movie releases and more. If there's one developer that could be trusted to create a light-hearted/fun romp through the world of Marvel, it's certainly them. Afterall, TT Games stepped things up with LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, so this game can only improve from there, right?
Let's look back at 2012 at some of the most popular stories we had here on Co-Optimus. Across the board it looks like several of the big games were equally popular in their stories, with the likes of Borderlands 2, Minecraft, Dark Souls, Halo 4 and Assassin's Creed 3 all making it into our top 10 stories.
Guns of Icarus was a web-based game that had an interesting concept and some pretty good co-op components, but it always felt a little lacking in some areas. There was definite promise in the underlying mechanics, though, and Muse Games decided to see if they could make some of that promise a reality by launching a Kickstarter campaign a little while back. The fruit of their efforts was recently released on Steam, though it is not a finished product. Currently, Guns of Icarus Online features team-based deathmatches, and that’s it.
Ninja Gaiden 3 for the 360 and PS3 was... a bit of a let down - both from a single-player and cooperative perspective. There is some hope for improvement in the upcoming Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for the Wii U, which seems to offer some improvements and additions over the original. One of the biggest additions is pictured above: Ayane as a playable character in both single-player campaign and the online co-op mode. A new list of features for the game has been revealed along with a release date - November 18, 2012, the Wii U's launch date.
Belgium based Larian Studios recently announced the latest entry in the Divinity series, Divinity: Original Sin, which is a "return to roots" for them as this Divinity will offer a gameplay experience similar to a tabletop RPG and, for you RPG old-timers, Ultima VII. What's more, the game will also allow you and a friend to play through the entire campaign cooperatively as you control the main protagonists, the condemned warrior and the mystical sorceress. However, up to four players can join in on the fun, so how does that work?
Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski, famous for his work on the Unreal Tournament and Gears of War series, has gone on record stating that many Japanese developers are leaving an opportunity on the table by skipping out on co-op and multiplayer modes in their games. While Bleszinski said he doesn't believe every game has to have a tacked on multiplayer experience, there's definitely room for it in titles because of the replayability it adds.
There will be no need to "breach" your 360 or PS3 in order to enjoy the 4 player online co-op mode in Starbreeze's upcoming revival of the PC classic Syndicate. In a move that's a bit different from how they (and many other publishers) are currently releasing games, publisher EA has stated that no online pass will be required in order to play the game with friends. This means that whether you buy the game used or new, you'll have access to all of the content that originally comes on the disc.
I have a secret. For many years now I've secretly desired a game like Hitman that allowed multiple players to plan and execute a kill. In fact, almost 3 years ago I thought about starting a column here on Co-Optimus with the premise of having the community contribute to co-op game design ideas, with the first column being about the very topic. Sadly, it looks like a true Hitman game with co-op isn't coming anytime soon - mostly due to the fact that Agent 47 as a character is a bit of loner.
News of a new Syndicate game had a few of us here on staff rather eager about the possibility of co-operating together in a cybernetically enhanced future, though there was some concern over how that would fare when it was revealed that the game would be a FPS instead of a tactical shooter. Nick got a few more details and information at the hands-on event he attended, and in a recent blog post and interview with Eurogamer magazine, the game's developers have revealed a bit more.
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