It's been a hectic week for gaming. Truthfully, the last six weeks have been filled with mayhem. My second child, Player Four, began the big game of life back in January. Since then, finding time to play more frivolous games has become a daily struggle for us. "Struggle" being a relative term. It's not like we're freedom fighters. We're just trying to get our game on without getting baby poo on our controllers. Is that too much to ask? According to Player Three, it is.
In my recent Syndicate review I mentioned a great scenario in which three of us managed to take on a particularly tough level and come out victorious. The actual scenario turned out to be one of the final levels of the co-op campaign. The most amazing thing about our victory was that my two partners, Mike and Andrew, were only level 1 or 2 characters with minimal upgrades as they had just gotten the game. While my level 14 or 15 was nothing to scoff it, it still showcases how balanced Syndicate's co-op can be even with an unbalanced team.
Writing for Co-Optimus has provided some unique co-op gaming opportunities for me. I now routinely play games that I would have waited for sales on or simply never picked up at all. A good example is Renegade Ops, an Xbox Live Arcade game that hadn’t been on my radar until it was chosen for our October Xbox Live Co-Op Night.
Playing games for work purposes can be a different experience than playing them for fun. This week I recount an experience I had when helping out a professional FAQ writer.
Locke and I decided to play some Moon Diver for our This Week in Co-Op session together. We’d both picked it up on a sale a couple weeks ago, intrigued by its artstyle and over-the-top shenanigans.
In the midst of the Great Gaming Avalanche of 2011, two of Co-Optimus’s intrepid staff members took some time out of their ridiculously busy schedules to blast through Gears of War 3’s Beast Mode. It was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it!
This Week in Co-Op makes its return as Nick and Jason take to the island of Banoi only to discover it's become over run with the undead. Like any good hollywood movie, what follows is an account of their epic adventure through Dead Island.
Okay, so maybe Justin Korthof isn’t really a robot, but he is the Community Manager for Robot Entertainment (currently promoting upcoming Orcs Must Die!), and I mean, c’mon, Gears - Robot? How could I not go there? All mechanical devices aside, Justin and I had a nice laid-back co-op session as we played the first few campaign missions of the first Gears of War. With Gears 3 fast approaching, he had the urge to go back and replay the first two games. As a father and the community manager of a game very close to launch, he hasn’t had much gaming time, so our TWIC All-Stars appointment fit the bill very neatly.
This week we kick off a brand new batch of This Week in Co-Op articles. Over the next two months we’re going to be bringing you a unique spin on our weekly feature, the Co-Opticrew are playing with various members of the gaming industry including developers, PR, journalists and podcasters.
Recently, Co-Optimus staffers were given an assignment: play online co-op with random strangers. The idea was that it's good to sometimes get out of our comfort zone. For me, I am most at home when I am literally at home, playing couch co-op with one of my kids. I only rarely venture online, and when I do, it is with friends I have met through Co-Optimus, or even folks I know in real life. Heading into the wilds of Xbox Live was a daunting proposal for me.
So...as you know, we - the staff - been tasked by Nick to hop online in any co-op game to play with random people in public matches. The process is as simple as it sounds, thanks to plenty of games with matchmaking options. Since the news of Battlefield 3’s two-player co-op was still fresh, I decided to give the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Onslaught mode another spin.
Nope, I’m not referring to Andrew’s adorable dogs, sadly. I continue our TWIC play-with-randoms assignment series and take it into the MMO waters. We joke about the hell of public lobbies and matchmaking over XBL and Steam and whatnot (though it sounds like everyone so far on this assignment has had either positive or apathetic experiences - no outright negative ones, interestingly enough), but MMOs have their own special flavor of this hell known as Pick-Up Groups (or PUGs, for short). PUGs are most commonly used for dungeon groups but can be used for more difficult quests or anything that requires a group of people. A lot of MMO players actually play on their own a lot of the time, so they’ll need to hook up with strangers to complete the more difficult stuff.
I don’t know you. I don’t want to be your friend. I am your silent co-op partner.
Inside we are laughing
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