According to an interview with our friends at Game Informer, the co-op gurus down at Turtle Rock Studios have declared that four players is the ideal co-op experience. Hence why Evolve teams four human controlled hunters up against a death-breathing monstrosity. These people were the original progenitors of Left 4 Dead, which is pretty much up there in the pantheon of must-have co-op experiences, so they probably know a thing or two, right?
When the folks at Turtle Rock pitched their game to Valve, they were interested but concerned that four people were insufficient. As the creative director of Evolve Chris Ashton puts it,
"One of the first things that the Valve guys did when they started playing Left 4 Dead and they really enjoyed it, they were like, ‘This is great, but we could make it work for five guys or six guys,’ They changed the code on their side and they tried it, and eventually they came back to four,"
Knowing where your homies are and how they are doing is paramount in co-op situations, and Mr Ashton notes the difficulties of keeping tabs on more than three other dudes.
What happens is there’s a weird thing in that most people I think are able to track three friends. I can know that you’re over here and you’re in front of me and you’re to my left. And I can keep that in my mind, and I can keep in my mind that you have 50 health and you have 80 health, and I can keep track of that and fight another team. But if it’s four guys, it feels like I’m always losing one. I always don’t know where someone is, I don’t know where somebody’s health is – keeping track of four other friends is too much.
How many of you out there truck in gaming circles with more than three friends? As someone who plays games with a slew of different people, I definitely see where they are coming from. That's not to say there is no place for the 40 person raids of MMO lore, merely that games of this nature tend to work better, in my experience, with a maximum of four folks teaming up to take on greater challenges.
What do you think?