With all of those details hashed out, let’s talk turkey about these modes: specifically, how each one works, what to expect, and which one had those of us at the Community Event shouting across the room at each other.
As I mentioned before, the new Extraction mode continues the co-op survival legacy that we’ve seen in Left 4 Dead 2, Halo 3: ODST, and Gears of War 2. Players will progress through a series of four very cramped arenas within a map (with four maps total to choose from) in order to reach the extraction point. Each of the arenas is different so there are essentially a total of 16 unique arenas through which players can battle. Enemies will enter into these arenas in waves from a few fixed spawn points, with each wave being a little tougher than the previous one, and each arena being a little tougher than the previous one. Thus, by the end of a map, you’re facing off against some rather tough enemies that are coming at you with RPGs instead of AK-47s. Many of the arenas play like a third-person Smash TV where the same number and type of enemies come out of the same spawn point for that wave, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. While this retro-inspired mechanic lends itself to a solid co-op experience with players calling out where enemies are coming from, it is quite possible to learn the enemy spawn patterns for most of the arenas after a few playthroughs. This may lead to a quick loss of interest, as the survival mode becomes more of an exercise in knowing where to be and when than trying to just make it through to the next round. Compared to the other survivor-type modes that are out there, Extraction feels a bit more like a precursor than a descendant. Certainly there’s a fair amount of promise in this mode through potential future patches/updates and DLC, but only time will tell if this latest in the survival modes ranks up there with its predecessors.
Somebody wasn't watching his partner's back...
Players who are eager to dive into the other multiplayer modes that The 40th Day offers should start here. Not only is it incredible fun, it also serves as a nice tutorial (of sorts) for how to succeed in the other modes. Unlike other Team DMs, where one or two outstanding players on a team can make up for others who are apt to shoot their toes off, The 40th Day’s Co-Op Deathmatch really does place an emphasis on working with your partner to effectively pick off the opposing foes. The ability to instantly revive a fallen comrade and to replenish your ammo/grenade supply only work when you’re close to one another, so running off on your own in the hopes of being able to take down everyone else single-handedly will quickly get you killed and leave your partner feeling rather frustrated. Additionally, as the developers who were there with us were quick to point out, it’s easier to take someone down when both people are firing at them. Downing an enemy player nets you four points, killing him or her nets five, and if you’re able to kill both members of a partnership before the other respawns, you get a 10-point bonus - a feat that can be achieved solo, but is much easier to do when you have a partner’s help. The partnership at the end of the match with the highest number of points wins the round. Even though Co-Op Deathmatch falls into the realms of competitive co-op, it’s still quite a lot of fun and fully embraces the co-op aspects of its title.