Co-Optimus - Review - The Chaos Engine Co-Op Review

The Chaos Engine

  • Online Co-Op: 2 Players
  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign

The Chaos Engine Co-Op Review - Page 2

Co-op in The Chaos Engine allows two players to join forces as they shoot everything in their paths. Even when playing solo there's a computer-controlled character along for the ride. As for the experience itself, there's the obvious advantage of having double the firepower with multiple characters on the screen. Everything else, though, almost points to a more competitive direction rather than a teamwork-based one. For example, loot is divided between players at the end of the level based on how well they performed. This includes everything from enemies killed to lives lost and coins collected. Part of working together is carrying your half of the load, of course, but in our experience co-op frequently involves players taking on certain roles, such as snipers and medics and head-first juggernauts, even when those classes don't exist. Why should the one who creates a diversion while the other grabs the loot not receive a fair take? In practice this doesn't happen as often as you might think, as The Chaos Engine is mostly a shoot-and-don't-die affair. But there was still a slight air of competition as we worked through each level.

The enhancements in The Chaos Engine are twofold. You can play with the original graphics, which still look pretty sweet in our opinion, or switch on a smoother, shinier version. You can also opt for classic 8-way controls or toggle 16-directional movement, giving you a lot more freedom to shoot where you want to shoot. This works especially well with gamepads that have analog sticks, which The Chaos Engine supports out of the box. Both enhancements can be turned off and on at any time, so feel free to experiment and see just how nostalgic you really are.

The restoration version of The Chaos Engine carefully preserves the original game, going to great lengths to polish things up without disturbing the original masterpiece. It's not a remake, it's not a reboot, it's quite simply the original game made a little more friendly for modern players. While this will get fans of the first game excited and have retro purists turning their ears in attention, your average gamer runs the risk not just not "getting" The Chaos Engine. Despite the enhancements, it still feels like a 20 year old game.

At the end of the day, whether or not you fall for The Chaos Engine depends on one thing: how much you like retro games. We're talking real retro games, not a modern indie game created with pixel art and a catchy chip tune soundtrack. If you don't expect cutscenes and mini-games and power-ups around every corner, your head's in the right place for The Chaos Engine. The co-op experience is simple but effective, allowing you and a friend to settle in for a good old fashioned romp through a dinosaur and robot infested merry olde alternate England.


Co-Op Score

The Co-Op Experience: Battle through four unique worlds with another friend locally or online

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.