The first thing you'll notice about the co-op mode is that A2M decided to forgo in-engine cutscenes and instead provide original art that moves like an animated graphic novel. Personally, I thought that this was much cooler, and wished the entire game was wrapped around this style. The second thing you'll notice is that the voice actor responsible for Henry Jones, Sr. does a wonderful job recreating Sean Connery's famous accent and overbite. Sadly, the recorded grunts for Henry Sr. are way, way overused, and by the end of the first co-op level (in which you and your co-op partner take turns climbing each side of a waterfall, activating switches for each other along the way), you might just mute the sound. Seriously: it's bad enough when the grunt sounds like Sean Connery on the toilet after a barbecue...but to hear that every time Player 2 chins up to a ledge is ridiculous.
In a nutshell, the co-op mode here is a series of extended mini-games and platforming; co-op at its most basic and simple gameplay. The most in-depth level consists of one player driving a tank while the other utilizes its turret to shoot down an escaping cargo plane. Even then, the tank is limited to a path that is so linear it makes NASCAR's oval tracks look like open world playgrounds. Perhaps the most fun my wife and I had as Indy and Henry were the sequences that locked us into cover positions behind crates and pitted us against waves of enemies, Time Crisis style. Using the Wiimote to aim is natural, but unfortunately too exact: aiming isn't so much a problem until you're aiming at a figure that is literally 1" tall on a 43" screen.
The environments are stylish and well-conceived.
I distinctly remember David Jaffe (God of War director and co-founder of Eat Sleep Play) tweeting about his excitement for all things Indiana Jones, and especially for this game. As a fan myself, I really had hoped to be surprised, but my expectations started low; I wonder if Mr. Jaffe was treated to the experience that he had hoped for. Honestly: A2M has created a good atmosphere that blends classic Indy with a new storyline and soundtrack...but I'm sorry to say that while we appreciate their inclusion of co-op, this particular game is best served as a rental.
I recommend renting Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings if only for the rich presentation and decent gameplay. Don't get too stoked for the local-only co-op, though...at best, it's a simple time-killer for you and your spouse or sibling.
The Co-Op Experience: Players work through unique challenges in a separate storyline in co-op. One player plays as Indy while another plays as a never before seen character!
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.