Escapist Podcast: 177: What Happened To Local Co-op?

177: What Happened To Local Co-op?

The Escapist staff, joined by special guest and recent hire Trisha Hershberger, discuss what ever happened to local co-op and the upcoming premiere of Game of Thrones.

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Thanks for having me on guys!

"What happened to local co-op?" It became way too popular and nearly every multiplayer game released in the last year or two has had it shoe-horned in, typically without online co-op as an alternative. Sorry if I sound butt-hurt about it, but there's nothing worse than enjoying a game's premise but not being able to play it with your friends due to the developer's emphasis on local only co-op.

Sidenote: Trisha's here!! Missed you on Sourcefed! :D

Local Co-Op is alive and well on nintendo consoles.

Great Podcast guys. On the Mario games the other player does not just fly around shooting stars. You can grab and paralyze enemies and in new Mario games on Wii U you can create platforms to help get special items, stars, etc.

My favorite local co-ops were PSX Everquest Champions of Norrath, Return to Arms and Baldurs gates. Amazing games.

Also I love Trish!

Local co-op died because online paid subs benefitted 2 of the big 3 more and devs just practically stopped supporting PC local co-op and even LAN in most cases, now Nintendo and a small handful of devs still use local co-op but I can't see everyone supporting it again en masse.

Don't the Lego games have local co-op? I have Marvel Super Heroes (PC) and it has local co-op.

Maybe lack of local co-op is a conspiracy to sell more consoles and hardware.

Local co-op died (and should stay dead) because of the fact that even with large screen TVs means having to have both players functioning on the same screen... meaning that instead of the camera and thus the entire screen focused on a single player, you have to either split the screen (reducing the amount of useful information being given to each player) or they are both locked to having to operate on the same screen but since the camera is not locked onto a single players, you often are trapped within the boundaries of the screen edges or have to deal with silly micro bubbles or windows that provide nearly zero information once you are off screen.

Local Co-op for anything besides fighting games is a terrible concept, limiting information and detail to split a screen in two or four in local co-op is just wrong. Meanwhile the vast majority of online co-op assumes each player is going into the game with their own system and screens, meaning that they can give as much information and detail to each player in terms of gameplay that they would have playing it solo, leading to what could qualify as a better controlling experience.

This is not always the case but even the big Nintendo multiplayer games (IE: Anything Mario related) suffer the moment you have four people playing. Nothing ruined several of our parties faster than someone pulling out New Super Mario Wii trying to watch a bunch of 'friends' trying to co-operate to get through a level... it was terrible and while fun for a few moments, lead to people either getting so frustrated with four people on screen at once and quitting ('luckily' they were big parties so someone was willing to join in to take over for the pissed off person) or people actively trying to screw over their fellow players. Not exactly the best show there and this happens almost universally when ever the big Nintendo local co-op games (outside of Brawl) come out. It is enough to turn someone off from trying to play these games.

As for PC, not a lot of people have multiple controllers and honestly, if you have multiple people in an apartment or home that play a game, why not just LAN them together and play rather than trying to get two controllers plugged into the same machine and be restrained by cord lengths?

Local Co-op is a legacy concept and should be quietly retired because what ever small benefits it still has lingering is not honestly worth retaining.

I'd say the current consoles stopped supporting it. Up through the PS3/360 generation we'd have people over to play split screen.

But now? Quick, find me a game like COD or whatever that allows for four player split screen?

We're reduced to indie games like Towerfall which is incredibly fun but there's nothing waiting to replace it.

Didnt watch the podcast. Did they mention if they intend to bring back the Game of Thrones podcast?


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