Co-op games could learn a thing or two from Saints Row’s approach
Cooperative gameplay is a beloved part of many titles. Whether it’s switching controllers while playing classic Super Mario titles or challenge a Halo campaign with friends, co-op is deeply embedded in gaming culture. Couch co-op has declined over the years, but online gaming has risen to replace it. Some games, like It takes twoare entirely built around the concept and pushing it in exciting new directions.
However, while co-op is a great feature, there are varying degrees of co-op quality. Drop-in co-op from retro games is becoming rare, and loading into a lobby just to partake in a single-player experience with two to four people can be a hassle. It becomes even more troublesome when the limits of a game’s cooperation are found and players have to go out and back in order to continue playing together. Amid many cooperative experiences, Volition’s Saints Row The franchise has proven particularly impressive in the way it runs its co-op.
How Saints Row takes co-op to the next level
From his very first game, Saints Row separated from Grand Theft Auto through multiplayer. Initially, it only used a primitive form supporting special missions, but Saints Row 2 and beyond allowed for full co-op campaigns. That’s impressive on its own, and the refinement work is even more so. In addition to numerous mini-games and sub-modes that support multiplayer, some missions have been given unique multiplayer forms. Saints Row 2 may have the best examples of this, with the “Visiting Hours” hospital rescue mission requiring players to split up and complete two different missions that will result in a clean getaway.
Saints Row 1The non-linear story of Can’t Be Experienced with a partner, but later games do their best to catch up with that. Players are not tethered to each other in the open world, although they teleport when engaging in a mission or mini-game. The commitment to ensure the completeness Saints Row 4 The campaign, with the exception of its prologue, is co-op playable and is excellent given the game’s varying settings. from single player to multiplayer mode. This includes mission completion, upgrades, and collectibles. The next Saints Row will even allow players to skip later single-player missions they’ve experienced in multiplayer.
Other co-op games need to catch up to Saints Row
It’s no exaggeration to say that Saints Row supports some of the best campaign co-op in modern video games. Unfortunately, even if it means Saints Row fans can regularly find multiplayer experiences that push the boundaries other players aren’t so lucky. Co-op still isn’t a ubiquitous mechanic, and the ability to instantly drop in and out is typically reserved for offline play. Nintendo got better thanks to the Switch port of Super Mario 3D Worldbut most of its multiplayer extras still only use offline co-op.
Allowing progress to carry over and allowing multiplayer to continue uninterrupted are other common issues. dark souls and Ring of Elden force players to return to their home world after defeating a boss, and the boss is only considered defeated by the host. Ring of Elden allows players to explore its open world together without Torrenting, but will eventually set up a wall of fog to keep sessions locked in certain areas. These limitations are more aggravating when considering that item drops are cast per player, so a partner can make significant progress in building their character without clearing game content. More games should look at what Saints Row did with its co-op multiplayer, but until then at least co-op fans have this series to meet their co-op needs.
Saints Row out August 23, 2022 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
MORE: 8 story-driven games you can play co-op
FromSoftware’s Ninja Blade Removed From Steam
About the Author