Sunday, December 20, 2020

2021 PC Coop Games

Welcome the definitive listing of all the cooperative oriented PC video games for 2020!
This list will be continuously updated throughout the year.

Coop list for a different year 

The games on this list, must meet the following criteria:
  • PvE - Player vs Environment
  • Online, split screens limited
  • Available/announced for PC
  • Involve 2 or more human players
  • Players must work along a progressive storyline, campaign, or various goals
  • Generic RTS Skirmishes and Team based game types like CTF and Deathmatch are not included
  • No MMOs (game must have a conclusion or set goal)
  • Greenlight & Early Access games are generally not listed unless intent for release is stated
  • I'll be subjective with Survival/Horde modes as the genera has matured a bit. However, most are slapped-on after thoughts and not list worthy.

Shooter

Evil Dead: The Game - 4 player
World War Z developer creates a L4D clone with a back of an existing movie license. 
 
Rainbow Six Quarantine - 3 player
Squad based tactical, set in the future.  Battle monster virus.
 
Second Extinction - 3 player
Shooting dinosaurs are back in style.  This game seems to fill the Turok itch.
 
Warhammer 40000 - Darktide - 4 player
Vermitide in the future, A L4D formula with Space Marines [Imperial Guard actually].
 
Back4Blood - 4 player - June
From the developers of Left4Dead sans Valve payrole.  More zombies, Very much a spiritual successor.
 
Grounded - 4 player
Early Access - Survival genera
What if honey I shrunk the kids was made into a survival video game?  Here you go! 

RPG

Outriders - 3 player
aRPG.  A Mass effect meets Diablo game.  
 
Baldur's Gate 3- 4 player
Divinity creators finally get their chance at the grand daddy of coop RPGs.  Not much is expected to change, and that should be a good thing.
 
Blightbound - 3 Player
Diablo clone.

Strategy

Barotrauma - 16 player
Early Access
FTL in a coop chaos submarine.  Thought we just had this with We Need to go Deeper.  Though FTL space ship v submarine.  Basically same thing anyways. 

DwarfHeim -3 player
An RTS with Dwarfs. Mix and match your classes and abilities for the best outcome against hoards of bad guys invading your realm.
 
Phasmophobia - 4 player 
Early access.
A slow and methodical psychological horror about ghost hunting.

Action

It Takes Two - 2 Player - March
Just in time for  couples stuck in quarantine.  You play married couple on the rocks that have been turned into dolls and go on a platforming- puzzling adventure to save themselves.
 
Gothem Knights - 2 player
The next entry to the 3rd person action Batman series.  Only this time sans Batman.  This open up gameplay to explore coop opportunities on equal ground as you play a series of secondary characters.
 
Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga - 2 player
A retelling of all the Star Wars movies, Lego style.
 
Conan: Chop Chop - 4 player
Cartoony hack n slasher in the Conan universe.
 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

2020 PC Coop Games

Welcome the definitive listing of all the cooperative oriented PC video games for 2020!
This list will be continuously updated throughout the year.

Coop list for a different year 

The games on this list, must meet the following criteria:

  • PvE - Player vs Environment
  • Online, split screens limited
  • Available/announced for PC
  • Involve 2 or more human players
  • Players must work along a progressive storyline, campaign, or various goals
  • Generic RTS Skirmishes and Team based game types like CTF and Deathmatch are not included
  • No MMOs (game must have a conclusion or set goal)
  • Greenlight & Early Access games are generally not listed unless intent for release is stated
  • I'll be subjective with Survival/Horde modes as the genera has matured a bit. However, most are slapped-on after thoughts and not list worthy.

Shooter

Deep Rock Galactic - 4 player 
Metacritic - 85 ]
Space dwarves mining for loot in this L4D like game where you run and gun to survive hordes of underground nasties. 
 
Resident Evil Resistance  - 4 player
[ Metacritic - 64 ] 
L4D clone in the Resident Evil Universe.
 
Serious Sam 4 - 4 player
[ Metacritic - 64 ]
Over the top shooter, with 100,000 simultaneous things to shoot at.


RPG

Wasteland 3 - 2 player
Metacritic - 85 ]
Taking a hint from how Divinity handles coop, Wastelands hopes for similar success.
 
Godfall - 4 player
[ Metacritic - 61 ]
Fantasy 3rd person aRPG by Boarderland creators - Gearbox.
 
Zombie Army 4: Dead War - 4 player
[ Metacritic - 74 ] 
Spinoff from Sniper Elite, ZA4 gives a massive amount of killing methods to remove the WWII zombie hoards.

Darksiders Genesis - 2 player
Metacritic - 77 ]
An aRPG, more of a Tomb Raider and Guardian of Light vibe then Diablo.
 
Minecraft Dungeons - 4 player
[ Metacritic - 74 ] 
aRPG with Mincraft graphics.  More of a scaled down aRPG, then anything else to do with Minecraft.  

Strategy

Iron Harvest - 2 player
Metacritic - 75 ]
A classic steampunk take at WWI.   Coop added post launch allows campaign contoll of any character on the field, which could get messy.  Looks like old school RTS.

Year of Rain - 2 player
We have not seen an RTS revolve around 2 players since C&C Red Alert 2.  This game aims to  fill those longing for Warcraft like gameplay. Disappointedly unfinished.

Wargroove: Double Trouble - 4 player 
Metacritic - 82 ]
Compared to Advanced Wars, turn based tactics. Includes campaign coop via a free DLC.
 
The Magic Circle - 4 player
Metacritic - 79 ] 
Surveillance-focused immersive horror. Created by Bioshock veterans, this game will ride the "Things" vibe.

Untitled Goose Game - 2 player
Metacritic - 79 ]
Puzzler of sorts, added coop post release.  Work together to drive people quackers. 

Simulator

Surgeon Simulator 2 - 2 player 
[ Metacritic - 70 ] 
Bumbling around with a friend over surgery.  What could go wrong?

Action

Darksburg - 4 player 
[ Metacritic - 64 ] 
From the makers of surprise successful Northgard.   Top down zombie killer seems like an odd follow-up  Pick a class, and survive against the odds.
 
Marvel's Avengers - 4 player
[ Metacritic - 68 ] 
Had the potential to bring back the great Legend series, but instead delivered a high end mobile like souless cash grab.

Struggling - 2 player
[ Metacritic - 65 ] 
2 arms, one body, 2 controllers.  This game will live up to its name. 

Wildfire - 2 player
Metacritic - 79 ]
 8-bit style platformer involving fireballs.  Lots and lots of fire. 
  
Haven - 2 player
Metacritic - 77 ]
 Make sure your gaming with someone you're close to.  A whole lot of hand holding, in this romantic combat action adventure. 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

2019 PC Coop Games

Welcome the definitive listing of all the cooperative oriented PC video games for 2019!
This list will be continuously updated throughout the year.

Coop list for a different year 

The games on this list, must meet the following criteria:

  • PvE - Player vs Environment
  • Online, split screens limited
  • Available/announced for PC
  • Involve 2 or more human players
  • Players must work along a progressive storyline, campaign, or various goals
  • Generic RTS Skirmishes and Team based game types like CTF and Deathmatch are not included
  • No MMOs (game must have a conclusion or set goal)
  • Greenlight & Early Access games are generally not listed unless intent for release is stated
  • I'll be subjective with Survival/Horde modes as the genera has matured a bit. However, most are slapped-on after thoughts and not list worthy.
Shooter

World War Z - 4 player
Metacritic - 72 ]
L4D gameplay with more hordes, set in multi locations around the world. 

Borderlands 3 - 4 player
Metacritic - 85 ]
Praised for being more of the same.  On the plus side, it also means not embracing the micro-transaction, loot box chasing, markets of recent dissent.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - 4 player
Metacritic - 73 ]
 The king of the great Mech games has a release date. Its worst enemy is its hype and legacy.   Coop missions, and a committed developer that has trust issues with its community. 

Gears of War 5
Metacritic - 82 ]
Jimmy, do you like gladiator movies? Burly people folk with bro-emotions shoot bug alien things.multi gameplay options.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood - 2 player
Metacritic - 70 ]
Play as the daughters of the previous protagonist.

Remnant: From the Ashes - 4 player
Metacritic - 78 ]
Third-person co-op “survival-action” shooter.  Compared a bit to Warframe.

Rico - 4 player
Metacritic - 56 ]
Payday like gameplay to a buddy cop 80s movie.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint - 4 player 
Metacritic - 57 ]
Sequel to GR: Wildlands

RPG

Ashen
Metacritic - 82 ]
Dark souls genera with a more minimal style..

Dauntless - 4 player 

Metacritic - 79 ]
action RPG, Compatible to Monster Hunter, with a difficulty spike like Dark Souls.  Its free to play, so this could translate to grind fest.

Strategy

AI War 2
Metacritic - 81 ]
Millions of bits floating around the screen with the intent to remove humanity. AI War is the bread and butter of this indie dev.  Revisiting that which worked well.

Conan Unconquered - 2 player
Metacritic - 62 ]
 This RTS may lean more toward wave of enemies, ideal for the turtleing gamer.  From makers of Grey Goo and Empires of War.

Men Of War: Assault Squad 2 – Cold War
Metacritic - 41 ]
Ultra granular war sim takes on the cold war US v Soviet battlefield.

We were here Together - 2 player
Metacritic - 78 ]
Sharing clues and solving puzzles. Adventuring escape room theme, 3rd in series.

Simulator

Team Sonic Racing
Metacritic - 73 ]
In spirit to the Sonic Transformation Racing game, this update dumps the Transforming, and adds coop "collaborative" racing.

The Dark Pictures - Men of Medan
Metacritic - 76 ]
A bit more of a interactive horror movie, choose your own adventure then actual game.  If you wanted a coop Telltale game, this will be your best bet. 

Action

The Blackout Club - 4 player
Metacritic - 64 ]
The the BioShock 2 creative director.  Inspired by modern teen horror movies.  Procedural-generated survival Horror, part stealth, part shooter.

Hot Lava - 2 player
Mirrors edge like 1st person parkor gameplay, based on the child game where you can not touch the floor.  From developers of Don't Starve.

Astroneer - 2 player
Metacritic - 71 ]
Planet hopping survival game, focused on exploration, and lighter on the survival.

We Need to Go Deeper - 4 player
This game likely set records for longest in early release. Rougelike, Verne-inspired undersea universe. You and your crew must embark on many voyages into a mysterious undersea trench known as The Living Infinite.

Xenoraptor - fast action top down shooter - 8 player 
Take control of a cyberdragon and annihilate swarms of rocket propelled chainsaws. Twitchy seizure  shooter with lots of flashy nonsense.

Contra: Rogue Corps - 4 player 
Metacritic - 40 ]

2019 Summary

 8 Shooters avg 72.  A 4 point decrease.

4 Strategies avg, avg 66.
2 RPGs, avg 85.
.
The Winners



MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
We've waited a long time for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, glad they took their time.


Notables

Play'n it safe
Titles Borderlands 3, Gears of War 5 churn out the same as before, reviews and sales indicate the love for more of the same.  Innovation fails to have big payoff.  There were some attempts  to do something different, and credit is due to them:  Blackout Club, We were here Together, Dark Pictures were attempts that had little payoff in the end.


Dark Soul clones
Both RPG coops were based on Dark Souls inspirations.

The Losers

Brand killers
Certain elements just don't belong in certain titles, see the following...

Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Brand don't need coop to kill a Nazi.
 
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
 The GR series should be about Tactical and not grind an loot.  Your not a ghost, doing recon, you're one of many in FarCry. The original this was based on, GR: Wastelands, was not a hit because this doesn't work.  Should not have been tried again as its bad for the brand.
 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Who owns Who? PC Gaming Companies

The purpose of these info-graphics are to simplify the answer to that question for PC gamers - Who owns what?  For people that say they are going to boycott all EA games, that's going to include Pop Cap's Bejeweled, and Maxis The Sims games.  If you are boycotting Call of Duty, maybe you should lay off on the Starcraft and World or Warcraft.  Know where your money goes.

Here's an update to the 2013 infographic.  With the American economy bouncing back, as US companies reclaim some of its brand, though many scars were left behind.  Consolidation and belt tightning was a key part of the recovery.  China publisher Tencent puts their prints on many brand as a distributor.  French company Vivendi looses their grip on much of the industry.

FAQ:

















  • PC developers only listed, so many developers will be missing (such as Sony devs).
  • Must have developed a PC game in the last 5 years, some developers that made PC games, have converted to console/mobile market only.
  • Graphic based on ownership only, not publishing deals.
  • If parent company is in the name, it is not displayed, such as EA Sports, EA Canada, etc.
  • Services are selective, such as Pogo.
  • Display the current ownership between developers and their parent companies.  This does not cover the history, past buyouts, mergers, or closures.
  • Individual companies are not listed.
  • Flag represents the parent companies country.
infographic of major video game holders.  page 1 of 2


infographic of major video game holders.  page 2 of 2


  • Valve buys out Campo Santo - 2018
  • Bigben Interactive buys Cyanide Studio
  • Gas Powered Games will shutdown
  • Nordisk Film buys Avalanche
  • Microsoft buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Compulsion Games, and opens The Initiative. Also buys Obsidian, inXile, Double Fine
  • Paradox acquires Harebrained Schemes
  • Sumo Digital buys The Chinese Room & CCP Newcastle
  • THQ Nordic buys Bugbear, Warhorse, and Coffee Stain Studios.
  • Starbreeze (sweden) owns  Overkill and 90% Dhruva
  • Vivendi no longer has shares in Ubisoft 
  • Supernova Capital bought Flying Wild Hog
  • Leyou buy Splash Damage 
  • Psyonix bought by Epic 
  • Sega buys Two Point Studio 
  • THQ Nordic buys Piranha Bytes  
  • T2 starts up Private Division 
  •  Human Head shutdown, reforms as Roundhouse Studios under
    Bethesda 
  • 2K spins up Cloud Chamber 
  • Paradox acquires Triumph Studios
  • Sony buys 1.4% of Epic 
  • Microsoft buys ZeniMax 
  • Perfect World owns Echtra Games
  • Devolver Digital buys Croteam
  • Take-2 buys Slightly Mad
  • EA buys CodeMasters
  • Tencent buys Leyeu

Saturday, March 10, 2018

2018 PC Coop Games

Welcome the definitive listing of all the cooperative oriented PC video games for 2018!
This list will be continuously updated throughout the year.

Coop list for a different year 

The games on this list, must meet the following criteria:

  • PvE - Player vs Environment
  • Online, split screens limited
  • Available/announced for PC
  • Involve 2 or more human players
  • Players must work along a progressive storyline, campaign, or various goals
  • Generic RTS Skirmishes and Team based game types like CTF and Deathmatch are not included
  • No MMOs (game must have a conclusion or set goal)
  • Greenlight & Early Access games are generally not listed unless intent for release is stated
  • I'll be subjective with Survival/Horde modes as the genera has matured a bit. However, most are slapped-on after thoughts and not list worthy.
Shooter

State of Decay 2  - survival - 4 player
Metacritic - 69 ]
Open world, Survival RPG people v zombies.  Coop player in campaign is fairly limited to actions of primary player, more of a helping hand at most.

Far Cry 5 - 2 player
Metacritic - 79 ]
Entire campaign will be coop.

Vermintide 2 - 4 player
Metacritic - 82 ]
L4D in the Warhammer universe.  This time, its bigger, more open, more variation, and adds chaos along with the rats.

Strange Brigade  - 4 player
Metacritic - 76 ]
1930s pulp adventures shooting monsters.  A bit of Dead Island in a Indiana Jones inspired universe.  Defeat waves of baddies, to get to the boss dude.

OverKill's The Walking Dead - 4 player
Metacritic - 51 ]
Makers of Payday hit pay-dirt with this upcoming licensed shooter with the same winning formula of payday gameplay.  Expect people to be shoot'n at ya, while dodg'n them zombies.

Earthfall - 4 player
Metacritic - 61 ]
L4D clone, with Aliens!


RPG

Pit People - tactical  aRPG - 2 player
Metacritic- 78 ]
"Battle in turn-based hexy combat, finding loot, and generally questing".  Has a cartoon humor approach with Castle Crashers art style because it is from the same studio.

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr -aRPG
Metacritic - 67 ]
Starcraft mimics Warhammer, so in fair trade, Warhammer will mimic Diablo.  Made by the studio that did the Helsing series.  This game exists because Warhammer didn't have an aRPG yet.

Strategy
  
We were here Too - Puzzle 
Metacritic - 71 ]
Communication-based, cooperative puzzle adventure.  A much better showing then its predecessor.

HackTag - 2  player
Metacritic - 73 ]
Monaco type gameplay, with heavy emphasis on stealth. One person hacks, while the other is in the field.

Catastronauts - 4 player
Metacritic - 78 ]
One part FTL, one part Overcooked.  Find out just how badly you coordinate under pressure.

Call to Arms - RTS 
[ SteamDB - 71 ]
From the makers of Men at War, comes a modern warfare take to their micromanager styled RTS.  Has RTS/1st person swap option.

Simulator

Stardew Valley - farming simulator - 4 player
Metacritic - 89 ]
I keep saying when I retire from tech, I'll take up gardening.  This isn't what I meant.  I dont get it, but the smash hit gets coop over a year later.

No Man's Sky - 2 player
Metacritic - 61 ]
Same game, getting a new coop updated tacked onto it.

Bus Simulator 18 - 4 player
Metacritic - 67 ]
Drive your route and drive some more. Drive slowly..

Overcooked 2 - 4 player
Metacritic - 80 ]
Very similar to the original, with added online coop.  The game revolved simple cooking, cleaning around chaotic environments and poor team decision making.


Action

Sea of Thieves - 
Metacritic - 67 ]
Not quite like piloting a starship, here you work together to sail a ship and find piratey treasures n stuff.  A Thieving pirates life coop for all.  Taps on all the highlights of piracy  (treasure hunt, ship battles, romance)  in one nice little package.

God's Trigger - 2 player
Metacritic - 79 ]
Isometric, feel's a bit like Hotline Miami.  Story teams up an angel and demon (Judy) to defeat the 4 horsemen.

A Way Out - 2 player
Metacritic - 80 ]
From the makers of Brothers, expect a rich story based on an escape with creative coop components.  one license will yield a copy for your coop pal.

Metal Gear Survive
Metacritic - 56 ] 
Zombie survival.  Takes place in an alternative MG universe.

2018 Summary

6 Shooters avg 76.  A 2 point increase, the lack of lasing every game would help bump up the avg.
4 Strategies avg
2 RPGs, avg 73. Nose diving 11 points.
.
The Winners

Vermintide 2
What dark sorcery is this?  Not only a L4D inspired game, but a Warhammer licensed game winning the coop annual?  ITs no mistake at all, instead we get a second chance to revisit the Warhammer coop fantasy world and learn from the mistakes from the first.  What you get is a brilliant coop experience without it feeling like just another L4D clone.


Notables

Farcry 5
The Farcry series continues to include coop into the campaign while managing to not compromise the single player experience.

Coop later is now
Games that said they would eventually add coop, actually did. Stardew, No Man, and God's Trigger all managed to expand on gameplay withut it being a tacked on novelty.


L4D inspired coop
See this year's winner and loser.


The Losers

RPGs 
RPGs had a dismal turnout for 2018.  Strange given the success of Divinitylast year and disinterest in MMOs.

OverKill's The Walking Dead  
It probably didn't help that the Walking Dead franchise has run its course. Burnt out.  Finished.  As a companyTelltale died on the license model, now so might Overkill.  Yet here it is, a L4D clone based on TWD; without the tight coding from Valve, instead you get the micro slop fix-it-later Payday developer nose diving with the license it adopted.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 PC Coop Games

Welcome the definitive listing of all the cooperative oriented PC video games for 2017!
This list will be continuously updated throughout the year.

Coop list for a different year 

The games on this list, must meet the following criteria:

  • PvE - Player vs Environment
  • Online, no split screens
  • Available/announced for PC
  • Involve 2 or more human players
  • Players must work along a progressive storyline, campaign, or various goals
  • Generic RTS Skirmishes and Team based game types like CTF and Deathmatch are not included
  • No MMOs (game must have a conclusion or set goal)
  • Greenlight & Early Access games are generally not listed unless intent for release is stated
  • I'll be subjective with Survival/Horde modes as the genera has matured a bit. However, most are slapped-on after thoughts and not list worthy.

Shooter


Ghost Recon: Wildlands 4 player
Metacritic - 69 ]
Tom Clacy series returns with its signature open world tactical shooter; focusing on the drug war in modern day Bolivia. i.e. 'Merca vs drug cartels.

Dead Rising 4 - 4 player
Metacritic - 74 ]
Saints row goofiness with focus on zombies. Campaign mode is not coop.

Call of Duty: WWII - 4 player
Metacritic - 73 ]
Nazi Zombie make their return with horde/campaign elements; but the main campaign coop was dropped this time.

Destiny 2 - 3-6 player
Metacritic - 83 ]
Story, explorations, and mini object oriented missions sum up a nice mix of coop.  It does force to single play some before "unlocking" coop.


Fortnite: Save the World - Survival - 4 player
Video ]
Scavenge and craft weapons and traps by day, fight hordes and specials by night.  Artwork similar to Team Fortress 2.  From Epic Games.


RPG
Divinity: Origin Sin 2 - RPG - 4 player
Metacritic - 93 ]
Original Sin 1 won my coop award a few years back for finally delivering the coop isometric experience we wanted since Baulders Gate.  High expectations this time around, as with the costs of success.

The Escapists 2 - 4 player
Metacritic - 75 ]
8-bit prison break.

Strategy

We were Here - puzzle
[ SteamDB - 89 ]
Cashing in on the 'escape room' rage; this is an e version of clue collection and note comparison

Mass Effect Andromeda4 player
Metacritic - 72 ]
Horde mode

Simulator


Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Metacritic - 78 ]
Originally designed for VR, this now works for all platforms.  This is a  licensed version of the well loved Starship bridge sim.  A 2018 expansion adds TNG ship and crew to gameplay.  Exp also increased from 2 coop to 4 coop modes.


Action

Nine Parchments -  4 player
Metacritic - 68 ]
From thew makers of Trine; This is a Magicka clone without the keyboard mashing. More weight on aRPG with the wizard ’em up.

Styx: Shards of Darkness - 2 player
Metacritic - 72 ]
Stealth based coop with a twist; your a goblin assassin.


Guns of Icarus: Alliance -
Metacritic - 64 ]
Not to be confused with it Online namesake; this is a standalone of the same concept.  Work together to pilot and fight within a flying steampunk war-airship thing.

Hive Jump - 4 player
Run and Gun side scrolling shooter

Dungeon Defenders 2 - Tower Defense w/RPG - 4 player 2017
This tower defense/rpg game goes Free-to-play, adding micro-transactions and PvP.  The PvP will remain separate from the PvE coop.

Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour - 4/12 player
Metacritic - 76 ]
Top down shooter in the world of Serious Sam. Player limit dependent on story & horde mode.

2017 Summary

Due to the numinous games produced, the list is now a bit more scaled down;  listing the big names, personal interests, and sleepers.

3 Shooters avg 76.  A 2 point increase, the lack of lasing every game would help bump up the avg.
2 RPG, avg 84.

The Winners

Divinity Original Sin 2
This game easily takes the top.  The isometric coop is alive and well and continues to push the genera without selling out.  The effort to keep all involved in the plot, conversation while elemating the grind of MMOsThe sequal add 4 players, instead of just 2.



Notables

Quality over Quantity
The lack of games listed, means portentially more quality, while ignoring all the generic noise that is left by all the clones.

The Losers

Dugeon Defenders 2
Why in 2017 a developer would think a F2P micro transactional shit storm would fly well.  It doesn't.  If there was a good game in there, no body would know. In this case, the tree falls and made no noise.

Fortnite
Just another base building horde game. Epic reinvents the game as a PvP survival, making it one of the most successful esport games to date.  This leaves coop out in the cold.