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March Coop Madness

February 7th, 2005 · No Comments · Gaming, Xbox

March is going to be a good month for fans of cooperative play on Xbox Live. There are three titles schedule to come out which include cooperative play on Xbox Live.

  • Doom 3

    Doom 3 for Xbox will support a two player cooperative mode on Xbox Live. I think offering a two player coop campaign mode is really smart. Plenty of people on Xbox live have a favorite gaming buddy and sometimes you can’t scare up a larger crew. So an intense, scary shooter like Doom makes for a fine way to spend some time with a pal.

    This is exactly what Halo 2 should have offered. It makes no sense to offer split screen coop but not Live coop. I’m sure it was some engineering issue regarding timing and latency, I’m surprised that Bungie, who have demonstrated the ability to whip out some superb networking code, couldn’t crack that nut.

  • Rainbow Six Four: Lockdown

    When I think cooperative squad shooter, I think Ubisoft. These guys have been cranking out fine squad coop games for Xbox longer than anyone. Rainbow Six 3 and the expansion Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow are great, close quarters combat games, and the recent Ghost Recon 2 proved that massive coop games (up to 16 people) were possible and damn fun. So you could say I’m a little excited to see where they take the Rainbow Six series. Additions like dynamic maps and persistent character skills you can improve will add some depth to the action.

  • Close Combat: First to Fight

    This seems like a happy mix of Rainbow Six style squad action combined with a free form version of Full Spectrum Warrior. This game puts more emphasis on tactics and command, even providing an in-game interface for the team leader to give commands to his squad mates. This solves the problem, so frequently encountered in coop games, of referencing things, like:

    “Cover the hallway!”
    “Which hallway?”

    This can be really bad in Rainbow Six, where there is no compass and no fixed directional points. First to Fight lets the team leader indicate which hallway and what the order is (cover, clear, suppress), and then an icon is visible for the rest of the team or the person the order was given to. In game team communication tools like this are clearly key to better team play, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well they can work.

Sadly, Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, besides continuing with the irritating trend of having a colon in the name, also lacks coop play. But it still looks like a promising game, both from a single player standpoint, as well as squad vs. squad multiplayer. This is also coming out in March.

I may not even notice the arrival of spring with all these great games coming out.

Update:

How could I neglect to mention that Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory (there’s that colon again), scheduled for a March 2005 release, also has a special two player cooperative mode for Xbox Live.

Once again, Ubisoft gets the appeal of coop Xbox Live play.

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