Would you take a bullet for your friend? Perhaps even split the loot that the both of you fought life and limb over? Well, you’re about to find out — because we’re giving you a collection of games that might just summon the answers to those two questions and more. And if you’re lucky, you’ll eventually come out on the other side with an understanding on what weaves the perfect co-op combination.
It doesn’t matter if you’re seriously into your dungeon crawlers or life simulation games, because when it comes down to splitting the journey with a friend over couch co-op — the entire deck gets laid out on the table, and you can always guarantee that a few trump cards will make an appearance at one stage or another. But anyway, let’s get right into it. Here are five co-op games that will, in our opinion, truly test your friendship.
5. Sea of Thieves
It’s time to take to the open seas and voyage across a network of islands in search of treasures beyond your wildest dreams. Sea of Thieves is here (along with the beloved pirate lord Jack Sparrow, thanks to its recent A Pirate’s Life expansion) — and it is looking even more flushed out with gold than ever before. The good news for you, of course, is that you’ll soon be able to plunge into its vast open world and plunder to your heart’s desire with co-op galore.
With up to three other players (the maximum ship capacity being four crew members), you and your friends can traverse the rich open blue and go head-to-head with million of other privateers out on the sea, the sand, and occasionally even the skies. Of course, being a relatively small crew with a whole lot of responsibility, it’ll take a lot more than gazing through a spyglass in order to keep the ship afloat and lay anchor. One wrong move, and you might just find yourself capsized and dodging cannonballs in a void of crashing waves. So, can you rely on your friends to be your life jacket in a world full of malicious pirates?
4. Don’t Starve Together
Don’t let the childish (albeit Tim Burton-esque) style fool you. The truth is, Don’t Starve Together is an incredibly difficult co-op game, and requires a whole lot more than a keen eye for scavenging and a dying hunger (no pun intended) for survival. It takes patience — and a lot of it. Because the fact is — you will die, together. You will starve, together. You will pull your hair out and scream at one another over the smallest things that mean nothing to you in realty — but everything in-game.
The concept for Don’t Starve Together is simple enough: survive. That’s really all there is to it. But in order to make it through the harsh seasons and settle in a world so chock-full of unforgiving creatures, you’ll have to work together and establish a routine. Without one, you’ll soon find yourself belly-up on a monochrome allotment somewhere, being prodded by a violet cave tentacle and forced to restart from day one. So, probably best to have a trustworthy friend to tag along for this one. One you won’t likely beat with your controller after dying for the millionth time.
3. Monster Hunter Rise
Ready to throw down with some ridiculously large monsters with your friends? Monster Hunter Rise is raring to go, with all the bells and whistles to construct an endless journey packed full of cutting-edge battles and confrontation. Whether you’re going at it alone (although that would technically defeat the point of this article) or with up to three other friends — Monster Hunter Rise will have you breaking out all the strategies in the book, ready to rest your knowledge and skill against some of the most outlandish creatures in gaming.
Of course, it goes without saying that, in order to take down a big monster — you’re going to need a big plan. A plan that, without a well-crafted band of friends to back it, could just lead to disaster and a whole lot of damaged gear. So, if you’re looking to venture on over towards Kamura Village for a quest chain full of monstrous encounters and lavish loot — then it’s probably best if you assemble a solid team beforehand. Or, you know — don’t. Either a way, a few extra blades wouldn’t hurt.
2. Kane & Lynch (Multiplayer)
It’s true, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men probably wasn’t IO Interactive’s finest hour, and definitely didn’t sit too well with fans of the brand, either. However, one of its few redeeming counterparts did happen to come in the form of an online game, known as “Fragile Alliance” — which was sort of like Payday, only with a few added cogs.
“Fragile Alliance” puts you and a band of other balaclava-wearing robbers on one of four maps, each riddled with AI soldiers and security guards. Your job, of course, is to accumulate the most cash, either alone or by working together, and ultimately break for the getaway vehicle on the other side of the map. So, what is it that sets the game aside from Payday? Well, the option to stab all your friends in the back, of course. Even if it’s right at the last stretch, players can turn the tables and kill the remaining players, collect their loot, and brand themselves as a traitor to the remaining survivors. Do that, and you’ll spend the rest of your time dodging ex-allies on a desperate hunt for extraction. So, what kind of friend are you?
1. Among Us
Among Us was hands down one of the most-played games of 2020, with its multiple accolades bolstering its global reputation long after it hit the shelves. And to be fair, we really do think it was worthy of cracking such high figures and breaking the Steam charts. It was all anybody ever spoke about for years, and pretty much lingered on the lips of every Twitch and YouTube streamed on the web.
But what is it about Among Us that had people buckling at the knees? Well, its healthy community, mainly. And also its ingenious, albeit simple-minded design that never tried to be anything more than a basic concept with a few compelling nooks and crannies. With up to fifteen players in one lobby, the whole point of the game is to unearth the impostor. By casting a vote at the end of each round, one player falls from the roster and the remaining few battle it out, with the real impostor left to obscure their true identity until the last hurdle. Simple, yet effective.