We are well and truly half way through this gaming console generation and it would be fair to assume that gamers are expecting more from developers — well, at least the press are. Ground shattering games like Killzone 2 were criticized and down-rated for lacking what is considered a gaming essential, online/splitscreen co-operative play.
That was a year ago – last decade, actually. We are already seeing a strong line-up of potentially awesome games for 2010; God of War III, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Alan Wake, Halo: Reach – the list goes on. One game that I would have included in this list (but didn’t because it’s obviously out) is Mass Effect 2. ME2 was one of those games I was dying to get my hands on, and when I finally did I was far from being disappointed – but, something struck me as strange. Something was definitely missing, something that I wasn’t expecting.
The combat system would have been ten times better if it allowed jump-in-jump–out co-op. It is the sort of game that just cries out for it. It can definitely be a little frustrating using that radial menu to order friendly AI around, and a lot more frustrating when it doesn’t work. Having a friend jump-in mid battle to help you out would make things so much easier and enjoyable.It´s a lot easier communicating with another player across Xbox Live than it is navigating that radial menu.
Co-operative and multiplayer modes are almost expected in this day and age and it is sad to see that a lot of people refuse to buy games that do not include them. Sometimes it´s meant to for it, other times, not so much – unless it is a first-person shooter.. When a game´s experience comes solely from the strong narrative and story-line I really don’t think it´s necessary to include any sort of multi-player mode.
Do I think that the lack of co-operative play takes away from the experience? Not at all! Mass Effect 2 is what it is and that´s just great. Games should be reviewed and scored for what they are and not what they could have been. Though co-operative play would have been a great addition, to an already awesome game, it would not have made it a better game.