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Submitted by 32froshes 1059d ago | opinion piece

Can Co-Op Horror Be Done?

Cheat Code Central's Shelby Reiches says: "Co-op horror, where did you come from? For so long, I’d associated the unique and unsettling thrills of horror gaming with the solitary experience, the adrenaline rush that comes from a sudden, unexpected noise when you know you’re otherwise alone. So much of what we associate with the best in horror comes from isolation, from the realization that there is no one coming to save you, that the trials you are about to face are yours alone, and you’re virtually powerless against them." (Dead Space 3, PC, PS3, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6, System Shock 2, Xbox 360)

TechnicianTed  +   1059d ago
No. Single gamer horror is the best, and most effective way.
phinch  +   1059d ago
If they ported resident evil zero from the gamecube as co-op instead of one person controlling two characters that would work
TechnicianTed  +   1059d ago
Maybe, but I think a lot of the horror and tension wouldn't be as effective as if you only played SP. A lot of horror, and I'm not talking about just in gaming, is when it relates to one person.

For example - Someone can go to see a horror film on their own and be affected by it, but if they go to see a film with their friends the film has less of an impact because they share the experience and can laugh through it.

I actually know of a few people in my family who went to watch The Exorcist when it first came out. The people who saw it with a minimum amount of people felt a stronger impact compared to the people who saw it with a group.

I think horror has a stronger impact when presented to a smaller audience compared to a larger audience.
maniacmayhem  +   1059d ago
Can Co-Op Horror Be Done?
Most definitely.
TechnicianTed  +   1059d ago
I just can't see how horror can be made to work when you've got a mate to laugh and joke with while you're playing. Maybe it can, but the effect of horror is most effective when you are alone.
maniacmayhem  +   1059d ago
Well anyone can ruin any type of experience if you let them. But imagine playing with someone who is like minded and you both are traversing a haunted mansion, a stone wall slams down from the ceiling splitting you two off. One has to go off and explore to find a lever to lift the wall while the other is trapped on the other side while something is stalking them both.

Just an example of how a co-op horror like game could work.

hmmmm....concept doc here i come!!
Neonridr  +   1059d ago
Absolutely agree with you. How can you expect to convey that sense of dread, isolation or fear, when you know you always have someone else to watch your back.
rezzah  +   1059d ago
In terms of which is most effective, I would say single player. The reason being the thought of not being alone, when you believe that you are is frighting. When you must push yourself through something, with no one to fall back on, it is then you are most afraid.

Co-op horror can be done, but for it to be as, if not more, effective most hope must be lost. Thus a game of co-op non like any previous co-op game ever made must be created.

What makes horror its greatest is when it is something new. Understand how human are and you will see why.
Number-Nine  +   1059d ago
no. it ruins the experience.
Gamesgbkiller  +   1059d ago
Yes , its very easy.
You just separate the players from each other and BOOOO.
gillri  +   1059d ago
article forgot about F.e.a.r 3
32froshes  +   1059d ago
So did everyone who played it.
rezzah  +   1059d ago
The first was the best in terms of scariness.
MestreRothN4G  +   1059d ago
Dark Souls. In other words, yes.
solfol  +   1059d ago
Hunter:The Reckoning did it pretty well
KillrateOmega  +   1059d ago
Co-op horror will never be as effective as an isolated, singular experience.

Part of what makes singular horror experiences so effective is the fact that you're alone. You don't have anyone to find comfort with, there's only yourself. Humans are social creatures and crave contact. Singular horror experiences prey on this by denying us this contact.

This factor of isolation is often why victims of solitary confinement often come out so affected; many suffering from some syndrome or depression.
#8 (Edited 1059d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Morgue  +   1059d ago

You have an AI partner ( not Shiva and who is somewhat smart, not AMY ) No health regeneration or packs, no guns or ammo unless happen to stumble upon one and only able to use what resources you find. If your AI partner gets attacked and is wounded, you'll have to help them either by carrying them or helping them walk.

If they become mortally wounded. Well you're on your own then.

If the for mentioned happens to you then you could switch over to your AI partner and control them. Or you do it co-op with a friend but the same rules apply.

No saves, continues or anything. A 3 hour game maximum with one shot to beat it or start all over again but the game resets everything to different places every time you start over. Like the game is playing even when you are not.
#9 (Edited 1059d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
rezzah  +   1059d ago
It is easy to overcome fears when in the presence of others, unless their presence is the source of your fear.

If co-op horror is to succeed, it must alienate each player from the other (even if it means communication).
MestreRothN4G  +   1059d ago
A mechanic of a possible "friendly fire" would help with this.

Like that game where you had to do a heist and get away: it was easier with your team (yet you had to share the earnings), but one ally could always turn against the team, being marked and probably hunted for this.
The death of a criminal put him away from the round. The death of an innocent made this one come back as a cop.

(Kane and Lynch MP? I really don't remember)
#10.1 (Edited 1059d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
rezzah  +   1059d ago
Not sure myself, I only played the demo for that game.
Kyosuke_Sanada  +   1059d ago
Only one game did it right, Resident Evil Outbreak.......
chaosseed  +   1059d ago
Exactly what I'm thinking.
Summons75  +   1059d ago
Games have a hard enough time beig scary as a single player experience. Fatal frame 2 and ameisia have been the only games to mess with me and freak me out and I play those types of games at every chance. Movies and games creators need to remember its not about making someone jump when you have something pop out "unexpected", and I say that loosely because they are blantently obvious, but about getting inside someone's head and messing with them. That's real fear.

So no coop can not be done.
Roper316  +   1059d ago
look @ where DS & RE are now. Did Co-op do them more harm than good? I would say it did, just look at how the sales got less & less the more they strayed from the original formula.

If any dev has a series they want killed just put in the hands of Acti, EA or Crapcom to publish & they will butcher it so bad noone will want it anymore.

I would also like to thank EA, Acti & Crapcom for saving me a bunch of money by turning certain series/games into something I don't want anymore.
isarai  +   1059d ago
I've had an idea about how this would work for quite a while. build the horror game with parallel elongated levels with exposed section facing each other(maybe an old mansion with destroyed walls and windows?), but do not connect. Each player(2 player) will have their own separate play experience but can at most times see their coop partner across on the other side and they can communicate by yelling(thought it may be hard to hear if distance/noise/obstacles are a factor) and expressions (like the taunt system in dark souls) to try and tell your partner something. You can try to warn them of a threat, secret, help with puzzles, etc using these features. Puzzles throughout the game will require actions from both sides for each to progress, and each can help the other out with enemies/dangers but with limited resources it can be a hard choice. The goal of tha game is to make it safely out of the mansion(or whatever it is you guys are in) alive, heloing the other player stay alive has pros and cons(they can help you, but they also require more resources from you) but it's ultimately your choice. for this to work i think mic support will have to be disabled though, so it may not sit right with everyone
aLucidMind  +   1056d ago
The only way a co-op experience can be done well is if it were online co-op rather than couch co-op and that I don't really support since there's barely any games to play with your buddy in the same room outside of CoD and sports games.

What could be done is one person is in one campaign and the other is in another, but they interlock; both have real branching paths and what one person does can certainly affect the other and what both people do can royally screw one or both of you up. P1 blocks the doors and so the zombies go for P2, who chose to run&gun and make a bunch of racket fighting his horde; this results in P2 being overrun with even more but a still well-balanced number. The two meet occasionally to fight big bosses but generally work together by working separately. If the story is done right, it can really make it so two buddies working separately makes more sense than working together.

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