What happens when you’ve got two gamers (me and my wife) who can’t play a game together, but you both want to play? Someone rides shotgun. This can be due to the game being single-player, or more recently, due to the need for someone to hold an infant.
The person who rides shotgun doesn’t have to focus on controls or the repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time on gaming. They focus on the big picture, missed details, and so on. If the game is something you’re both interested in, you combine to become something of a superplayer. For example, I can’t spot those hidden flags in Assassin’s Creed for the life of me, but she’ll pick out one that’s under a pile of hay, which is itself under a tarp… three miles away, through dense fog, around the corner. She spots the tiny corner of that flag, and we get closer to completing the game. In Pixeljunk Monsters, I point out that she tends to stand next to mobs, waiting for them to die, when she could be three steps away, upgrading a tower while she waited. And we get closer to getting a rainbow on that level. (Yes, you can play PJM with two players–and we often do–but when I get home from work and she’s playing, I don’t say, “Drop that and let’s play together.” I fix myself a drink.)
Continue reading Game Riding Shotgun
There was a time in the last six months when my wife and I needed a break from the World of Warcraft. I keep up on the gaming internets and came across news that a former project leader (Bill Roper) had left Blizzard and went to found his own company (Flagship Studios). This company’s first game is Hellgate London (HGL), a top-tier online multiplayer game in the spirit of Diablo, by the producer of Diablo. It’s post-apocalyptic, magic-using, gun-shooting, demon-fighting. It’s leveling up and getting better gear. When I list it here, it STILL sounds like a no-lose prospect.
After trying the beta, we were skeptical due to the amount of bugs. We didn’t have a lot of experience with beta versions, so we believed the company’s constant reassurances that they were ironing those bugs out. We figured this must be how it’s done. So my wife and I each got the Collector’s Edition of HGL, because the CE came with a minipet and we’re suckers for minipets. My best friend did, too. We’re all gamers, we were looking forward to dive into a new game that we could all play together.
Unfortunately, HGL sucked.
Continue reading Hellgate London sucks
My wife loves games as much as I do, and luckily we love playing games together. We laugh and cheer when we do well, we groan when we can’t get past a certain point. Playing together is the most fun part of video games. It’s a great social thing that we can do.
Continue reading Cooperative multiplayer overview