- Co-op: it's the New Wave of multiplayer. For most of the '90s, online co-op was something gaming fanatics clamoured after, but developers shied away because "no one ever plays it". That's all changed.
With burgeoning broadband and the increase in online matchmaking efficiency, games are queuing up to offer you the opportunity to play through an epic with a friend.
Adding co-op to a singleplayer game is one thing. But now co-op has risen to the status of Anointed Messiah in the game designer's religion and they're desperate to see how far the concept can go. They've stopped just adding co-op to a game, and are reconceptualising games as co-operative first and foremost.
In increasing order of bring-a-mate-a-bility, we're looking forward to titles like Kane & Lynch, Army of Two and Left 4 Dead. It's a new frontier being explored, and the rewards could make us all rich in the precious currency of gaming goodness.
Except, while this gold rush is going on, back in the heartlands, the cities are falling into blight.
This was brought into focus when I was reviewing Halo 3 recently. The problem with co-op struck me at several points while playing, but was epitomised by a section near the game's close. Echoing the end of the first game, you're escaping in a Warthog Jeep.