Co-op games. Now I’m not talking about introductory ones that you play at a party or that you play with your partner who isn’t very ‘good at video games’. These are serious games for serious squads. So before you embark on any of these adventures round up your team, IRL or online – dealers choice. For some decent co-op gaming action. So grab that Gatorade and turn off your phone, there’s no afk in this action.
Apex Legends by Respawn Entertainment
Five years ago, the battle royale genre was barely existent. Then from outta nowhere, Apex Legends was stealth-dropped into our laps. It quickly became the forefront of battle royale surpassing Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for the hottest of minutes. Within a week Apex Legends hit a player base of 25 million. It’s one of those easy to pick up hard to master games featuring intuitive controls, an outstanding comms system and remarkable rogue’s gallery. What’s there to lose for you and your squad to check out? Did we mention that it’s free to play?
Just an update for all you players that have been out. We’re not eight months later and Apex Legends is in its third season – Meltdown. The company has been good about rolling out improvements and overhauls to date. There are new characters, new maps, as well as a couple of in-game improvements. Whether lapsed or curious to see what the world of Apex Legends holds, Season 3 has proven that there is no better time to drop in.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Origin
World War Z by Saber Interactive
Inspired by Left 4 Dead, World War Z is a third-person co-op shooter in which players battle hordes of undead zombies. Each chapter here puts you in the role of a new group of survivors as you experience their stories across the world. From New York to Jerusalem, Moscow and Tokyo the world is packed with deadly foes. They sprint, they come at you in impressively rendered hordes, they crawl atop one another in a desperate attempt to rip you to shreds. Teamwork in World War Z is not only essential but it’s the core that holds together what might be a less satisfying experience.
There are six different player classes for you and your squad to choose from. Gunslinger – that’s the assault, Hellraiser – explosives, the Fixer who has a bunch of special pickups and passive skills, the Medic, Slasher – a melee character and an Exterminator – for crowd control (my personal favourite). There are a couple of modes for you and your friends to take on. Be it just attacking hordes of zombies or even taking on another team… while attacking hordes of zombies. Trust me when I say the zombies make it really complicated. World War Z is frantic, scary fun. If you like Left 4 Dead or Killing Floor, you’ll like this.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Epic Games
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 by Massive Entertainment
Seven months after disease brought society to its knees, Washington (the new stomping ground for this title) is divided between nice folk that want to rebuild and a triumvirate of street gangs that all want to rule the chaos. One of these gangs is attempting to take over the White House, which is currently housing a sizeable community of well-meaning survivors. There’s a great new world out there to save and of course some fabulous co-op content. In The Divison 2, there are exclusive co-op missions that you can play in teams of four through online and co-op.
It’s endgame missions that pit your team against an evil organisation known as Black Tusk. The elite agents of Black Tusk ain’t no random street thugs and you’ll need all four members of your team to work together if you’re going to survive. Making it all the more engaging there are also character classes for your team to choose. You can either be a health-happy Survivalist, a bomb-chucking Demolitionist or a sniper-wielding Sharpshooter. Black Tusk may be made of tough stuff, but you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to taking them on.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Uplay & Epic Games Store, Google Stadia
The Blackout Club by Question
Every night, everyone in town gets out of bed and sleepwalks. In the morning, they wake up with no recollection of what happened or where they were. Some teenagers in this town woke up during a few of these “Blackouts” themselves, finding themselves in the woods or on train tracks with no idea how they got there. Nobody believes them so they take matters into their own hands and form The Blackout Club. In this tense first-person co-op horror game, you and your friends go on procedurally-generated missions each night.
The missions range from photographing bloodstains to stealing arcane objects from bizarre chambers underground. In your path stand an army of somnambulant grown-ups, many still in their pyjamas, backed up by electricity traps and aerial drones. The town’s layout is the same each time you visit, but the props and threats move around, which keeps things interesting. A fun romp for a serious team.
Platform: PC – Steam
Tunche by LEAP Game Studios
Now Tunche doesn’t exactly look like your hardcore co-op battle squad type game. But who’s to say that it just has to be all guns and post-apocalyptic death for a game to be taken seriously. Tunche is a button-mashing beat’em up that looks great to boot! Set with elements of Peruvian folklore, you’ll be using your shamanic abilities and bird allies to deliver brutal beatings to the world around you. It’s fast-paced beatings to endless hordes of monsters, just what a night with your buddy calls for. Right now in this version of the game, Tunche: Arena we only get to control one character Rumi the Shaman. But on full release, there’ll be four characters from which to choose from. There’s no fixed release date but their Kickstarter states sometime in December 2019.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Nintendo Switch
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order by Team Ninja
We couldn’t finish this list without a brawler game in it. Especially such a classic series as Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order feels like a great throwback to 80s Saturday morning cartoons. Back to a time before Disney got their hands on what feels like all the movies and superheroes were saturated into our everyday life. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is a blend of the comics, TV shows and movies, including all our favourite Marvel characters following an alternate timeline. The game follows a constant rotation of superheroes as they track down those pesky infinity stones and prevent all of Marvel’s most infamous villains from getting their hands on them. Combat is fairly straightforward. Think of this game as a great chill Sunday afternoon with your buds, 4 player couch co-op game.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
GTFO by 10 Chambers Collective
Set to release sometime this year GTFO is marketed as a hardcore 4 player cooperative game. It’s all about working together as you work your way through high-intensity combat and team-based puzzles. Using nothing but their firepower and tools, gamers will have to rely on coordination along with communication to survive the nightmare that awaits their arrival. Just remember to stay quiet, keep calm and maybe you’ll all live.
Unlike the other games on this list where you can jump in guns blazing, GTFO requires you to be sneaky to find the best way to progress. There’s an interesting array of tools for you to choose from. Your loadout, in this case, won’t be limited to just weapons but will include other types of tools to help you stay alive. There’s a scanner that can help you map the tunnels ahead, a motion detector. There’s also a placeable gun turret for defending areas from enemies, and even a glue gun for setting sticky traps. Is this the combination of tools you’ll need for the mission ahead? You won’t know for sure until you’re down there.
Platform: PC – Steam
Borderlands 3 by Gearbox Software
Basically any Borderlands game plays excellently for co-op teams. Welcome back to Pandora and the long-awaited arrival of Borderlands 3! Just like before expect outrageous humour, more weapons than you can throw a skag at and of course all that loot. Borderlands has also been an easy game to play solo or with your friends (although it’s always more fun with friends) due to their level balancing. In 3 the game is specifically adjusted to suit your character’s level regardless of your teammates. For example, if one player is level 10 and the other level 25, the former will find loot of level 10 and below, while the same loot will seem to be level 25 for the other. Enemies will be tuned suitably too.
As per the previous Borderlands titles, you’ll get to choose between an array of different Vault Hunters. Each Vault Hunter has adjustable skill trees to suit your play style as well as unique abilities. There’s Amara the Siren, Zane the Operative, Moze the Gunner and FL4K the Beastmaster. To help you decide who to play we’ve got the full breakdown of the Vault Hunters here.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Epic Games Store, Google Stadia