You know what’s awesome? Picking your favorite load-out for a game. Your armor, your weapons, your skills and backup items. Putting together the perfect kit for a run. You know what’s even more awesome? Having a buddy doing the same thing in co-op. There is something special about loading into a game and knowing that you and your partner have all the bases covered. And when you run house on a match and dominate the opposition? Chefs kiss.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to co-op shooters. Some of them AAA smash hits, other obscure indie darlings. For me, shooters are always more fun with friends. Some of my best friends I met in game lobbies or during tournaments. And those games that let you add that personal touch from a variety of options make the moment that much sweeter. Or, at the very least, you share in the pain of losing and shake your fist at the sky towards the digital enemies that were totally cheating. But I digress.
5. Payday 2
With the release of EXOPRIMAL on the horizon, I’ve been trying out a bunch of shooters to get me in the right mindset. As a result I’ve put together a little list of some of the co-op shooter games you may not have tried. Eyes up, Guardian. There’s about to be a firefight!
Let’s start with an oldie but a goodie. Payday 2 follows the exploits of the titular Payday Gang, a crew of thieves that specialize in breaking into locations and robbing them blind, sometimes in broad daylight. The amount of Payday 2 DLC that there is is amazing, giving you dozens of weapons, tactical gear load-outs, and members to have fun with. You can level up your skills, your guns, and make the possibilities endless with what you can do. You can even do special designs for your players mask, and customization is always a bonus point for me.
Payday 2 is one of those games you load up when you just want to turn off your brain and have some fun. Not that it’s mindless, you actually have to pay attention otherwise you’ll fail the mission. But once you get to playing you can just have fun. Smash and grab on jewelry stores, cutting into safes, holding off enemies as they come in with increasingly more crazy amounts of fire power. It’s genuinely one of the most fun experiences going in with a team of friends and just running wild.
I’ve enjoyed Payday 2 for a long time, and with Payday 3 being potentially released later this year, well… Time to dust off the mask once more.
4. Deep Rock Galactic
Spaaaace Dwarves! Spaaaace Dwarves! In a bizarre combination of Minecraft and Doom, Deep Rock Galactic a game you never really quit. Even if you haven’t played for months you still have it sitting in the back of your mind to jump back on. You play a prospector Dwarf that is sent to a inhospitable planet to mine for valuable resources.
Drop from orbit onto a crazed and dangerous underground with a pickaxe in one hand and a shotgun in your other. Mine for gems, avoid dangers, blast away the alien hives and do it all while possibly very drunk. Yes, its a space dwarf game that lets you get hammered. Play alone, but it’s always better to play with friends. Up to 4 people can jump in on the action, leading to better hauls, and overall more chaos.
Deep Rock Galactic is one of those games where you either know it or you don’t. As someone who didn’t know it for a long time, it is my space dwarf duty to tell you to at least give it a try. It’s crazy fun and is still receiving updates. It has season passes for cosmetic content, and variable difficulty for those who want to cruise around, or have a real challenge.
3. Gunfire Reborn
I’ve talked about Gunfire Reborn before. It’s a fun and challenging FPS rogue-like that has a growing cast of characters and super addicting game-play. Set apart in stages, the randomly organized levels come packed with dangerous enemies, powerful bosses, and truly unique items. It stands out to me being one of the few games where the list of weapons you can pick up are so interestingly designed that every pick up feels like it’s worth it. A gun isn’t just a gun, it’s a scorpion that spits fire.
With the ability to have up to three friends tag along, Gunfire Reborn is a wild ride. Each character has their own unique play style, as well as a skill tree to level up and unlock at your own pace. Your starter character, the Crown Prince, is a fast moving striker with smoke bombs and elemental fusions. My personal favorite is Tao, a sword mystic that specializes in building up to a big combo and high burst damage.
Gunfire Reborn is still receiving content updates, with it’s most recent one being DLC containing two more playable characters and more weapons added to the game. Definitely worth checking out with a friend!
2. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Glory to the Emperor! From the same developers who did Warhammer 40,000 Vermintide and Escape Dead Island, Darktide made a splash on release. Step aboard the City of Tertium and fight back to reclaim it from the bloodthirsty hordes. Play as one of the conscripted convicts as you slaughter your way to victory. The Psyker, born with the heretical powers of the mind. The Zealot, thriving on taking damage and dealing it back. The
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide has a mission based structure, having you drop in and out of scenarios to complete objectives. Beyond ‘make it out alive’ you will be tasked with hunting down figures or repairing defenses while you fight through the plagued scourge that is trying to overtake the city. An absolute blast to play with friends, seeing as how different the playable characters are from one another. The Veteran, bringing overwhelming firepower to your allies. And the Ogryn, massive hulks of muscles that never seem to go down.
If you’re ever wanting to just turn your brain off and get into a gory mess, Darktide is certainly a fun way to spend an evening with friends.
1. Hunt Showdown
To wrap this piece up lets go into one of the slept of games of the last few years. Hunt Showdown is part of the ever emerging extraction shooter genre of games, and plays very well in solo or co-op. You play the part of any number of rugged and weird Hunter placed in the alt-western chunk of prairie swampland, where zombies roam and ghouls gather. You’re charged with a bounty, to hunt down any of the other-worldly monsters that are hiding in the forsaken towns and shanties. You must use the Hunters unique Dark-sight to locate clues and track down the bounty. But beware of rival Hunters ready to end your life and take your prize.
Hunt Showdown is not for the faint of heart. If you die, you lose everything on your Hunter. All the weapons, items, and any levels and experience you put into that character. Which means that hitting max level and getting all the perks unlocked is one bullet away at any given time. Fortunately, if you’re part of a team you can be revived a number of times, even if you’re knocked out. Hunt Showdown is constantly adding content to the game, in the form of Hunters, Skins, Weapons, and sometimes even season events.
A major update is on the horizon too. A new Boss is going to be added to the maps, and the build up has been crazy. Grab your shotgun and don your cowboy hat, it’s gonna be a wild ride.
EXOPRIMAL takes a bite out of your console next month!
Now, we have yet another exciting co-op shooter on the horizon with EXOPRIMAL!
More information about EXOPRIMAL is as follows. Missions without direct combat between players where victory is determined by clearing the PvE objectives as fast as possible. 10-player co-op missions with a variety of objectives and even fiercer dinosaurs. 5-player missions that rotate weekly with global leaderboards for fastest completion time. Equipment called Modules that allow for deeper customization of exosuit capabilities. And Exosuit skins, weapon skins, decals, emotes, and other cosmetic options. There is also talk of Seasonal content, which could imply a Season Pass. And they have expressed intent of collaborations with other Capcom Titles. So who knows, you might see a Mega Man ExoSuit in the future. Or a mission where you have to fight a Rathalos from Monster Hunter.
EXOPRIMAL is gearing up to be a wild ride. Set to release this June, Capcom has been updating their site with cool previews of whats to come. How will this new IP stand amongst the other titles in Capcoms Library? Time will tell. In the mean time, lets get ready to take on this Tornadosaurus of a game. The forecast says its raining raptors, it’s time to suit up.
EXOPRIMAL is slated to release on July 14 PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.