Gaming is now all about the experience, and much of the draw of recent games has been the ability to take in a journey with others – cooperative style! For me, 2017 has been a blast, playing with friends on games that I probably would have got bored with on my own. Ghost Recon Wildlands, Destiny 2 and the continuing sagas of The Division were probably my highlights, with FIFA and its Pro Clubs feature already having been a staple nightly event for years now.
So without further ado I’m going to highlight my most anticipated Xbox One co-op games of 2018. These are in no particular order, and I have included the games I know most about from their coverage so far, so nearly all of them fall with a release date of the first quarter of 2018. I’ve left out notable others like Crackdown 3, Skull and Bones, FIFA 19 and Red Dead Redemption 2 – basically because things are still a little bit sketchy on details.
Are we ready? Lets go…
6. Sea Of Thieves
Sea of Thieves has been on our radar for some time now, with the developers behind it, Rare, teasing more and more secrets of its gameplay to the general public in drips and drabs.
What we do know is that you and a bunch of your friends, will all be able to get together and form a ragged bunch of salty pirates. You can get maps, find treasure, guard that treasure against rival online pirate gangs, get drunk and fire yourself out of a cannon. You know, basic stuff that pirates do.
There is a quiet confidence about Sea of Thieves and with some great feedback coming from those who have had some hands on time with it, I’m getting excited.
I’m already practising my pirate voice and saving up to buy a parrot from the market.
5. A Way Out
Premiered out of nowhere at E3, this new intriguing game comes from those behind the indie hit Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It features no single player, but has both two player co-op online and local split screen options.
A Way Out is an action adventure game played from a third person perspective. Players will get to control Leo and Vincent; two convicted prisoners who must break out of prison and stay on the run from authorities. As the story of both protagonists is told simultaneously, their progress may not be synchronised, which will no doubt result in one player being able to control their character, with another watching a cutscene.
Players will need to cooperate in order to progress, and each situation can be approached differently, with both characters taking on different roles. For instance during a prison escape scene, one player needs to distract the guard, while another heads off to find a tool in order to aid their escape. These roles are not fixed either, so Leo and Vincent can swap their roles in another playthrough.
A Way Out sounds brilliant and I am very interested to see how successfully all these ideas will work.
4. Monster Hunter: World
I’ve always wanted to give Monster Hunter a try, but have felt too intimidated to give it a go. All this will change in January 2018 when Xbox owners get the chance to see what all the monster hunting fuss is about.
For those who have never heard of Monster Hunter, MH: World is an action role playing title set in a huge, beautiful, open world. Your task is to get out there and capture or kill huge monsters for scientific study. Monster Hunter: World will include a dynamic weather system and day-night cycle, which can both affect the mood of the monsters mid-quest. It will also offer a single player option and allow up to four players online, playing together as a team, to take the monsters down.
It is a game that focuses on powering up, collecting loot and working as a team to utilise your strengths, all whilst finding the weak points of your intended foe. With a great looking story and loads to do, Monster Hunter: World looks brilliant and will use up many of your spare hours throughout those long winter months.
3. Far Cry 5
The Far Cry series has always stood out for its amazing open world gameplay, devious main villains and mad frenetic action. In this new world setting of fanatical mid-western America, Far Cry 5 deals with the far right, religious madmen and combat dogs.
You will be able to play the whole campaign with an online buddy, sharing this crazy world with a friend. It’s unclear at the moment if this will come in drop in/out form, and whether it will only affect one player’s progression stats, or if it’ll be more like fellow Ubisoft title, Ghost Recon Wildlands, with its shared campaign.
I’m hoping for the latter – and 4-player co-op further down the line – just because I can’t wait to partner up and take on the fanatics.
2. State of Decay 2
2013 saw the release of State of Decay and this little indie title took the Xbox world by storm. It was a big hit and spawned a recent HD remake before gathering up a whole load of new followers.
The sequel is proving to look really exciting with a huge new world, and the same survival action adventure themes it had before.
You build a community of survivors, defending your base, crafting, and getting supplies for your gang of zombie hunters. You then go out on quests to try to level up and stay alive. State of Decay 2 should come with a 4-player online cooperative option, where your friends can drop into each other’s games to help the community flourish – before then going out on scouting missions together.
Imagine The Walking Dead TV series but without the slow filler episodes. State of Decay 2 is due to release in the Spring – so there is plenty of time to get mastering your survival techniques.
1. Deep Rock Galactic
Last but by no means least is this intriguing title by developer Ghost Ship Games.
Deep Rock Galactic is coming exclusively to Xbox One and PC in 2018 and is looking very promising.
You play as a dwarven miner in deep space searching with three other small friends for rare minerals in perilous, procedurally generated caves. There will be four classes to choose from, all with a different set of skills and abilities.
The game’s visuals and deep hoard-style gameplay is making me excited enough to get my pickaxe out from the cupboard, chuck my canary in a cage and get ready for the deep dive underground.
So that’s it for now, with a quick look at some of the most anticipated Xbox One cooperative titles from 2018. I’m sure the list will change as we get through the months and take in more of 2018, but just remember to have fun as things are better in the world with a friend by your side… especially when you’re left facing a huge monster.