A Terrifying Way To Make Dead Space 3 Co-Op Play Work

While we know nothing official about the rumoured co-op in Dead Space 3, commenter Chadboban the Anti-Fanbot has a plan that would make co-op every bit as terrifying as playing alone.

News that Dead Space 3 will be co-op isn't exactly surprising to me. I mean, it's being shoehorned into every game imaginable and that includes horror games, which it doesn't lend itself to very well at all. And we're seeing more horror games take this action co-op route. Games like Resident Evil 5 and 6 (although Revelations was a return to form for the series for me) Silent Hill Book of Memories and now Dead Space. But this also got me thinking, how can we make a Co-op game that's actually scary?

How about we keep the players apart for as much as possible during the game?

Now I know this seems to defeat the purpose of a "Co-Op" game but hear me out. Imagine this scenario, you're playing online with one of your buds and you come across an area that requires you both to split up for a while, however you can still communicate through your headsets even though you're apart. So you go your separate ways, you both are keeping each other company through your headsets, giving each other the rundown on your situations, what items you found and what you can see around you that can help you advance further.

Then suddenly, static begins to come from your headset, your friend is calling out to you but his voice is muffled then his line cuts off and you have no idea what's going on, then shit gets crazy on your side as things get dark, pitch frickin black and your only source of light is the flashlight mounted to your gun. Noises of something moving thorough the dark echo around you while all you can hear from your headset is absolutely nothing.

What was once a journey with your companion has now become a lonely nightmare. You have no idea how your friend is holding out if they're even still alive. Oh yeah and your game doesn't end if your friend dies, you either find him alive and the game continues or you find his dead body and it's game over from there.

This is just one idea that I have, and I'd love to see a game take this gameplay concept of never knowing when the game will take you away from your partner. So instead of having a game where your partner is basically the barrier keeping you from feeling scared, the game puts a barrier between you both and they now become your only source of hope and you won't know if they'll be alive the next time you find them.

So what do you guys think?

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    My main concern is how this all impacts the solo experience. I've heard that in single player the other guy is absent so you don't have to worry about an AI partner; that's a start. But another thing I don't want is to play through the campaign and feel like I'm going through encounters that were designed around or envisioned for co-op play. No matter what they do, there's going to be a compromise somewhere. Either it's a single player game first (the way it should be IMO) and the co-op is forced to work around that, or it's a co-op game first and the single player is a stripped down and reworked version of that. I feel that if they wanted to include co-op it should be done in either a survival type mode or its own campaign (like what they did with Splinter Cell).

      Or do something like 343i Industries are doing with Halo 4 and have a separate single player campaign and a multiplayer "Spartan Ops" multiplayer campaign.

    Thats a brilliant idea. EXACTLY why EA won't do it :(

    Or just join party chat with your friend?

      In Dark Souls there was no voice chat period. If they could implement a party chat disabling feature every time the mics cut out then it would work.

      The people that do this would be the very same people that complain that the feature doesn't make the gameplay scary.

    i like the idea, it would make survival horror multiplayer games a whole lot more scary. however most people don't use in game chat functions when co-oping due to its likeliness to be cut out suddenly due to lag or a game error, most people use team speak, ventrillo or Skype, so unless there is someway of removing the compatibility of these chat clients with the game (e.g. muting the mic hardware instead of just stopping the broadcast of it) then this type of thing would be a bit impractical for people who organised to play the game beforehand, such as people who co-op with their friends instead of random people from the internet.

    That is basically what they have been doing since the start. Clark was separated from his team, picture the other person playing Hammond. Hammond had to fight solo after he was separated from Kendra. The same with Ellie. Sure they were close sometimes but for most of the game they were separated. Remember at the start of Dead Space when Isaac was locked outside the room where his shipmates were slaughtered. Instead of a team of useless idiots picture it being your partner, BAM separated. Maybe they will go the Gear of War route, you take the roof while I take the street or something to that effect. If done right Co-op could be a nice addition to the DS franchise.

      Extraction had a neat co-op mechanic where one player was building a barrier (using nearby materials and the rivet gun) while the other player holds off enemies. They also had another co-op mechanic that had one player "hacking" some controls while the other player holds off enemies. If done right this could be really good. However I feel that of all the new speculated features in DS3, Co-op has the most potential to make the game less scary.

    The interesting question is though, is it any scarier than when they do this with an AI partner? Many games already have plotlines and scripted sequences that have your other AI allies go off and communicate over radio, sometimes ending in screams and growls followed by finding a corpse that looks a lot like them later on. Does the fact that it was a human controlling the other player make it a scarier experience than just accepting it as scripted plot sequences? It would be an interesting psychological test.

    Now I played all the dead space games so far, and one thing I always loved was the fact that your crew/partners were visable but always out of touch via class window or platform. Now if they made co-op in that fashion then it would be a great addition to the dead space franchise. So let's hope EA go's from there and makes co-op run smooth in dead space.

    I would like it if EA also made a splitscreen feature for co-op/multiplayer. Now I know to a lot of you think its a bad idea but I have a brother who always wanted to play dead space with me but never could. So if EA could do this I would be at static to play this game :)

    Fear 3 and Resident Evil 5 are the only "horror based" co-op games i am aware of

    Both of those i enjoyed, so here's to another - woooooo!

    Here's a better way (just in terms of gameplay) - Make the communications between the players those holo-projections like you see in the cutscenes, even if just a nodding head avatar (though perhaps only when seperated. That way, when you try to reach them and get static, you know something's going wrong in-game and don't think it's your headset acting up or something.

    I think that's a brilliant idea. That would freak the shit out of me if I lost communication with my mate. The only problem though is for people that don't do voice chat

    I liked Dead Space 1 and 2 a lot, but thanks to an arsenal of kickarse weapons that were more than a match for the monsters that attacked you, they weren't scary games at all. So being primarily an action game I don't think having co-op will tarnish the experience at all.

    Amnesia, now there's a game that would be completely destroyed by the inclusion of co-op.

      Actually, I could imagine a way that would make Amnesia work co-op. Relating to what the OP said, you could have cut off spots where you and your buddy would have to split up. Regardless of the constant voice communication, the game could implement some sort of system where they would have to work together, from separate locations or side by side, to avoid monsters, solve puzzles, etc.
      For example, you and your partner have to figure out how to get an iron gate open, but there are 2 paths that need to be taken, one to the lever, opening the door, and the other to some sort of tool to fix a jam that is present in the door, which will prevent you from passing, regardless of the lock on the gate being disengaged. So, you and your partner split up, and your partner gets to his objective point first, picking up his tool to un-jam the gate. This, in turn, triggers a monster that is set on your path, and you must quickly run from the monster, as the area lacks hiding places that could fully keep you undetected, and in the meanwhile, your partner is notified of your distress, and has to get to you in a certain amount of time, before the monster gets to you, and distract, or delay the monster, while you activate the iron gate, and swiftly regroup with your partner, while you are both pursued by a monster. Afterwards, you must both hide from the monster, and become undetected again, and regroup at the iron gate, and move on.
      That's what I'd think Frictional would do IF they were to implement some sort of co-op, which I'm almost sure they won't :P

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