This generation of online gaming has offered up a bevy of cooperative thrills, whether it be Gears of War’s methodical, gore-soaked killfests, Portal 2’s heady puzzle-solving, or even Castle Crasher’s budget brawling. That being said, there are a number of cooperative gems that ruled last generation’s roost that would do wonders in regards to rounding out the current generation’s co-op selection.
Champions of Norrath
The two Champions of Norrath games for the PS2 are still the best console adaptations of the popular PC-based Diablo-style lootfests. Varied environments, distinctive classes, and a tremendous amount of randomized loot kept gamers glued to their screens for days on end. The fun was amplified significantly with a friend, two, or three. The familiar realms of EverQuest helped draw in a number of established PC gamers, but the controls and aesthetics fit the PS2’s capabilities wonderfully. An HD remake would be a fantastic addition to this generation’s best cooperative action-RPG games (Sacred 2, Fable 2/3, Dungeon Hunter: Alliance, Too Human, etc).
Last Fall’s HD remake of Halo: Combat Evolved was shockingly good. A familiar and yet relevant campaign was souped up with some snazzy graphics, added collectible terminals and skulls, a beefed-up score, and topped off with smooth online co-op play. Halo 2, despite the cliffhanger ending, featured one of the best campaigns in the series, and would undoubtedly be a popular seller if rereleased in HD, with all the added bonuses, goodies, and online workings as the original had. 2014 will mark the ten-year anniversary of Halo 2. If the current rumors prove to be true, we’ll be about a year deep into the next generation of Microsoft consoles. The title would make an excellent addition to the Xbox library and would please co-op gamers to no end.
Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes
D&D: Heroes was yet another Diablo clone, featuring familiar hack-and-slash gameplay peppered with epic skills, classes, and enticing loot. It was one of the only (if not the only) games to rival Playstation’s Champions of Norrath series, and held its own against ARPG standard Baldur’s Gate. The familiar D&D aesthetics, races, locations, and lore helped bring a dedicated fan base and newcomers alike to a recognizable yet original experience on the Xbox. Featuring enjoyable 4-player cooperative play, the game would be a surefire hit on the 360 in HD, and would help many jaded fantasy fans forget about the middling D&D: Daggerdale.
It’s hard to make a push for a Doom 3 HD rerelease (it’s playable on the 360), but it would probably sell well; the game is id Software’s highest-grossing title, and would help bring attention to its impending sequel, Doom 4 (a game id will want to sell well considering the poor reception garnered by Rage last Fall). The game’s co-op was an absolute blast – featuring the frantic gunplay of Dead Space, with thrills and scares surpassing EA’s survival horror franchise as well as Resident Evil 5, Doom 3’s stripped-down first-person buzz is still as playable and relevant as ever…but wouldn’t it be better in 1080p with achievements?
Super Smash Brothers Melee
This one’s obviously a long shot, considering Brawl is still one of the most popular Wii games, and an apparent sequel will be heading to the Wii U and 3DS in a matter of months. However, Melee is arguably the most balanced of the series so far, and has some of the best fighting-game level design ever to grace a console. The game could be a hit with online play; devoid of the balance-crushing Smash Ball, bizarre level design, and sketchy character balancing from Brawl, Melee could offer a relaxing respite. Want to get back to printing money, Nintendo? Rerelease this for the Wii U as a two-pack with Mario Kart: Double Dash, and get back in the black.
Make known your HD co-op remake wishes in the comments!