Imagine playing your favorite solo campaign. You’re getting hit from all sides and it really looks at times to be damn near impossible to make it through. You’re struggling to work through a tough part and you think “Man it would sure be nice to have a little help here.” Of course you have the option of a co-op experience, but at the moment you’re all alone.
Then all of a sudden a recently added person on your friends list pops up… “Ker-plink”
You know of them, you have played multi-player with them before with your other friends, met them in a random lobby, or they were with you at a midnight launch event. You had a great time joking around and thought they were awesome in one way or another.
You send them a game request and boom…to your surprise they accept. You and your partner link up and “poof” you’re not alone anymore.
At first everything seems great. You both think this is going to be easy. You’re going have the same amount of obstacles and enemies. It will be be a cake walk. But then the system throws a monkey wrench in the cogs… you realize it’s not going to get any easier. It is going to be just as tough as the lone experience except this time you have a friend along for the ride.
The system takes into account that there are two people playing and ramps up the amount of difficulty. Instead of the single player experience that your used to you both realize that each of you still have the same issues it’s just doubled. Now things look even more impossible. Wave after wave of enemies bombard your little encampment. Communication begins to break down. Both of you start focusing on different objectives. You’re thinking that separating for a little while will get you through this game. You both are completely mistaken…. Soon you see the dreaded “Game Over” screen. Each of you blames the other for the fail. Then with both of you angry and bitter, you log off.
Games can be tough but there is no need to get all defensive and huffy about it. You both made mistakes. Now is the time to move on or apologize to each other and jump back in.
Here is my advice on having a great co-op experience.
Communication is and has always been the most important strategy to any successful game. Without that one key component you both are dead in the water. You must be honest, clear, specific and and in agreement with each other on how to proceed in the game. Communication becomes even more important and critical when you’re several hundreds of miles or even a continent away.
#2 Take your time.
In all cases slow and steady wins the game. Enjoy the level and take time to look around. Be in awe of all that is there to offer. When enemies pop up take them on together. I mean this is the reason you both are here together. You both have decided to put in an investment of ones time, skills and resources. Why try to rush though something that has such a high cost in today’s society?
#3 Understand each others strengths and weaknesses.
Find a way to help each other out with individual flaws. Give encouragement when needed and above all else, never point those flaws out in a cruel and hurtful way. Remember you’re in this together. Observe these flaws, take them into account. Understand that your skill set is different from theirs. Use these to your advantage and find a way to make those skill sets compliment each other in a cohesive unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
#4 Be ready to upgrade.
There will be the possibilities of add-ons in most games. Understand that if your Co-Op partner wants an add-on or four you will be expected to take them on as well. You might be hesitant at first but remember this can only enhance your experience together. If you’re not willing to get the add-ons then don’t waste the others time. Remember tip number one…communicate.
#5 There is always a continue.
Sure games get difficult. No game is easy… especially the good ones. There are always a few bugs that pop up now again. Sometimes there are objectives and achievements that you both were striving for in single player mode. But in almost every case you have the opportunity to get those together.
Now if you read this and didn’t “get it”… replace the word “game” with “relationship”.
Funny how gaming and life can imitate each other huh?
I hope these five tips that my wife and I have learned help you with your “Game”. But there is one last tip that really can’t be put into the above hidden message…
Neither of you can ever say “I love you.” too much to each other. We are never promised another day. Take advantage of each and every opportunity to say those three words.
All games become retro but I’d rather have a classic that I will continue to play for the rest of my life than a flashy game that loses it’s luster in three months.
This month my wife and I will be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary. This is the best, most rewarding and addictive game I will ever want to play. She always has my six and I keep giving her the encouragement to keep going and achieving the next level.