Gears of War Coop

My new roommate and I are taking some time to get used to one another. After two years of living with a woman whose tastes often run counter to mine, it’s nice to have a roommate you can hang out with.

It has been a lot of changes very quickly. We still need to get some living room furnishings. I gave permission for him to get a dog, and we’ve been working together to keep her happy, fed and walked. I’m also not sure how cleaning is going to go down, as we’ve no formal arrangement but sporadically look after the dishes and vacuuming. The bills and rent are paid, so at least the financials are alright.

One thing that I believe has helped smooth the transition out is our ability to play Gears of War together in coop.

I know. Strange right?

Working as a team really smooths out the hiccups in our communication and really helps us to get to know one another. Since I’m a veteran of the game, I do my best to inform him of what’s coming out and lay out general strategies to deal with the problems ahead.

GoW is very much about teamwork. Even in single player, the game never lets you fly without a wingman at all times. It’s not good enough to lay down suppressive firepower and watch your wingman’s back—the game tests you on many levels of teamwork. One man drives, the other shoots. One goes for the light, the other has to trust his ally to guide him through the darkness lest he become Kryll bait. One player goes down, the other can revive him.

This is what great gaming is about. Not matter how fun it is single player, adding a trusted friend almost always magnifies the good times. It feels good to succeed, it feels better when both you and your buddy beat the stage. And this is a feeling that happens best when playing together in proximity to one another. Pong, the very first video game, was intended to be for dating. It was meant to enhance human social contact, not dwindle it. Even crappy games, like Brute Force, can be ridiculous fun with friends to laugh with you through it.

These kind of good times are why consoles shouldn’t go away. Sometimes, nothing beat a night like a six pack of beer, maybe some pizza, comfortable seating, a dog to pet and a bud or three to play a great game with.

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