DIABLO III: REAPER OF SOULS – ULTIMATE EVIL EDITION
Look, I’m not big on this kind of gameplay, but I’ll sit down and shut my yap when I see it done well. A lot of people got snooty over the idea of a Diablo III port to the PS4, but Metacritic tells a different story: not a single reviewer marked it anything less than positive making this one of the top rated PS4 games ever.
Couch co-op is part of that appeal. Invite your most devilish friends and neighbours over to roll around, hack at enemies and scoop loot from the bodies of everything you kill in one of the most addictive co-op games for the PS4. The classes you pick will also certainly say something about your personality, leading to many interesting discussions. Maybe you chose the demon hunter because you idolise Van Helsing? Maybe your unwavering inner peace led you to become a monk? Or maybe you went to be a barbarian because you have a brain like chickpea and serious anger issues? We all have at least one friend like that, and if you can’t think of that person, it’s probably you.
BORDERLANDS: THE HANDSOME COLLECTION
Borderlands is the fast food of video game series. It’s not deep, not artful, it’s not adventurous, but you know what? It’s not trying to be. Because sometimes you don’t want to watch Schindler’s List, sometimes you want to watch some splashy superhero movie or something where Arnie Schwarzenegger punches people and burbles one-liners.
Borderlands is here to provide. Shoot villains, pick up the guns they drop and use those guns to shoot bigger villains. It’s like the circle of life, only without the life part. And Borderlands isn’t just accepting co-op, it’s actively encouraging it. More players means higher difficulty, but also higher loot quality. And don’t fear – the fact that four players can leap in at once should ensure that the arguments over the really good weapons will be more heated than ever. You can even duel for them in-game, if it really matters to you. Or you could use my method, and just hit the person sitting next to you until they hand out the contents of their inventory.
Hmm, I’m not familiar with this one. Tell me more, person who isn’t really there. Minecraft is a survival game set in a procedurally-generated universe? Minecraft is filled with innumerable layers of depth that’ll ensure fun for dozens of hours? Minecraft manages to be deeply challenging without becoming annoying? Minecraft allows for the opportunity to genuinely express yourself creatively with an extensive range of assets and proper freedom?
Oh, you all know Minecraft. Minecraft is like the real world, only bigger, more convenient to use and with considerably more exploding monsters. And speaking as somebody who used to play Minecraft with friends a LOT, there’s something great about the way the simplest of tasks is suddenly the most important thing in the world. Whether it’s assembling a small house or busting through dimensions to fight dragons, Minecraft is just a fun game that is twice as fun with a friend. Partly because you stab them to death, then make your escape on the back of a pig. Just like Sun Tzu intended. Just kidding! Minecraft is one of the best couch co-op games for kids and adults alike.
In 2011, nobody expected much from the Rayman series. We’d only been getting those Raving Rabbits games for years now, and the most of the other entries had just been remastered ports on newer consoles.
So the arrival of Rayman Origins suddenly made everyone sit up and take notice. “Wait a minute, this is good. REALLY good, as a matter of fact. It’s quirky, fun, attractive to look at, challenging without being unfair and ultimately very engaging.”
Oh, but Rayman Origins isn’t available on PS4. Damn. Guess we’ll have to do with Rayman Legends, which is… Even better! Yes! Score one for the little guy!
Rayman Legends has everything the original had, plus more. All the charm, all the exuberant joy, and even a bunch of musical levels, all set to the rhythm of classic songs. Basically, Rayman Legends is amazing fun. And with two people, this cooperative PS4 game is even better!
THE BINDING OF ISAAC: REBIRTH
Alright, so this one is a little less kiddy-friendly (odd, considering it has an infant protagonist), but The Binding Of Isaac is one of the best couch co-op games as well as one of the best indie games out there at the moment, and you’d be a fool not to try it. Everybody needs some trauma in their life, right? I got mine by playing Tales Of Zestiria, now it’s everyone else’s turn.
Oh god, how do I describe The Binding of Isaac? Um… Imagine if Rogue Legacy and Don’t Starve were imprisoned inside a church basement for several years, then told to kill each other. Rebirth would be the terrifying creation made with whatever body parts were left.
So The Binding of Isaac is pretty simple to play, but has a lot going on in terms of subtext and deeper meaning. But considering you’ll be playing it as a co-op game, you likely won’t notice that. Instead, you’ll be bombing around a series of increasingly gruesome labyrinths, using every bodily fluid you have to hold back some very strange and scary monsters in top-down, bullet-hell gameplay. But the sheer amount of randomised content means it’s a completely different experience every time, so no chance of getting bored this side of February.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is revolting, weird, frustrating and often ethically wrong. But that’s pretty similar most friendships I know of, so that makes it the ideal candidate for cementing those strange and surreal bonds of brotherhood. Bring your best straight jacket and jar of mysterious fluid, because it only gets darker from here.