• James Hewlett

Couch Co-Op

We started playing Gears 5 this evening and it’s a ton of fun.

I haven’t been playing video games nearly as much this year as I used to. It’s not for a lack of desire, I’ve just been using my time differently and finding the right type of game has been trickier. Something I’ve come to realise in the past few years though is that I enjoy playing with people a lot more. I don’t mean multiplayer in a versus way, I like collaboration and cooperative games. This goes for board games and video games alike. Styles and genres may vary but playing a game along side a friend is my favourite, and if we can play in the same space and not just over headsets then it is even better! The experience of calling out objectives, helping each other, cracking jokes and working together is so much more intense and fun when you are sat next to the other person or people.

The problem is that there are less and less ‘couch co-op’ games being made, especially big triple A titles that you can really sink your teeth into. A lot of games will feature co-op modes but only online.

One exception throughout the entire course of the series has been Gears of War. The over the top, hyper macho, third person sci-fi shooter has featured local co-op as a gameplay option from the first game and continues to now over a decade later with the latest release, Gears 5.

Rae and I have both played some of but not all of the previous games in the franchise but the plot has never been the biggest driving factor for the series. The gameplay mechanics have always felt tight and it has a very unique feel to it. Neither of us had played a Gears game in quite some time but within five minutes we were both ducking between cover, hitting active reloads and finishing off grunts with the trademark chainsaw. The saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ and that is exactly what the developers continue to do with this series. They innovate and add new features but never to the point where it fundamentally changes the game.

We’re not rushing through the campaign, we’ll probably only play a chapter a week, two at most, so it will last us quite a while but its really fun and I’m glad I have someone to hang out with and shoot shit while shooting the shit with. As the evenings draw in, video games are the way to go!

Don’t expect a write up or review, as I said, it’ll take a while to get through, but from what I’ve played so far I’d definitely recommend Gears 5 for any Xbox One owners. Plus if you get it on gamepass it’s an absolute bargain!

©2017 by James Hewlett.