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Windows Local/Split-Screen Co-op PC games!

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by boiled_elephant, 12 Jan 2011.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    So. There have been many threads asking after co-op games over the years, but they were after LAN and internet co-op. This is different. Split-screen gaming is a hugely underrated, tragically under-explored and largely untapped gameplay experience, one which PCs need more of. As it is, however, it rates so lowly in reviewers' and retailers' minds that it's almost impossible to even find out if a game supports split-screen/same-screen co-op (SSCO), boxes usually just vaguely referring to "co-op" and "multiplayer" gameplay without specifying what type, how much, or to what depth and proportion of overall content (usually networked, not much, shallow and small, respectively).

    I want to make a list. We need a list of good SSCO games, because - as anyone who's ever played Trine with a friend or two will attest - it's absolutely awesome. It's always been a pet love of mine. Unless you're socially stunted to an Edward Scissorhands degree, you can get more fun out of your machine in three hours of SSCO gaming than you would out of 3 days of Bad Company 2 or Modern Warfare (YMMV). Hopefully this thread'll help people find more of it.

    I'll get the ball rolling with what I know. Points on which I'm uncertain are marked with a *. If I have time I'll keep this post updated with suggested additions.

    (This is more a hall of fame than a comprehensive list: there are some genuinely terrible SSCO games not worth mentioning. A complete list can be found here; most of them are bad.)

    Lego Star Wars et al. (Lego Batman, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones)

    [​IMG]
    Type: Single-screen third-person co-operative puzzle solving and platforming.
    Players: 1-2 (* unsure about Original Trilogy)
    Adaptedness: The entire campaign. Everything that can be played single-player can also be played co-op. This includes all of the episodes and all of the free play, and the perks/unlocks and currency collecting function identically. Gameplay is optimized to suit multiple players and much of the puzzle solving is rendered infinitely easier and more fun in co-op. Without co-ops, AI takes over the other characters.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Star_Wars:_The_Video_Game
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Star_Wars_II:_The_Original_Trilogy
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2006/09/08/Lego_Star_Wars_Original/1



    Trine / Trine 2

    [​IMG]
    Type: Single-screen third-person puzzle solving and platforming. (And you can spam-create boxes to push fellow players into lava and kill them.)
    Players: 1-3
    Adaptedness: As with Lego Star Wars. Both games can be played entirely with 2 or 3 players and most of the content benefits; the puzzles and combat are all easier and more varied with co-op and the 3 character roles are designed to play off of each other. The games are actively harder without co-ops as you must switch between the 3 characters, having one out at a time, limiting what you can do.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trine_(video_game)
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2009/07/24/trine-review/1



    Left 4 Dead

    [​IMG]
    Type: Split-screen (horizontal or vertical) first-person zombie shooter.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: At least one of you will have to use a controller, specifically, a 360 controller, and furthermore you'll need two 360 controllers to get it working easily. With that covered, it works beautifully. Full instructions can be found further down, in THIS POST. No word yet as to whether online play works with local split-screen.
    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=745113
    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8388251&postcount=21
    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8388277&postcount=24



    Left 4 Dead 2

    Everything exactly as above; the two games are functionally identical. The procedure for enabling split-screen is slightly different, however: full instructions can be found in this post.


    Blur

    [​IMG]
    Type: Split-screen racing (* with/without additional AI drivers? perks and levelling up in SSCO or not?).
    Players: 1-4
    Adaptedness: SSCO is a small part of the game. (* does it interact with online multiplayer unlocks or is it separate?) Many of the game's reward features are stripped from SSCO and it reportedly has less replayability, but is fun for quick action.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blur_(video_game)
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2010/06/04/blur-pc-review/1



    Serious Sam (original First/Second Encounter ONLY)

    [​IMG]
    Type: Split-screen gratuitous first-person shooter with waves of varied monsters and indulgently oversized guns to blow them up with.
    Players: 1-4 (* confirmation needed; may be more or less in specific installments?)
    Adaptedness: Everything can the played in SSCO, the game remaining unchanged. No particular benefits or tactical gameplay in co-op compared to single-player beyond the light-hearted fun and novelty of blowing up aliens in the company of friends. First Encounter, Second Encounter, FE HD and SE HD are essentially the same game with variations of quality and design, so take your pick. Only the original Serious Sam chapters support split-screen; the HDs and Serious Sam 2 dropped it, because the devs decided it was too much of a good thing, I guess. Controllers have to be manually mapped (if you need help doing this, PM me. It's not easy and takes a bit of trial and error.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serious_Sam
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2009/11/27/serious-sam-hd-review/1
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2010/05/08/serious-sam-the-second-encounter-hd-review/2
    http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/action/serioussamtheseconde/review.html



    Kane & Lynch: Dead Men

    [​IMG]
    Type: Split-screen third-person shooter, gritty and cover-based a la Gears of War. Allegedly mediocre but now very cheap.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: The entire campaign can be played with two; in the absence of a co-op the AI takes over. If you've played Gears of War you know everything about this co-op style already. The game is very much a personal or acquired taste and didn't do well, but the co-op is by all accounts solid and fully functional.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kane_&_Lynch:_Dead_Men
    http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/xbox-360/2007/11/24/kane_and_lynch_dead_men/1



    Monsters vs. Aliens

    [​IMG]
    Type: Same-screen third-person generic action/adventure 3D platformer in the mould of the N64 era.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: A second player can drop in at any point in the campaign. It's a movie-based game with middling reviews, but promises easy-access casual co-op for short social gaming sprees. Gameplay is built around gamepads rather than keyboards or mice, so have two handy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_vs._Aliens_(video_game)
    http://www.co-optimus.com/game/976/pc/monsters-vs-aliens.html



    Platypus

    [​IMG]
    Type: Same-screen retro arcade-style scrolling shooter, complete with a P1/P2 credits system and alien motherships.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: Easily configured to controllers, keyboards and mice (the latter of which you will fight to have eventually), a second player can drop in at any time. There are enough pickups to sustain two players but it does require some co-operative, socialist thinking to not end up hopelessly unbalanced. Co-op may be an improvement or a hindrance depending on your play style. (Also, the game is made entirely in claymation, which is awesome.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus_(game)
    http://www.retro64.com/platypus_game.asp



    House of the Dead 1/2/3

    [​IMG]
    Type: First-person same-screen arcade shooter action. Essentially Time Crisis in different dresses.
    Players: 1-2
    Aaptedness: All games follow the arcade shooter formula and are meant for two, but inevitably one player will have to use a gamepad (or keyboard *shudder*), which is less than ideal for aiming a crosshair. Absurdly bad voice acting, animation, graphics and design make them perfect social games to laugh through. also, due to all the hidden and bonus trinkets stuffed around the screen in 2 and 3, and the generally steep difficulty curves of all 3 games, a co-op partner helps massively.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Dead_(series)#Main_series


    Liero

    [​IMG]
    Type: 2D DOS-originated Worms lookalike. The basic graphics fail to pre-empt the fast-paced, chaotic gameplay engendered by 40 weapons, destructible environments and real time gameplay (as opposed to the turn-basing of Worms).
    Players: 1-2.
    Adaptedness: It's a tiny arcade game, so technically the entire game can be experienced in 'co-op'. The uniformity of the maps and the graphical simplicity precludes long replay value for casual gamers, but potentially a good warm-up game.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liero
    http://www.liero.be/



    X-Men Legends II

    [​IMG]
    Type: Same-screen isometric-view action game. It's basically 4-player Torchlight for gameplay.
    Players: 1-4
    Adaptedness: The whole thing. You can have up to 3 co-op partners throughout the campaign and all have varied abilities which are improved and expanded through unlock/level progressions. As with Torchlight, singleplayer is said to get very repetitive, so co-op is almost certainly an improvement. Also as with Torchlight, it's unlikely to have much longevity or replay value. Bad graphics, niche appeal, and the need for up to 4 gamepads to hand may limit social appeal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men_Legends_II:_Rise_of_Apocalypse
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaETaAo1FOQ



    Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

    [​IMG]
    Type: Split-screen Mario Kart style racing in a range of gameplay modes and a range of visually offensive colours.
    Players: 1-4
    Adaptedness: Works fine with the 360 controllers and runs well, even with 4 players on mid-range hardware. Not the most mind-blowing game, and we got bored of it after a few days, but still worth a look.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_&_Sega_All-Stars_Racing
    http://wii.ign.com/articles/107/1071525p1.html
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/34190/



    Split/Second

    [​IMG]
    Type:Split-screen Burnout-style racing.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: Split-screen play is supported. In a game this simple, that's as far as adaptation can and need go. It's like Burnout with desctructible environments and other gimmicks, and nice graphics. Only available via two online digital stores (neither is Steam, sadly) and if you pirate it Baby Jesus will cry, so brace your credit card and your broadband.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split/Second
    http://pc.ign.com/articles/109/1092885p1.html



    Terminator Salvation

    [​IMG]
    Type: Split-screen third-person shooter.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: The whole campaign is playable, though there are no advanced rewards, scoring or achievement systems in place for SSCO. The campaign is rather short too, but that matters less in SSCO. Also it's an unremarkable B-game shooter that, like many of them (Halo, Gears of War, etc.), is made far more fun and interesting by SSCO. And because it's widely reputed to stink, it's dirt cheap already.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminator_Salvation_(video_game)
    http://pc.ign.com/articles/992/992684p1.html



    Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

    [​IMG]
    Type: Same-screen third-person platformer.
    Players: 1-2
    Adaptedness: It's full-campaign, isometric puzzle-platform-and-action Tomb Raider, like Trine in (sort of) 3D with guns and breasts. It got surprisingly good reviews (very good reviews), citing the co-op in particular. It's local machine only, and controllers are pretty much mandatory, but that's par for the course. To top everything off, it's also £10/$15 on steam. I'm buying it as soon as I can. -I bought it and played it. It's absolutely fantastic 2-player puzzle action, my favourite so far.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lara_Croft_and_the_Guardian_of_Light
    http://pc.ign.com/articles/112/1129415p1.html
    http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/adventure/laracroftandtheguardianoflight/review.html




    Disappointing Mentions to Avoid:
    Burnout: Paradise (contrary to every appearance, this does not have any form of SSCO, only a tedious take-turns trial mode with no progress or longevity.)
    Resident Evil 5. The split-screen co-op is bafflingly taken out of the PC version and only online/LAN co-op is available. Insert expletives here. (* Can anyone second-source or disclaim this?)
    Gears of War. Despite a fairly good port (stability and compatibility issues aside), they dropped the tremendously popular SSCO that made the console versions stand out.
    Borderlands. As above, no SSCO on the PC version despite being built around it. Worth a look for consolers though.
    Hunted: The Demon's Forge. Again, no SSCO on the PC, only LAN and internet co-op, despite it being built around it. Good job, Bethesda.
    Serious Sam 2 / Serious Sam HD Despite being literally the same games with new bits stuck on them and shinier textures, no SSCO, only online.
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2012
    EvilMerc, knuck and TCoZ like this.
  2. DLDeadbolt

    DLDeadbolt Space Cadet

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    Favorite PC SS-CO game?


    Liero - a really old split screen game of Worm vs Worm, with plenty of weapons. (game is only a 1 or 2 MB big)
     
  3. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Done.

    I'm curious about the rumoured L4D mod/hack to enable split-screen play. I haven't listed it because I don't know how viable or bug-free it is.
     
  4. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    i got excited by your L4D screenshot :(

    there's Terminators Salvation. similar split-screen manner to Kane and Lynch. housemate and i played the whole Terminator game in a single 3 hours run on an afternoon, and then went to watch it :D
     
  5. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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  6. TCoZ

    TCoZ Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo...

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    Lara Croft: Guardian of Light is a good game, but it really shines with its local co-op. Definitely worth putting on the list.
     
  7. tennisball

    tennisball [Insert witty comment here]

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    I can confirm that the split screen hack works on both L4D1 and 2.
     
  8. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Toy soldiers for xbox is quality 2 player.
     
  9. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Well-Known Member

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    I do believe the discussion is about PC.

    While technically neither split-screen nor co-op, Worms games are fun to play locally.
     
  10. line2008

    line2008 What is this "dremel" you speak of?

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    recently played through terminator salvation with a mate, enjoyed.
     
  11. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Done some more, will finish tomorrow (I need sleep). Lara Croft still to go up f.ex. Anyone confirm Borderlands and Resident Evil 5? Reviews say conflicting and vague things.
     
  12. Hamfunk

    Hamfunk I AM KROGAN!

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    Sorry, can someone explain to me how split screen PC gaming is possible with 1 mouse and 1 keyboard? (In 1st person or 3rd person shooters)

    Am i missing something here?
     
  13. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    plug in a xbox controller.

    there's also football games such as PES 2010, had many games with friends during the world cup.
     
  14. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Added an image to that effect. The 360 controller handles well-adjusted FPS/TPS better than you'd think, I actually dropped KB+mouse and used it instead for Gears of War and Fallout 3.
     
  15. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Added Guardian of Light. I don't know how I missed that one, it sounds awesome.

    That looks to be about it, barring some horribly bad early 00's games. It remains a neglected genre :(
     
  16. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    good thread mate. I personally don't see the point of playing any FPS game in split screen (especially if it's with a controller but this is another story). However lots of the games you listed definitely have potential :D

    rep
     
  17. mpr

    mpr New Member

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    One of the Lord of the Rings ones is multi, but I can't recall if it was split or not.
     
  18. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Can we add L4D I & II to the list, then? And link the hack? Great post, BTW!
     
  19. EvilMerc

    EvilMerc Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this truly excellent. I have three of these games too.

    +rep to you sir!
     
  20. tennisball

    tennisball [Insert witty comment here]

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    Guide to L4D splitscreen hack

    I didn't know SSHD and Blur had splitscreen, I'll have to give them a go sometime.

    This thread should be a sticky.
     

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