Everyone gets in on the action of handing out arbitrary awards for self-defined categories and TechRaptor is no exception. Where 2016 was dominated by first person shooters, 2017 had a much wider array on offer in terms of multiplayer gameplay. We all likely think of competitive gameplay when it comes to multiplayer, but this year had a few standout titles for co-op.
Here’s the list of nominees (and here’s the list of nominees for all categories):
- Cuphead (Our Review)
- Divinity: Original Sin II (Our Review)
- Injustice 2 (Our Review)
- Snipperclips (Our Review)
- Splatoon 2 (Our Review)
To kick it off, here’s what you, the readers, chose as as the winner of the Best Multiplayer Award for outstanding multiplayer gameplay and design. Our top three follows after.
Readers’ Choice – Divinity: Original Sin II
Divinity: Original Sin II took co-op RPGs to a whole other level, so it’s no surprise to see it take the Readers’ Choice vote here. Up to four people could roam the same world with the opportunity to help one another out or secretly plot against each other. Nothing forces you to be friends to your friends. Disagree on a quest? Well, take it into your own hands. Or maybe you venture off on your own, make your mark on an area, and your friend comes along to see what havoc you’ve caused or what help you’ve given. It’s like participating in an MMO with actual, lasting effects.
Third Place – Snipperclips
By Andrew Otton
Snipperclips is the perfect example of a simple idea manifested perfectly. Two funny-faced paper-made characters work together to solve a puzzle before them, whether that be sharpening a pencil or cutting one another into a shape to fill in a desired area. It has charm, clever gameplay, and playing it with a friend or family member increases the fun to be had by several degrees.
The satisfaction of cutting out the perfect shape working together with someone else to get it just right was never boring. There was always a great sense of accomplishment from succeeding at the task at hand, and the utter chaos of clipping your partner to pieces always brought out a laugh. The clever mechanics never felt frustrating, leaving failure as only something to laugh at as the weird shape you may have cut out didn’t work at all. Trial and error with a friend nearby was never as fun.
For those like myself who have played games for some time, Snipperclips brought back that nostalgic feeling of the golden days of couch co-op. To those who may be new to gaming, Snipperclips will likely create that same feeling later on in their gaming life.
Second Place – Divinity: Original Sin II
By Max Moeller
Arguably the best RPG in years, Divinity: Original Sin II is the closest we’ve come to Dungeons and Dragons: The Game. It is filled with intricate storylines and seemingly endless ways to customize your character. Single-player gamers have more than enough content to get through, but those with a few friends can try out a very ambitious multiplayer option.
Multiplayer allows up to four players to exist in one world, each with their takes on how it should be. They can play it cooperatively or battle to become the most powerful. Regardless, players’ actions affect the world in numerous ways.
For example, say my friend pissed me off yesterday, and I want to ruin his day. An NPC he needs to continue his questline is coming up. I sneak ahead and kill that NPC, ending my friend’s quest and preventing him from those rewards. However, my friend spent that time leveling up through sidequests. When we finally meet up, he battles me and ends up destroying me in revenge.
How the rest of the hundred hour journey plays out is anyone’s guess. We could make-up, continue to battle, or never interact again. I could continue to ruin his questlines or live my own life. He can reach out in forgiveness or stalk me through my adventure. That’s the beauty of Divinity: Original Sin II’s multiplayer: anything can happen.
Winner – Cuphead
By Alex Santa Maria
When someone thinks of multiplayer gaming, their mind usually wanders towards deathmatch. Massive arenas filled with combatants flinging spells and bullets towards each other to climb the scoreboard. This is how you interact with many games, but it is not the original form of multiplayer.
Cuphead’s multiplayer is a more classic variation, one that encourages two friends to sit in front of a couch and take up a co-op challenge. As hard as the original game is, it’s twice as hard factoring in the actions of Mugman. Enemies take more damage, bullets fly off track towards your partner, and Run ‘n Gun stages punish players who take it slow.
When taking on a boss for the first time in Cuphead, you generally want to focus in, memorize patterns, and generally get in the zone. Adding a second player to the mix can extend this process, as you have more distractions and less chances to get a consistent go around with whatever baddie you happen to be taking on.
Is it worth the additional challenge? Almost certainly. Anyone who truly takes up the mug mantle yearns for the challenge that Cuphead provides. This isn’t a game for the fainthearted; its enjoyment comes from overcoming its difficulty. What better way to conquer a great challenge than together with a friend?
Before you get to that conquering, you’ll have to bicker. You’ll have to argue. You’ll probably end up throwing controllers at each other from across the room, since Cuphead is an offline only affair. Still, when all is said and done, and the devil is put back into his place, there will be a definite bond. All that work, all that frustration—it paid off. And you didn’t even have to leave your couch.
What did we miss? What did we get wrong? What game would have won the award for you?