The multiplayer landscape is quickly changing as local co-op opportunities disappear and give way to the online deathmatch experience. When a game does include some form of co-op it's usually just the same game sliced in two with a few modifcations in player ability and not much else. Every once in a while though, there's a game that shakes things up—and throws it all out of balance!
Here are 7 Asymmetrical Multiplayer Games That Make P2 Status Fun
Not every multiplayer mode is created equally but, as it turns out, that's a-okay. These games make secondary roles look so good, you'll want to start calling shotgun in your own damn car.
1. 'Beyond Two Souls'
Developer: Quantic Dream
Released: October 8, 2013
Available on: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
#BeyondTwoSouls is an anthological cinematic adventure that follows the story of Jodie (played by Ellen Page) and a paranormal entity that inhabits her consciousness. While you can play this game alone—switching between roles when necessary—this game can also be played by two people with one person controlling Jodie and the other controlling Aiden.
Playing as Aiden is undoubtedly the cooler option of the two in most cases. You have the opportunity to possess people and objects so that you can manipulate them in a way that makes things easier for Jodie. You'll also have multiple opportunities to straight up save Jodie's life which lets you become a sort of ghostly superhero.
2. 'Super Mario Galaxy'
Released: November 1, 2007
Available on: Wii
Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 both feature a special multiplayer mode called Co-Star mode that lets one player control Mario while the other controls a Luma. The Luma basically runs the town and saves the day by collecting Star Bits and shooting them at enemies while Mario does his usual hoppy routine.
Honestly the only thing cooler than playing as a Luma would be to play as Luigi who is easily the better of the famous brotherly pair and one of the best characters in all of gaming.
3. 'Resident Evil Revelations 2'
Released: February 24, 2015
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Windows
The #ResidentEvil series is no stranger to co-op gameplay. The majority of the post-Resi 4 installments feature the option to complete the entire story with a friend by your side. What isn't totally normal for the series is for the co-op gameplay to take the shape of a trust exercise. In Resident Evil Revelations 2 you will spend time following Claire and Moira, the daughter of Barry the dialogue master, around an abandoned island facility.
As usual, the co-op is split between these two, but this time the difference is a little more than skin deep. Moira refuses to use a gun and can only perform melee attacks. I realize that sounds pretty lame, but she's also in control of the flashlight. Without the flashlight, Claire is just zombie food, so if you were thinking that Moira was going to be an expendable asset, think again. Sadly, she's not—her lines are truly grating. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
4. 'Octodad: Dadliest Catch'
Developer: Young Horses
Released: January 30, 2014
Available on: Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, tvOS, Wii U, Xbox One
When I found out that Octodad: Dadliest Catch had multiplayer, I assumed it would be some sort of splitscreen affair where another person plays the same level alongside you and you just race to try to finish first. I didn't realize how wrong I was.
Octodad's multiplayer is basically QWOP on steroids. You can play with up to three other people and you control one limb, not an entire character. You just have to work together to get shit done. In this case, any limb makes for an awesome "player 2".
5. 'Left 4 Dead'
Developer: Valve South
Released: November 17, 2008
Available on: Windows, Xbox 360, Mac
#Left4Dead's normal multiplayer mode is exemplary for so many reasons. I could go on for days about how Valve created a game that truly pushes you to work with your team and punishes you for choosing to do otherwise. It's really a masterpiece. However, Left 4 Dead's online versus mode is just as fantastic in its own special way.
In the online multiplayer games, you could choose between survivor or special infected factions. Although the infected didn't live as long, some careful strategy and lucky placement could put you in a great position to take down an entire team of survivors with well-timed bile blasts or a skillful hunter attack.
6. 'Spy Party'
Developer: Chris Hecker
Released: Continuously updated beta since 2009
Available on: Windows, Mac
In Spy Party, one player is a spy that must attempt to complete a series of objectives within the given time limit while a sniper attempts to identify them and take them out in one shot before they finish.
I honestly can't decide which role is cooler. The game has been in beta for a really long time but it gets better and better by the week and is more than worth the buy. It's essentially a more tense and slow-burning version of The Ship.
7. 'Watch Dogs'
Released: May 27, 2014
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows
#WatchDogs is a singleplayer experience with online capabilities that do very little to make it a more interesting game. But it also has this really nifty "CTOS" mobile app that adds a super clever local multiplayer mode that sort of redeems the experience as a whole.
Being Player 2 in Watch Dogs means setting traps that keep the main player from driving through designated checkpoints. You can even set up your own challenges for others to play. I think the devious edge is really what puts this secondary option above the rest. It's like the nicer version of swatting the remote out of someone's hands.
Games like this seem to be great options for settling bets, passing the time on a date or even keeping your family from biting each other's heads off during get togethers. Worst case scenario, you get your butt handed to you on a silver platter after your grandmother flips your car in Watch Dogs but it's still basically bonding. Happy to help!
Do you see yourself becoming a paranormal manipulator or a subservient star-type for Mario?