Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Co-Op RPGs

Someone in, the Usenet Newsgroup, asked about good RPGs that support multiplayer co-op mode via the internet. I replied in detail, so I figured I would put my reply up on the blog, too.

* The old Baldur's Gate Original Saga and Baldur's Gate 2 lets you do this, but since the story is centered around a specific character, it doesn't play out that great as a co-op game but it is pretty fun that way, especially for a 'duo' versus a whole team. you can even assign multiple characters to a single player if you choose, or you can just pick up NPC characters to fill out your party. The BG1+exp goes for around $15 or $20, and BG2 + exp. goes for a little more. Getting somewhat hard to find these now that Interplay is kaput.

* Same for the Icewind Dale Games, minus the ability to pick up NPCs (you'll want to start with at least 4 characters at the start). Keep in mind that IWD series is much less story oriented than the BG series, which may or may not be to your liking. I actually have an unopened copy of IWD2 for trade/sale. You can probably find both of these games for under $15 each.

* Neverwinter Nights Platinum is a great game to play through with a duo. There's also limitless content already made with all of the fan-created modules, which some people consider to be the best part about this game. To me the MP for NWN works better than the BG or IWD series, but YMMV. The original game's story is somewhat lengthy and not as exciting as perhaps BG2, but it's worth a play IMHO. I'd rank this game my top recommendation, in fact. If you buy NWN, I suggest getting the Platinum version, which includes both of the excellent expansion packs to this game. The Platinum package runs about $35-40.

* Diablo 2 is superb for playing with up to 8 friends over the internet. This is pretty much a hack-n-slash level-up treasure-finder but if you've never done it before the story can be pretty fun the first time through. I recommend getting the Battlechest if you go this route, and install the expansion pack straight away from the start. There are a few "mods" for this made by fans which change the gameplay some but most of them do not significantly change the story. You can get the Battlechest for $15-20.

* Dungeon Siege - this game is quite fun multiplayer EXCEPT for the save system which is pretty bad, it requires long chunks of time to play through so that you can make it to the next town or portal, otherwise you won't feel like you're making any progress, because monsters respawn and it starts you off back at town each time to resume. Expect a LOT of combat for this game, with a linear story to read as you go along. There are books to tell the backstory of the game world and some side quests but mostly it's a linear dungeon crawl. There are also quite a few fan-made modules for this game as well. I recommend getting the Legend of Aranna expansion pack which also includes the full game. Asking price is around $20.

Those would be my top picks. Some other RPG games that also offer co-op online play:
If you have an Xbox I can recommend:
That's about it for co-op RPGs that do not require a fee to play online. At least, the ones I have actually played. If you want to play any of the above PC games with me, just shoot me a message. :)

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