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7 multiplayer experiences to bring out the bastard in you

Ah, multiplayer, a beautiful synergy of technology and human interaction. A healthy, jovial, life-affirming way of enjoying the company of your fellow man. Sometimes, anyway. At other times, not so much. Not so much at all. We were recently reminded of this by the Kane & Lynch 2 demo, whose multiplayer modes proved with no margin for error what solid gold, conniving swine games can so easily turn us into.

You see some games just seem to want you to be a bastard to your friends. Whether competetive or co-op, whether by mean-spirited mechanics or by simply offering just enough tools and temptation to ruin someone's day, certain multiplayer modes positively live to cause griefing and fights. And frankly, they're hilarious and we love them for it. So here are some of the most bastardly.

Kane & Lynch

A game centred around the sunlit, carefree tale of a manslaughtering and schizophrenic BFF duo was always going to need a brutal competitive multiplayer mode. Kane and Lynch's Fragile Alliance mode gladly obliges, and does so in a a rather clever way.  

Like the beginning of The Dark Knight, it's all about committing a bank heist and then murderously whittling down your team in order to get a bigger cut of the money yourself. Alas, no stationary-based magic tricks are available, but it's nontheless a tense mercenary experience where no-one is ever safe, and any plan can go spectacularly tits-up at the drop of the hat. Because however big a bastard you want to be, there's always an even bigger one just waiting around the corner. With a shotgun.

Bomberman Live

Bomberman has always been a game whose fun factor is directly proportional to the pain of your friends (or the pain of everyone if you’re the sadistic arse who decided that Act Zero was a good idea). Trouble is, as the series has added more and more players to its deathmatch, the wait between death and respawn has become increasingly dull for those who get wiped out first.

Later versions though, have solved this problem, by interfacing a duo of unwary avians with a single piece of well aimed igneous. Once you’re out, you respawn on the outside of the battle map, able to hurl bombs in from its border without any personal risk, killing time and increasing the pain of the guy who wiped you tenfold.

You’ll start an endless cycle of obsessive murderous revenge that will eventually result in the wretched end of you both, but that kind of stuff is what life is all about, right?

Crackdown 2

As prominent American scientist Dr. Peter Venkman concluded in his 1984 thesis on the amplification effects of multiple divergent forces upon the structural integrity of any given physical environment, a co-operative group should always split up when presented with the opportunity. It can do more damage that way. Crackdown 2’s free-roaming, four-player co-op mode is a perfect worked example of that theory.


Above: Little did Tarquin know, Jeremy and Crispin had skulduggery afoot! 

Stick together, explore alone, work together, or ruin everything for each other. Every option is always open. But the game's super-powered mechanics are designed in a way that pretty much guarantees it’ll always be the latter. Friend driving a car? Pick up his car and throw it into the sea! Friend methodically climbing a huge building? Leap up there first and punch him off as soon as he makes it! And the new mag-grenade weapon is an absolute griefing godsend.

Sticking to any object and unleashing a bungee-like electrical tether, it can be chained together multiple times to create an ungodly spider web of springy plasmic chaos. Favourite tactic? Subtly attaching the back of a mate’s car to a wall just as he starts a race. Vroom. Boing. Crump. Swearing.

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29 comments

  • Brett35 - July 19, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    Gauntlet for the 64 death after a friend and watching theyre life get slowly and painfully sucked away as you laugh right next to them knowing you have a potion that can end theyre suffering
  • jakery22 - July 18, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    What about Team Fortress 2? You may not be able to kill teammates but there's loads of greifing videos. Like the team roomba ones. :L.
  • Limbo - July 18, 2010 11:49 a.m.

    @Thuperman: That is the funniest thing to do in Halo. Whenever my teammates suck or are really annoying, I do the exact same thing. Its sad that almost no one realizes what we're doing.
  • Thuperman - July 17, 2010 6:36 p.m.

    Oh yeah i also used to shoot my teamates in halo just enough to piss them off and make them kill me and then i would boot them from the game for betraying me.....does that make me an asshole?
  • civver - July 17, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    No DEFCON? What a disappointing list.
  • HitAandBtoRun - July 17, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    Didn't Streets of Rage allow you to become the boss of the crime syndicate by murdering you brother (or sister) in arms at the end of the game? Qualifications for being a crime boss: kill Best Friend Forever, beat up previous crime boss. Easy.
  • philipshaw - July 17, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    Good list but I think RDR online has a lot of potential for being a complete bastard
  • TKTOWA - July 17, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    If you wanna talk about multiplayer bringing out your inner-bastard you need to play Battle Hunter for PS1.
  • Cyberninja - July 16, 2010 11:58 p.m.

    wow glad i dont play games with you.
  • 4fromK - July 16, 2010 11:40 p.m.

    the left 4 dead entry reminds me of the time that all the medipacks where in a closed in house with only one door. One of the bastards on my team committed the cardinal sin I have dubbed "healing then stealing" and so I missed out on a health pack. Since I was carrying a jerry can, and there was only one exit, I decided to throw it into the house, blow it up, then stand in the doorway while they burnt to death. then, since we were playing on an easier difficulty, they had to watch while I finished the campaign singlehandedly.
  • therawski - July 16, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    What's better, Bomberman Ultra (ps3) or Bomberman Blast (wii)?
  • And_ROOS - July 16, 2010 11:12 p.m.

    Team Fortress 2, i remember on a server there was a medic and a heavy, the medic ubercharged the heavy and they ran into a group of 4 Sentries guarding a capture point, as they get in sight the medic stops ubering the heavy and bolts away as the heavy is left to get shredded by 4 sentries and 12 odd people guarding the point. Dick act of the highest order, and witness through the scope of my sniper rifle.
  • TyeTheCzar - July 16, 2010 8:38 p.m.

    FYI, Double Dragon wasn't developed by Taito. It was Technos.
  • Thuperman - July 16, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    I have to admit, i was always a complete dick in L4D
  • Pebder88 - July 16, 2010 5:37 p.m.

    Red Dead Redemptions Free Roam. Twice when I was trying to get the "Hit the Trail" achievement I was on the recieving end of a headshot just outside Escalera.
  • Gameguy94 - July 16, 2010 5:13 p.m.

    What about Demon's Souls? You can invade peoples game sessions!!!
  • Imgema - July 16, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    Zelda four swords is more powerful than friendship.
  • Vitoruss1 - July 16, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    From what I've read about that one Super Mario game that came out for the Wii somewhat recently, that one is a bitch to multiplay in. Not that I own a Wii, bah. Also, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, which is perhaps one of the greatest games of all time, allows your friends to be complete BITCHES in. And I recall throwing my controller at the back of a friend's head in the original Halo when he kept killing me while I was trying to make progress in the campaign.
  • Im2awesome - July 16, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    aw shoot didnt even see YES's post. anyways agreed with his haha
  • Im2awesome - July 16, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. My friends still wont talk to me after that game.

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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