7 multiplayer experiences to bring out the bastard in you

Fable II

Fable II’s co-op is utterly unique. You see while the inclusion of a second player, as a rule, can make even a miserable campaign bearable, bringing a quest buddy into Albion actually turns an excellent game into a miserable slog.

Above: There was always a period of awkward silence after Jim shotgunned one of Pedro's wives 

Dropping into a friend’s game world, you are a total non-entity. You can’t interact with anything. You can’t flick a switch. You can’t open a door. You can't even start a conversation. You’re totally reliant on the player whose game it is, reducing you to the level of pram-bound sword-baby, as mummy does all of the real, grown up stuff for you. You might as well be a ghost.

Fortunately though, you’re the Sadako kind of ghost, rather than the ineffectual Sixth Sense variety, and should you meet them, one thing you certainly can affect is the longevity of your friend’s in-game spouse and children. By murdering them right up. And they never, ever come back, even after you've left. That'll teach people to ignore you.

Double Dragon

Taito’s 1987 street brawler is one of the most influential games ever made. No, seriously. It introduced continuous side-scrolling to the beat-‘em-up genre, it popularised two-player co-op violence alongside Contra (sorry, current-gen, turns out you didn’t invent it after all), nd most importantly of all, it then immediately introduced Mr. Violent McCo-op to Miss. Gratuitously Dick-your-mates-over-for-fun. They got on famously, and a little while later a whole legacy of bastardly multiplayer was spawned from their union.

How did it work? Simple. Upon reaching the end of the game and rescuing kidnapped love interest Marian, said wayward wench set the victorious Lee brothers about each other in a battle to the death in order to decide which was worthy of her attentions. Thus, the burgeoning fraternal bond of early co-op was drowned at birth.

Left 4 Dead

So there’s a zombie plague going on. As far as you know, there might only be four of you left amongst a great, throbbing, worldwide population of insidious zombie stink. You have only each other to rely on, and the only way any of you will get through alive is if you work as one cohesive, tightly-tactical, co-operative unit. The slightest error from anyone could result in the instant downfall of the whole team. And doesn’t that knowledge just make it hellishly tempting to balls it all up for everyone?

Above: The still weren't speaking 

Of course it does, and in Left 4 Dead there are plenty of fiendish ways to achieve that. You can trigger the climactic Infected horde at the end of stage before anyone else is ready. You can blow things up as your team-mates pass by. You can pull the old trick of repeatedly not-quite-healing a downed compatriot until they go insane. You can direct your friends to a set of pick-ups you’ve found, which in actual fact then turn out to be not so much pick-ups, but more similar to a Special Infected. Probably a Witch. When the smallest error can bring the whole tactical house down, the possibilities for engineering an apocalypse are endless.


Like Crackdown 2, this is another one where the freedom afforded by the game world can turn co-op into a vindictive playground of creative friend-murder within seconds. Given the vast amount of destructibility in the environments and the proliferation of armed vehicles, there are plenty of ways to ruin your friend’s day.

Above: Life-expectancy of two Mercs in a war zone = a few days. Life-expectancy of partnership = two minutes

Our favourite though, is gratuitous use of helicopter grappling hooks. Wait ‘til your partner is in a vehicle, then pluck him off the ground and abuse him endlessly. The fact that the gunship-carrying-a-tank combo is an accepted Mercs 2 co-op tactic makes this even easier to pull off.

You can drop him in the sea, you can ‘beach’ him on top of a lethally tall tower… Hell, you can even fly low over the motorway and swing him around, using him as a conker to wipe out the oncoming traffic. Until he explodes. And if all else fails, just drop him in the middle of the suspension bridge and immediately nuke it from the air.


  • 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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